Bail out the auto industry – with strings

You probably know by now that The “Big 3” American auto companies want money. Actually, they want a lot of money. Guess they’re jealous of the banks?

Now, it’s easy and quick to find opinions saying “let them die” or just plain no’s. But I don’t think it’s a simple issue.
Continue reading Bail out the auto industry – with strings

Get on the bus!

Hey Edmonton Transit: Where the hell did all the hybrid buses go?

Did gas drop enough in price so we can continue to piss it away? Did the research phase end and the city decided to cheap out on them?

At least Sherwood Park is still trying out new buses. And on that – let’s get some double decker buses everywhere, if they work for England, they can work here!

Investments in public transit can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, general pollution, traffic, and give people a way to actually commute and read/text/anything-else-you-idiots-are-doing-behind-the-wheel-that-you-shouldn’t-be-doing. Give me more buses!

Of course, all of this is hopefully in part to give Alan a sense of bus-envy as his goal-of-the-year is to buy and renovate a bus.

Need proof the government is lying to you?

Ed Stelmach is spending $25 million dollars of Albertan taxpayers money on advertising.

Why should a province advertise? Not for tourism, but in this case, to convince the world the oil sands are environmentally friendly.

Note:  realize that the money is not coming from taxpayers, it is likely coming from oil revenues, however, in a democracy (if Alberta can still be called that) that money belongs to all citizens and taxpayers of the province.

The oil sands are in absolutely no way environmentally friendly. He can claim that companies are trying to make as little impact as possible on the environment, but its still a stretch.

Now, however, the British government has stopped ads from running in England from Shell that would have claimed the Alberta oil sands were a “sustainable energy source”. The ads were pulled because they “misled” the public.

Continue reading Need proof the government is lying to you?

The Danger of Conspiracies and Pseudo-Science

Yesterday I wrote a bit about the 9/11 Truth movement, and how its been shown to basically be quackery.  But today I want to issue a bit more of a warning, one that extends beyone 9/11 conspiracies and covers all types of non-scientific fields.

And that warning is that believing in this stuff is dangerous. It is dangerous to your wallet, it is dangerous to your intelligence, it is dangerous to your friends and family, and it is most of all dangerous to society.

Continue reading The Danger of Conspiracies and Pseudo-Science

Concentrated Crazy

I have always known American conservative right-wing journals existed. I also always new they were biased. But I had never even imagined that something like American Daily existed.

I should also say that I am fairly certain this is not a parody site.

As you can see from the screenshot they feature a lot of crazy right away.  You have a bunch of alternative medicine ads and links (they don’t limit their customers to the hippy-left), some global warming denialism links, an ad for a gun rights conference, Ronald Regan quotes, a made up fact about a supposed on-coming ice age, and fear-mongering about Islam.  And we haven’t even gotten to the article yet.

The article that brought me to this site (through search engines) is entitled “Sneaking Intelligent Design into Schools,” and I’m not sure whether they mean that’s what they’re doing, and they’re proud of it, or if it’s just catchy sounding to them.

Bobby Jindal, who may well be the next Ronald Reagan, has cruised through the Louisiana Legislature a new law which will allow schools in Louisiana to use the best materials available in teaching children about such hot topics for Leftists as Darwinian evolution and global warming. The ACLU and other predictable enemies of religion have already begun hissing at the new statute, warning that any attempt to introduce – gasp! – the Bible into public education will be met with a legal blitzkrieg.

That’s just the first paragraph.  I don’t think I can actually stomach deconstructing the entire article, or even this paragraph.

I will talk a little about Bobby Jindal though.  Jindal got an Bachelor’s in honours biology and public policy before getting a masters in political science.  He is the youngest current govenor, and governs Louisiana.  He is also the first (East) Indian governor.  There was speculation for a time that Jindal may become the running mate to John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination, but that has since passed.

The good things about Jindal:

  • He allows for operations that would save a mother’s life that result in the loss of a pregnancy
  • He supports emergency contraceptives for rape victims.

The not-so-good things about Jindal (from a left-leaning view):

  • He has a 100% pro-life voting record
  • He completely opposes abortion
  • He is opposed to embryonic stem-cell research and voted against increasing federal funding to expand embryonic stem cell lines
  • He voted to make the PATRIOT act permanent
  • He voted for the 2006 Military Commissions act (“To authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes.”)
  • He supports a constitutional amendment to outlaw flag burning
  • He supports federal ID programs
  • Gun Owners of America gives him an A
  • He supports co-payments for Medicaid, which would force low-income or disabled families to pay back a portion of what they get for health care
  • He supports removing bans on offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf
  • He supports teaching Intelligent Design in science classrooms (hence the “Best Materials” bill from the article above)
  • Finally, he signed the “Sex Offender Chemical Castration Bill” which allows the government to chemically castrate certain sex offenders

Perhaps he is the next Ronald Regan, or worse.

Pope blames atheists again

This time it’s the environment that we’re destroying.  While recognizing that the Catholic Church hasn’t always looked out for the environment, rampant materialism is to blame:

But he rejected criticism that Christianity had encouraged the squandering of resources under the pretext of following the commandment to rule over the Earth.

The wastefulness was due to a “materialistic world” where “God is denied,” Pope Benedict said.

Give me a break, actually thinking that this is all there is and that I want to leave the world to be a better place for our future generations is reason enough to want to make a difference environmentally.

Ratzinger’s excuse is lame and follows for no reason.  Why does what the man say still make the newspaper?

It sounds like a bad idea…

I’m not generally for carbon-capture technologies to reduce our emissions, firstly because it seems like a shoot, shovel, and shut-up approach, and second it just puts the problem to the future.

Now some are talking about burying the carbon under the sea off the BC-California coastline.  The first thing that rang through my head is “wow, that’d be a lot of carbon dioxide released in a single earthquake, perhaps they’re trying to increase the danger of Armageddon scenarios.”  But the researchers assure us:

While the region is famous for earthquakes and seismic activity, Goldberg and his colleagues have mapped out a 68,000-square-kilometre area they say would be isolated from quakes, hydro thermal vents or other factors that might upset a CO2 storage system.

I’m still questioning it.  We don’t know a hell of a lot about earthquakes, and again, if in 200 year there were a couple big quakes which moved this 68,000 square kilometre area into the fault region, who’s going to clean up the mess?

Carbon sequestering is a screw the future approach to saving the environment.  If we’re just going to bury the mess we make, we might as well use nuclear energy.

Is Stephane Dion Doomed?

Federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion announced his grand-old climate plan to save the world and attempt to get his party back into power this fall recently.  The big buzz of his plan is “carbon-taxes” as opposed to the Harper-Layton deal of “cap-and-trade.”

The New York Times has a bit of an explanation and comparison between the two systems:

Under the cap-and-trade model, which is embodied in most of the legislation that has been offered so far to deal with global warming, the government would set an overall limit — squeezed lower and lower over time — on the amount of carbon dioxide that can be pumped into the atmosphere.

A carbon tax reverses the process. The government would impose a tax on carbon output, gradually raising the price of energy produced from fossil fuels to higher and higher levels. The cost of coal would go up the most, because it emits more carbon dioxide for each unit of energy, with the price rising less for products derived from oil like gasoline and jet fuel, and even less for natural gas. The money raised by the tax, ideally, would be used to offset other taxes in ways that could compensate lower-income households and minimize damage to the economy.

Carbon taxes are likely less popular due to the word “tax” which no one likes, however, an experiment has been launched in BC where they have begun taxing all fossil fuels.

Critics can be found supporting either side of the issue, however the key here is that BOTH methods actually start doing something about climate change, as opposed to earlier “intensity” regulations.  Time will tell which method reigns supreme in Canada.

Calgary gives middle finger to Earth Hour

Saturday evening was Earth Hour (I’ll admit now that I knew it was coming but didn’t realize until Sunday when it was), and saw many people across Earth turning off their lights from 8-9pm local time.  Many Canadian cities saw drops of up to 9% consumption, and some smaller towns went completely dark!

However, in the heart of fossil-fuel burning Alberta, Calgary saw an increase in power consumption:

Calgary is the only known city in Canada where energy consumption actually went up during Earth Hour, a trend organizers pinned on colder weather and a late start locally in promoting the global event.

The “late start” I think refers to people not being organized in Calgary, unless people only started turning off around 8:30 or 8:45 and had only a little time.  One other reason given is that there was a Flames vs. Oilers game (Oilers won 2-1) that evening as well.

This is the province in which I live, it’s pretty sad.