Leave It In The Ground

The world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Watch this compelling, factual argument about how to solve the climate crisis. I first became aware of this straightforward idea after watching Do The Math by 350.org run by Bill McKibben. It is MAD lunacy to spend billions of taxpayer dollars exploring for more fossil fuels when the existing known reserves would destroy our climate should it all be burned!

if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives 30 or so years from now, according to one recent study 80% of the known coal reserves will have to stay underground, along with half the gas and a third of the oil reserves.

If only science were enough.

We have to convince people of the dire urgency. They’ve many reasons for doubting it, ranging from conspiracy theories, distrust of scientific knowledge, to short term greed. Also a big factor is the concerted corporate misinformation and doubt campaign waged for decades against us. It’s hard enough to help a single person acting against their own self-interest, but imagine fixing entire societies programmed to consume past real limits?

Governments are giving nearly $100,000,000,000.00 a year to companies searching for more ways to destroy civilization. And far too few newspapers take the threat to our civilization seriously and devote appropriate time explaining what people and politicians (who happen to be people in most cases) need to do about the problem “one distinguished scientist has termed as “incompatible with any reasonable characterisation of an organised, equitable and civilised global community”.”

“I have looked at the numbers.” – PM about Wallin’s Expenses

Pamela Wallin’s disgrace has been taking place in slow motion, with the latest chapter hitting headlines again.

“In terms of Sen. Wallin, I have looked at the numbers,” Harper told the House of Commons two weeks ago.

“Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling [sic] from that particular area of the country over that period of time.”

Yet the RCMP allege she committed fraud. Similar to the Nigel Wright bribe for Senator Duffy, no charges have been laid despite the RCMP’s findings.

Canada appears to be a country where some of the rich and powerful face no consequence for their crimes, even after the RCMP has built a case.

Premier Wall Takes Potshot at First Nations Leaders’ Pay #skpoli

The Premier said:

“It underscores the need for leadership at the local level, including — and let’s be clear — including on the part of chiefs and council,” he said.

“We also saw a report on the fact that chiefs and council in this province and right across the country get paid, as they should, for their services and some of them get paid a lot. You know, they get paid to make the decisions, to make choices on behalf of their members of their First Nation and protection and safety have to be at the top of the list.”

In response, FSIN Kimberly Jonathan sent out a press release denouncing Wall’s comments, saying they exemplified the “paternalistic approach” First Nations receive at the hands of the federal and provincial governments.

While I’ve criticized MLA pay in the past, it’s widely recognized that MLAs are not a group discriminated against by more powerful people, and are not at all systematically disadvantaged because of their culture and race. There was no need for the Premier to bring up the pay level of political leadership on reserves, because there’s no evidence it contributes to the economic situations in those communities. The Premier took a clear pot-shot at First Nations leadership, instead of extending a sincere offer to help solve the deadly problem of house fires. Clearly his instinct to badmouth First Nations people/leadership is at least as strongly ingrained as my instinct to oppose something the Premier says.

Meanwhile, The Premier gets paid to make the decisions, and protection and safety have to be at the top of his list.

“Anti-Petroleum” RCMP Explodes Gasoline In Their Cars’ Engines

The RCMP have displayed Climate Change Denial symptoms. This is bad for Canada, because if the police tasked with interfering in climate change related activism do not understand the science that drives the determined actions of peaceful activists, then they’re more likely to act against protesters without a measure of human sympathy.

Remember that RCMP bombed an oil installation just ~15 years ago.

Their lawyer produced evidence that the RCMP bombed a wellsite and that they did it with the full support of the energy company that owned it. The Crown admits the allegations are true.

The Royal Canadian Motorized Police will be seeing you.

ADDED: Some response to the RCMP.

Meanwhile, the NSA continues to break everything, and spy on everyone.

The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.

Fossils To Museums

I was an 8 year old awash in fossils, so I was a tad more generous than this former 9 year old PEI lad with his much more valuable fossil. I donated a lower mandible piece from a ~12,000,000 year old Saskatchewan rhino to the Sask. Natural History (now Royal Sask.) Museum in the 1980s. I too used plastic bristle brushes (AKA tooth brushes) to dust off fossils I collected from the surface of a gravel pit near Wood Mountain, SK. Many more fossils and fossil fragments from that pit have since ended up in cement in the area.

1988 Aug 16 Natural History Museum

Wood Mountain is one of two locations in Saskatchewan which weren’t significantly affected by glaciers from the last two ice ages. This left glacially tilled soil, rock, and fossil bits in the gravel pits of the area. When I was a boy, I’d sometimes play on the gravel pile my parents had brought in to make cement for our garage floor. I noticed odd rocks, and one that looked like it had teeth, so I set it aside, beside the south wall of the house. A year or two later, we took the biggest fossil to the RSM for them to look at it. They identified it, provided me with a copy of the ROM’s scientific description of the extinct animal, and accepted the fossil into their collection.

aphelops rhinoceros saskatchewan donation

A few years later I found a larger fossil from an older rhino, and they assembled it for me.

Wood Mountain fossils

UPDATE:

Passive House in Alaska Heated By Sun

More Canadian homes need to be built like this to survive coming fossil fuel shortages. It certainly saves a lot of money for the homeowner.

Passive House in Alaska using water insulated in a tank as a giant battery for energy.

The world would have forgotten the Saskatchewan house, too, were it not for a quirky German physicist interested in energy-saving buildings. After studying the Saskatchewan house and a handful of similar buildings, Dr. Wolfgang Feist wrote a mathematically precise — and elegantly simple — criterion for designing buildings that require less than a tenth of the energy of average buildings. He called it the Passivhaus standard.

Feist’s formula has gone viral. There are now more than 25,000 certified Passivhaus buildings in Europe, and thousands more under construction around the world.