As Humans Do

Idle conversation among strangers around the office printer:
-“How are you today?”
“Fine… aside from the problem that the world might end due to climate change one day.”
-“Yes, I keep hearing about that every day. For instance the Great Barrier Reef has been declared dead.”
“Yeah, it’s been around for as long as I can remember.”
– “Millions of years. By the way, do you know if there’s a stapler I can use?”
“Yeah, over there.”
-“Thanks, have a good day.”
“You too.”

Leader Post: Publishing Anti-Facts

In response to Herb Pinder’s July 16th op-ed “Climate change alarmists ignore nature’s role”, I wonder if the Leader-Post has decided to publish conspiracy theories as reasonable opinions. I think many have heard of “young earth creationists” who contend the Earth is only 6000 years old, but it’s news to me there are people such as Mr. Pinder who purport to have discovered it’s “almost six billion”, or 1.5 Billion years older than scientists determined in 1956. It seems Mr. Pinder’s opinion “cries out for historical and factual context” he claimed to provide to Mr. Prebble’s opinion piece.

There’s a fascinating episode of Cosmos with Neil Degrasse Tyson, called “The Clean Room”. It’s about the scientist Clair Patterson who used lead-lead dating to determine the true age of the Earth, and inadvertently discovered that everyone was being poisoned by leaded gasoline. He spent the rest of his life fighting to change what the fossil fuel industry once insisted was of no consequence to our health.

I think that story provides valuable context when discussing Mr. Pinder’s error riddled op-ed he wrote in support of continued fossil fuel pollution.

leaderpost. com /opinion/letters/fossil-fuel-fan-short-on-facts

The Leader Post published a response also from Michael E. Mann.

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Wall’s Faulty Logic

“Showing leadership matters, signals matter, examples matter, but the numbers are the numbers,” Wall said.

Essentially, Wall appears to be suggesting that because no single action by itself will solve the problem, we shouldn’t take that single action.

Applying this logic to other situations reveals just how faulty it is.

When China surpasses the amount & proportion of green electricity generation of Saskatchewan, who’re we going to use as scapegoat for lagging?

Brad Wall’s Beef With A&W is 100% Bull Something

“TPP would allow milk from cows receiving hormones into Canada
U.S. allows bovine growth hormone currently banned in Canada”
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Killer Robots By Accident or On Purpose?

There are companies like Lockheed Martin making autonomous killing robots, and there are companies like Google making self-driving cars (which kill people by accident or poor design). At least cars don’t tend to kill on purpose, and the Google self-driving car hasn’t had a deadly accident (or one it caused, of any kind). So, what’s worse? Intentionally creating machines that can destroy humans, or accidentally doing it? Let’s aim at neither.

Many people have seen the Sci-Fi movie Terminator and Terminator 2. They were made before the WWW, and before Skynet seemed like a possibility. Now we have 3D printers, we have walking and flying robots who can shoot, and we have a global intelligence network those machines connect directly to. We need to be very cautious in Artificial Intelligence development over the coming years, or a small group of people could make a mistake that could cost millions (billions?) of lives.