Blue And Green

The Economist’s take on the Conservative’s recent environment plan.

When the Conservatives formed a minority government a little over a year ago, green issues were not a priority. But, ever since, as voters have grown increasingly keen on doing something about the environment, the Tories have been scrambling for a compelling policy. It is a difficult trick to pull off. Their core supporters, and industry in the energy-rich western provinces, are the least convinced of the need for immediate steps to tackle climate change.

The Tories’ first effort, which set modest and distant targets, was shelved after criticism from opposition politicians and environmentalists. But a new plan, announced this week, may have legs. It sets a goal of cutting emissions of greenhouse gases by 20%, by 2020, and air pollutants from industry by half, by 2015. It also lays the groundwork for emissions trading in Canada, and seeks to reverse—within three years—the steady upward climb of gases linked to global warming.

Advertisements

Flick It Real Good

broten_flickoff.jpgFrom a Toronto Star article on the Flick Off Campaign

The campaign aims to get thousands of Canadians to calculate their own greenhouse gas emissions on its website (www.flickoff.org) and then pledge to reduce them through concrete steps like carpooling, shutting computers down instead of putting them to sleep, and swapping incandescent light bulbs for more energy-efficient compact fluorescents.

Participants can also order a “guerrilla activist kit” with a climate change primer, “flick off” wrist bands, and a pack of fliers – printed on environmentally-appropriate paper – promoting energy conservation to slip under the wipers of idling cars or on the counter of stores blasting air-conditioners this summer.

I have no qualms about being using compact fluorescent light-bulbs. They look cooler, last longer, and consequently better for the environment. I’m sold. What I do have a problem with is expensive marketing campaigns that tell me what I already know while looking down smugly at those who just don’t “get it” and then bitching about “the fucking government, man”. Well I do “get it” and I still think you’re an asshole.

With that, while I applaud someone like Al Gore for really bringing environmental issues to the fore, using 20 times the US national average of electricity per home for his own estate is kind of a bit umm…… “do as I say….”. It’s okay though. He offsets his own environmental impact by buying carbon credits – because rather than cleaning his own act, he pays someone else to clean up theirs.

Warp Zero

84575main_wormhole.jpgDammit! No warp drives. No FTL drives. How are we as human supposed to fulfill our destiny and conquer the universe if we can’t even get out of our damn solar system.

NASA has a lengthy explanation of how we’re going nowhere fast.

Stay Classy

From Haaretz.com

Hezbollah militants erected a large photograph on Thursday of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in an area along Lebanon’s border with Israel.

Lebanese security sources said the three-by-five meter photograph showing Goldwasser and Regev had been put up in Aita Al-Shaab, near where they were seized on July 12, 2006.

Hezbollah supporters looked on, chanting anti-Israel slogans, while the poster bearing the slogan “for the sake of our detainees” and a yellow Hezbollah flag, was being erected.

Regardless of one’s opinion of last summer’s Israel-Hezbollah skirmish, erecting large billboards of detained prisoners is not going to make any friends in the international community. Stay classy, Hezbollah.

Steyn On Imus

I know this is so last week but Mark Steyn puts in a word or two about the Don Imus affair. From April 15th Edition of The Chicago Sun-Times

So I don’t know whether calling the Rutgers basketball ladies “nappy-headed hos” is a mean old white guy’s racist slur or an artful parodic jest on the way black women are talked about by black men — or at least by the ones on the record charts. After all, the only way mean old white folks know the expressions “nappy” or “ho” is because they heard ’em from hip young black folks. Indeed, one could argue it’s a tribute to how non-racist America is that an elderly Caucasian would wish to talk like a gangsta rapper. What was it Martin Luther King dreamed of? A nation where men would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their characterizations?

Alas, it’s not that simple. Apparently, when two hip-hoppers are up on stage doing their “Who was that ho I saw you with last night?”/”That was no ho, that was my bitch” shtick, they’re just keepin’ it real. When a white guy does it, he’s just keepin’ it real unlikely he’ll find gainful employment again. Unless, of course, the networks are now proposing to apply the Imus standard to all performers, in which case the Grammy Awards will last 10 minutes (Best Liner Notes on a Polka Album and Best Tony Bennett Celebrity Duets CD of the Last Two Months).