Archive for December 2011

2011 in review

31 December 2011

This is kind of fun. At least for me, and that’s what’s most important, eh?

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Being Climate Changed

6 December 2011

warm earthI may have been climate changed today.

My current main computer is due for an OS upgrade. I’ve had inconsistent results with upgrades in the past so prefer to do new installs with a fresh drive. Not having a large enough drive to do the job, I went to a local computer store to ask about hard drives. The fellow there told me $120 for a 500 GB SATA drive. I didn’t think that was a terrible price. $20 more than the nearest big box store price, but supporting the small local business is perhaps worth $20.

Apparently he didn’t like his own price though, because he went on to explain that hard drive prices are high due to the flooding in Thailand!

Of course I had heard of the flooding in Thailand, but I hadn’t heard there was a shortage of hard drives. Looking online I see things like;

“retailers are rationing hard drives in an attempt to deal with shortages caused by the closure of flooded factories.”

Damn. Had to happen just when I want one!

Now, in interviews I’ve read or heard, scientists are always careful to say that no particular weather event can be linked to climate change. However, they also always say that climate change will bring us more and worse extreme weather events. More and worse like the flooding in Thailand. The oceans near Thailand have been 0.3C warmer than normal so rains have been freakishly heavy. The resulting floods have affected (among other things I’m sure) car manufacturing, the computer and camera industries and rice production (also badly hit this year by the droughts in the U.S.), as well as outright killing 600 Thai people by the latest numbers I’ve seen.

My personal experience of shopping for a hard drive is of course trivial, even within just my own life. And it had a bright side in that I wound up buying a used computer instead. It is more powerful than my old main computer and cost not much more than the new hard drive would have. Not having Windows on it saved me about $45.

It struck me though that while my federal government is in Durban vigorously trying to prevent any progress in combating climate change, here I was at home experiencing in a very small but concrete way how climate change is impacting and increasingly will impact us all.

It looks like the flooding in Thailand is going to cost the insurance industry around eleven billion dollars. The insurance industry is really taking a kicking this year so you know they’ll be kicking us next year.

Conservatives aren’t known for their sensitivity to human costs in whatever situation. But they are the ones everyone expects to be champions of the economy. How does the Harper government dismiss the economic impacts of climate change? Isn’t preventing action on climate change and turning Canada into Saudi Arabia North, with the emissions growth that entails, kind of like taking a job where you get one dollar today to tie a plastic bag over your head and if you survive it the boss will dock you two dollars tomorrow?

Fighting climate change, on the other hand, is like putting money in an RESP for your kids.

You’d think Harper would get that.

Attawapiskat

1 December 2011

Attawapiskat on mapWhen I first heard of Attawapiskat, one of my thoughts was “Why don’t they cut some logs and build log cabins?” I’ve known people who have done that in Northern BC and made quite comfortable homes.

Turns out that with the reserve system the surrounding forest is Crown land. The people of Attawapiskat are not allowed to cut logs, nor to mill them if they did.

Here’s a link to an excellent blog post that answers a good many other questions on Attawapiskat.

http://apihtawikosisan.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/dealing-with-comments-about-attawapiskat/#comment-467