In mathematics, an ‘X’ is an unknown quantity. In plumbing, a spurt is a drip under pressure. Combine the two and you have an X-spurt or as it is more commonly known; an expert. Increasingly, we are surrounded by self-professed experts; unknown drips under pressure who have been working overtime to make a mess of the world in which we live.
To be fair, some of them are just cynical greedy buggers who are in the ‘spurt’ business for the cash. It may not make the nonsense they impose on society easier to deal with but at least it’s honest. Under the right circumstances, who knows how many of the rest of us might not become a Spurt if there was enough cash being presented.
The Spurts that really get under my hat, however are those who are true believers in their own expertise. Their faces glow with earnestness as the light of Jesus shines from their eyes and a constant flow of stupidity flows out of the mouths. They are folks that tend to worm their way into positions of influence (often at great public expense) and then proceed to take themselves far more seriously than we take them. Continue reading
Conservatives will be happy to know that I don’t want to talk about being conservative or even about Stephen Harper today. I’m too distracted by other things to get into that right now.
I heard the weekend weather forecast this morning. Continue reading
It is truly a fine day in the neighbourhood. The sun is high, the temperature is autumn cool – light jacket weather and the leaves are just on the edge of starting to change colour. It is a picture perfect fall day and we’ve been out enjoying it at the farmer’s market and running errands. Somehow, running errands on a day like this doesn’t seem quite so tiresome. On a day like this one could almost begin to believe that everything is alright with the world but, of course, that would be delusional and a sign that self-medication is probably not a good idea.
I grew up with autumn days like this – same temperature range, same seasonal transition and I’ve been around for more than just a few years. Nonetheless, in the past 25 years, we have been threatened by climate change. I know this because everyone from David Suzuki and Elizabeth May in Canada to Al Gore in the States have been preaching the gospel of impending doom for quite some time – and making a good buck at it too, I must say.
I probably should have considered fear mongering as a career path in my younger days. It seems to pay handsomely. There are just so many government grants and tax-payer funded credits, it’s virtually impossible not to make a good living at it and that’s not to mention all those great conferences in far away places. Continue reading
I have issue fatigue.
Issue fatigue is not the same as having issues; I’m fairly confident that most of us have issues but it isn’t those personal issues of which I am tired. I grow weary of the constant carping about social issues by politicians, activists, the chronically under-informed, intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals alike.
Give it a rest – if only for a bit.
Every issue now is a crisis and each presented as the most important issue facing the world today by those who promote that particular issue. It doesn’t matter how the issues evolve, nothing changes. The rhetoric remains the same, it’s merely the justification to keep the issue alive that changes and that rhetoric is always borderline hysteria. “The issue is so critical that the world could end at 10:00 on Sunday if it isn’t addressed immediately – 10:30 in Newfoundland.”
Climate change is a perfect example.
It began as a sudden concern about a pending ice age. Scientists – the same scientists that environmentalists sell to us as the ultimate authority – were predicting a severe cooling of the earth’s temperatures. Based on their models, temperatures would dramatically drop, glaciers would emerge start moving south. Arable farm land was going to be lost causing food shortages and the water level of the oceans was going to rise causing major flooding along coastal areas.
When that didn’t work out quite as well as planned, the same scientists came up with new models that predicted global warming. Based on these models, scientists were now predicting significant increases in global temperatures which would melt glaciers causing the level of the oceans to rise. Arable farm land would dry out causing food shortages and there would be flooding along coastal areas due to the melting glaciers.
No matter which you believed, it didn’t seem to pay to live along a coastal area. Continue reading
For years, I had a next door neighbour who was a nuclear physicist who worked for a defense contractor. He was a pleasant kind of guy and although he was definitely a lot smarter and better educated than I was we got along quite well. We even managed to assemble a new gas barbeque together once although when we finished we realized we had assembled it backwards which I suppose goes to prove that book learnin’ ain’t no substitute for ability.
I saw him coming home one day from work and he seemed a little down so I asked him if anything was the matter and he looked at me somewhat glumly and said,
“Yes. Peace is breaking out all over the place.”
Apparently peace is not something defense contractors embrace with much enthusiasm. Sure enough, my neighbour was laid off not too long after and he had to take a job in the nuclear energy industry which turned out to be like jumping from the frying pan to the fire.
Environmentalists, it seems, are even less forgiving than pacifists. Continue reading
In the cause of global warming, the concern is carbon emissions. Environmentalists talk about the size of our individual carbon footprint while nodding their heads sagely as they board yet another 747 to jet off to some save the climate conference or sit patiently in their SUVs at the drive-thru window at Tim Hortons.
Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May, works in Ottawa as a Member of Parliament but lives in, and represents, a riding in British Columbia. This requires a considerable amount of jetting back and forth between the two which means Ms May’s carbon footprint is a lot bigger than most.
Some might argue that is only circumstance that put Ms May in that position but I would suggest it is circumstance tinged with a considerable amount of hypocrisy. Originally living on Canada’s east coast, Ms May decided to up and leave the east for a new riding. The size of her carbon footprint wasn’t a consideration – only winning a seat mattered at the time the decision was made to move to the west.
One would have thought that if she was serious about reducing her carbon footprint, Ms May would have chosen a riding in or around the Ottawa area regardless of her election chances. Continue reading