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Sorting garbage for the state



Nothing, nothing, infuriates me more against the modern state than spending $6500 a year on real estate taxes and still be forced to be outdoors at -10C sorting garbage for the state. It is one of the ritual humiliations the state imposes upon us in its worship of Gaia. A state-supported religion, an official faith, complete with doctrine – anthropocentric global warming – and official rituals, mostly in the separation of garbage into various canisters. I see no reason why I should be forced into the practices of someone else’s religion.

It infuriates me precisely because of its futility. Have you ever seen what happens at the garbage dump? The paper may be removed for reprocessing but most of your garbage is bulldozed into the same landfill, indiscriminately.

I would not mind separating stuff that has some economic value, like aluminum cans, from the rest of the junk. In keeping with my principles of sustaining  incomes for the working poor, I encourage every scrounger I see to help himself to the special box filled with beer cans and wine bottles, thus sparing me the task of taking the stuff to the local recycling centre, and giving some guy a few bucks for his own drinking habit, God bless him..

But the sorting of stuff into three bins, paper, plastics and metals, and other garbage, is wholly wasted time.

Most of you are acquainted with the rituals of sorting garbage for the several bins: regular  garbage, paper, plastics. organics for compost – if you go that far – and of having to figure which garbage is being collected which days.

It is all a plot by the city to reduce services, increase regulation and interference in private lives, while enshrouding itself in the holy smoke of sanctimony.

I hate it. It is without question the most galling nonsense. It is like being sent as a cadet to clean the parade ground with a toothbrush. Here I am outside in minus 10C putting stuff into various boxes, which will be taken to the front of the driveway, taken away (if you are lucky) by snotty garbage removers  who drop stuff over the streets, removed to the dump, and mixed indiscriminately when the great bulldozers bury it  again.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

The bulldozer on a garbage dump



The fall of the Dark Tower, the Barad Dur, or the Impending Collapse of the Global Warming Hysteria:



The most significant and predictable impact of the Trump Presidency will be the collapse of the global warming hysteria that has gripped policy makers for the last ten years, or longer.

To repeat, the world’s climate is constantly changing. The issue is whether the effect of all the CO2 we are putting into the air is causing some or all of the observed, and rather small, amount of global warming.

Three facts are observed.

  • Atmospheric CO2 is climbing past 400 parts per million, and it is not conceivable that the increase of CO2 has some other origin than human.
  • Atmospheric temperatures show significantly less increase than the computers models of the IPCC have predicted. [This alone ought to be enough to dismiss the alarm, if AGW were a scientific proposition.]
  • Politicians and civil servants have created and sustained the global warming hysteria, for various reasons: increased tax revenues, the appearance of doing something about a world-threatening problem, and the greater control over the economy which  anthropogenic global warming (AGW) justifies.

In an excellent essay in The Manhattan Contrarian, the author points to Trumps cabinet appointments in energy and the environment, and draws the following conclusions.

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years.  Questions like:  Why are recorded temperatures, particularly from satellites and weather balloons, so much lower than the alarmist models had predicted?  How do you explain an almost-20-year “pause” in increasing temperatures even as CO2 emissions have accelerated?  What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago?  Suddenly, the usual hand-waving (“the science is settled”) is not going to be good enough any more.  What now?

As the Contrarian writes, of the $28 billion the US Department of Energy spends annually, roughly half of it went to global warming research and energy investment predicated on the replacement of fossil fuels. These projects will all disappear once the spigot of government funding is turned off. The AGW fanatics will have to find useful jobs, and the corrupted scientists can go back to measuring things without recourse to false doctrines.

Like Sauron’s tower, the Barad-Dür,  AGW will collapse when the Ring of Green Power is melted, and Trump is about to toss the Ring of Green Power into the cleansing fire of rational skepticism. What an unlikely Frodo! What an inconceivable Gollum!





Lovelock on the robot hypothesis

I once watched my neighbours – the tractors –  at work harvesting hay. Three of them were at work: one baling, one lifting the roundels of hay into a wagon, and one tractor pulling the wagon. As the tractors all had cabs, and the light fell just so, the humans were invisible. Thus it appeared that three giant machines were harvesting hay intelligently, with the assistance of the wagon and the the baler.


Think of that scene when you read James Lovelock’s latest interview in the Guardian. He says, in short:

  • man-caused global warming is rubbish
  • fracking is good, as is nuclear energy
  • and the robots will take over

The time taken for humans to think is about a million times longer than it takes for machines, such is the difference in the speed of our nervous systems. Thus the machines will probably perceive us like we perceive redwood trees: ancient and possibly to be venerated, or else turned into planks, depending on their attitude.

It is an amusing read.




Gaia has plans for us

man and fire


Patrick Moore, the former head of Greenpeace,  displayed the best and fastest briefing I have ever seen on the entire history of the earth’s climate and its relationship to CO2. This was at Moses Znaimer’s Idea City last year.

This is the Idea City presentation, about 20 minutes long.
This is the presentation on Youtube, which is about 5 minutes long.

I had not been aware that the earth has recently (last few million years) come close to a CO2 level at which plant life dies from want of carbon dioxide. Now humans are busily pumping CO2 into the atmosphere and thereby saving the earth from catastrophic plant death.

Do you remember the Gaia Hypothesis?


The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere, the maintenance of a hydrosphere of liquid water and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth.

I confess I am attracted to the Gaia Hypothesis,  and I believe (that is the word, believe) that we are a part of the picture and do not stand outside of it merely because we are a conscious species. Indeed we may be more fully implicated in Gaia precisely because we are a conscious species.

Here is what Gaia would be thinking:


Facts: Chicxulub asteroid strikes earth 62 million years ago and destroys dominance of large reptiles over next few million years. Out of Gaia’s control. How to react? Do nothing and let time pass.

Mammals emerge as dominant taxon. Furry and warm blooded, they invade ecological niches impenetrable to cold blooded species.

Indian plate strikes Asian plate 33 million years ago Himalayas thrust upwards. Monsoon rains pour down upon impenetrable mountain barrier. Too much CO2 is absorbed from atmosphere into the water, as CO2 striking limestone turns into carbolic acid. Earth’s CO2 decline accelerates.

Glaciation increases in terms of duration, extent and severity.

 Gaia: I/we/she/it am getting colder, because too much CO2 is being absorbed into the oceans and the rocks, and too little is in the atmosphere. Ice ages too long, solar output will not fix the problem. Anyway the Sun and I are barely on speaking terms.

Pause while Gaia thinks for a million years.

Gaia: Why don’t I/we/she/it find a way of releasing the trillions of tons of CO2 locked in the earth’s crust? Options: a) increase volcanic activity b) evolve a species that will burn the immense reserves of carbon stored in earth’s crust, or c) wait for a giant asteroid to rearrange the surface of the earth and allow for the emergence of new species.

Decision:All I/we/she/it got from the asteroid were smelly clever rodents and fur bearing tree climbers. Volcanic activity is tried and true but that might require too much heat loss from my core. Hmmn…. What about those apes? Can we make them more clever? Let the cold continue. That will dry out their jungles and force some out into the savanna. Let’s see what happens….

A million years later, in the blink of Gaia’s innumerable eyes, the apes are the top predators, part vegetarian, part carnivore. They think they are running the planet. They are burning fossil fuels to run their economy. CO2 goes up, plant life recovers, the threat of plant death is removed, ice ages may diminish in duration and severity.

Gaia thinks: okay, I/we/she/it have got the CO2 level back up to what I/we/she/it need them to be. Now how do I get the apes’ population under control? I/we/she/it know! Birth control and prosperity!

Gaia is a complete empiricist. She uses whatever can be used to stabilize herself in her comfort zone, including these new-fangled apes.

It is a good story, isn’t it? Maybe it is also true. Of course, it is also possible that Gaia is but an emanation of an even larger Creator, and He/She/It is driving the process at an even more gigantic scale. Maybe Chicxulub asteroid catastrophe was a ‘forcing’ event, as the ecobabbulists like to say. Plans within plans.






Eat fat, grow old

eat steak

Today’s news from the dietary fat front, in the Telegraph.

Thirty years of official health advice urging people to adopt low-fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is having “disastrous health consequences,” a leading obesity charity warned yesterday.

“Eating fat does not make you fat,” argues a new report by the National Obesity Forum (NOF) and the Public Health Collaboration, as they demanded a major overhaul of official dietary guidelines.

The report says the low-fat and low-cholesterol message, which has been official policy in the UK since 1983, was based on “flawed science” and had resulted in an increased consumption of junk food and carbohydrates.

The document also accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, said the misplaced focus meant Britain was failing to address an obesity crisis which is costing the NHS £6 billion a year.

Or, putting it in more contemporary language, the report says that low-carbon high renewable energy message, which has been official policy in the UK since 1995, was based on “flawed science” and had resulted in increased poverty and lower social welfare.

We shall have to wait another forty years for that one, though. Maybe twenty five. But it will come as surely as the moon goes through phases, and the geese fly north in spring.

Or you can emulate my cousin Reggie, below.



Vegans threaten death to apostate restaurant owners



Entitlement and hypocrisy come together this week in the story Time reported:

The husband-and-wife owners of famous vegan restaurant group Cafe Gratitude are under fire after a group of animal rights activists discovered last week that the couple was raising, slaughtering, and eating animals at their Northern California farm, named Be Love.

Possibly this is all a part of the fine American art of using adversity to promote one’s products.

Certainly it illustrates something C.S.Lewis adverted to a long time ago: the tendency of some to be cruel to those close to them in order to demonstrate their concern for those in the outer circles of the human range of compassion. C.S.Lewis said, as Christian has ever maintained, that the job of man is to love one’s neighbour. From the habits of loving one’s neighbour we may eventually come to broaden the circle of our compassion to others further away from us. There is a particular kind of human who thinks it is right to do harm to those close by in the name of anything or anyone that shows their higher moral concern: starving Africans, the future, the proletariat, the master race, non-human life, Gaia, the Holy Catholic Church. There is no lack of categories of concern different from the slob who shares your house, the actual neighbour, the people of (for instance) Fort McMurray, who have just been burned out of town.

Threatening to kill the owners of your favourite vegan restaurant because they have gone apostate by eating meat: how many sins and vanities does that expose?

The owners of the restaurant speak for themselves:

“We started to observe nature and what we saw is that nature doesn’t exist without animals,” Matthew Engelhart told the Hollywood Reporter last week after animal rights activists dug up and circulated blog entries from spring 2015 from the farm’s website, including photos of a freezer full of pastured beef, jars of gravy and Matthew enjoying a hamburger, with posts on their “transition” into meat products after nearly 40 years of vegetarianism.

Another study that came out this past week was a survey of people according to dietary habits.

A new University of Graz study concludes that vegetarians are more often ill and have a lower quality of living than meat-eaters. According to the German press release, vegetarians “have cancer and heart attacks more often”. The release also says that they show more psychological disorders than meat eaters. Consequently, the report writes, they are a greater burden on the health care system.

The scientists examined a total of 1320 persons who were divided up into 4 groups of 330 persons each. All groups were comparable with respect to gender, age, and socio-economic status. The study also accounted for smoking and physical activity. Also the BMI was within the normal range for all four groups (22.9 – 24.9). The only thing that really was different among the four groups was the diet. The four groups were: 1) vegetarians, 2) meat-eaters with lots of fruit and veggies, 3) little meat-eaters and 4) big meat-eaters. More than three quarters of the participants were women (76.4%).

Vegetarians plagued by significantly more chronic illnesses

The press release states that the results contradict the common cliché that meat-free diets are healthier. Vegetarians have twice as many allergies as big meat-eaters do (30.6% to 16.7%) and they showed 166% higher cancer rates (4.8% to 1.8%). Moreover the scientists found that vegans had a 150% higher rate of heart attacks (1.5% to 0.6%). In total the scientists looked at 18 different chronic illnesses. Compared to the big meat-eaters, vegetarians were hit harder in 14 of the 18 illnesses (78%) which included asthma, diabetes, migraines and osteoporosis [1, p.4, Table 3].

The Medical University of Graz confirms the findings of the University of Hildesheim: More frequent psychological disorders among vegetarians, the press release states.

The roots of anxiety and depression?

In the analysis, the University of Graz found that vegetarians were also twice as likely to suffer for anxiety or depressions than big meat eaters (9.4% to 4.5%). That result was confirmed by the University of Hildesheim, which found that vegetarians suffered significantly more from depressions, anxiety, psychosomatic complaints and eating disorders [2]. The U of Graz scientists also found that vegetarians are impacted more by ilnessses and visit the doctor more frequently [1, p. 3, Table 2].

Big meat-eaters were also found to have a “significantly better quality of life in all categories”, the study found. The four categories examined were: physical and psychological health, social relationships and environment-related life quality [1, p. 5, Table 4].


The study did not delve into the question whether vegetarians were more inclined to depression, neurosis and political leftism than meat eaters. It has been my observation that they tend to be. Vegetarians are part of that crowd of western Eloi whose over-developed super egos punish them for the pleasures of existence.

As to the apostate former vegan restaurant owners, their own moral posturing may have brought down the wrath of the disappointed vegans upon them. Try to read this without gagging:

The Engelharts spawned an entire industry with a carefully marketed message of peace, love and sharing, which includes a sister vegan Mexican restaurant, Gracias Madre, in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The couple have written several books, including Sacred Commerce: Business as a Path of Awakening and Kindred Spirit: Fulfilling Love’s Promise. Their personal website is named Eternal Presence and references the board game they created in 2004, called The Abounding River Board Game, which was on every table in their San Francisco flagship; and which they said would train players to embrace “an unfamiliar view of Being Abundant” and develop a “spiritual foundation” for looking at money.

It is hard to tell who in this story is more to blame.

A villain’s life celebrated



The Establishment is turning out for one of the biggest villains this country has ever produced: author of the Great Global Warming Scam, progenitor of trillions of dollars of wasted wealth, immiserator of nations, wrecker of economies, blighter of landscapes with noxious bird-killing giant windmills, preventer of economic development in the poor nations of the world, Maurice Strong. In today’s Hill Times

There will be a celebration of life for former public servant Maurice Strong at 3:30 p.m. in the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in Ottawa. Along with members of Maurice Strong’s family, this celebration will include Governor General David Johnston, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Speaker of the Senate George J. Furey, Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan, Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, as well as former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, John Ralston Saul, and former prime ministers Joe Clark and Paul Martin. James Wolfensohn, former World Bank President, and Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations will also be at the ceremony. A broad range of Senators and Members of Parliament will be coming to pay tribute along with representatives from the diplomatic corps.

Those who long for earthly justice will wait for centuries before this man’s reputation matches his vile deeds and influence.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mathew 16:26


RIP: The great cholesterol scam (1955 – 2015)

Your doctor still probably believes that cholesterol in the diet translates into cholesterol in the bloodstream, that there is “good” and “bad” cholesterol, and that “bad” cholesterol bears a statistically significant relationship to heart disease. Every one of these propositions is false.

I refer you to an excellent article by Matt Ridley “cholesterol is not bad for you”, who  writes:


Cholesterol is not some vile poison but an essential ingredient of life, which makes animal cell membranes flexible and is the raw material for making hormones, like testosterone and oestrogen. Your liver manufactures most of the cholesterol found in your blood from scratch, and adjusts for what you ingest, which is why diet does not determine blood cholesterol levels. Lowering blood cholesterol by changing diet is all but impossible.

Nor is there any good evidence that high blood cholesterol causes atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease or shorter life. It is not even a risk factor in people who have already had heart attacks. In elderly people — ie, those who have the most heart attacks — the lower your blood cholesterol, the greater your risk of death. Likewise in children.

From the very first, the studies that linked the ingestion of cholesterol and saturated animal fats to cardiovascular disease were not just flawed, but tinged with scandal.

It is well worth reading the rest. What I have to say here  reflects upon the course of this great fallacy. The cholesterol scam bears a strong relationship to the anthropogenic global warming scam.

1) it is propagated by scientists on a non-scientific mission.

2) it is believed because it plausibly explains an observation (increasing global temperature [for a time], increasing heart attacks from smoking in the 1950s and 60s). It taps into large anxieties about too much wealth, too much happiness, in western societies. There must be sin somewhere, and the public is ready to flog itself in the cause of a secularized idea of God, uh, I mean Good.

3) the causal relationship is weaker than first supposed; the research is found to be sloppy, the facts have been fudged, subsequent studies do not fully support the original claims, nevertheless the orthodoxy is promulgated all the more harshly for being doubted.

4) by now, powerful economic and ideological interests have taken hold. They supply an ongoing source of funds and opinion to ensure the perpetuation of the alarm: in the case of cholesterol, the margarine industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the medical establishment, and in the case of AGW, the tribe of bureaucrats and leftists who seek to control markets, whose god of Marxism had failed, and who needed a new god (Gaia) to justify their rule.

5) The skeptics who have patiently argued on the basis of facts that the science of each phenomenon was weak, are ostracized by the opinion establishments of medicine and global warming. Cranks, but the cranks are right and the orthodox priests and Levites are wrong.

6) Eventually, after fifty or sixty years, the subject of discussion just changes. In the case of cholesterol, the evidence gets weaker and weaker, and the problems caused by too much sugar consumption (obesity, diabetes), caused in part by people not eating enough fats and meats, reaches a stage where it can no longer be ignored.

7) the retreat of the orthodoxy is covered by a smokescreen of fresh concerns for some other catastrophe. No admissions of error or apologies for wrecked careers and following bad science are ever issued. Time flows on, bringing neither knowledge nor greater understanding of the role of folly in human affairs.

8) stages 6 and 7 have been reached in the cholesterol cycle; they are beginning in the anthropogenic global warming scam. Fifty years from now, there will still be clanking windmills in the North Sea, but whether they will be still linked to a power grid is less likely, and whether anyone will pay attention is doubtful. The lobbies that keep them there, however, will still exist.


These long term fashions in intolerant error should cause all people to question the intelligence and wisdom of the human species. I call these schools of thought and action “phologiston”,  after a disproven but thousand-year-old Greek theory of what fire was.

There are two major sources of metaphorical phlogiston in modern society: the climate people and the medical profession.

Phlogiston is the ancient term for a substance that was imputed to exist in all things  that prevented combustion. Phlogiston was necessary in a Greek idea of a universe. Without phlogiston, everything would burn, because it was in the nature of all things to seek to rise from the four sub-lunary elements below (earth, air, fire , water) to the empyrean , the zone beyond fire, outside the orbits of the five planets around the earth. This was the hidden metaphysical postulate, which they never questioned. (All summaries of obsolete world views make them look ridiculous; they were not, they were merely in error).

If all things naturally wanted to burn up, then something must prevent combustion, and this substance was called “phlogiston”. From premise to assumed force. No one questioned the premise for more than a thousand years.

So when Priestly and Lavoisier said that combustion was a process of  oxygenation, and proved it by showing that certain things gained weight when burned, phlogiston lost credibility to a newer, chemical idea of burning.

Note that phlogiston is an idea predicated on a larger world view, and is  introduced to explain the operations of that world view. That things do not normally burn is something that needs explanation in the Greek world view.

Correspondingly, in the modern world view in North America and Europe, the fact that needs explaining – I propose for your consideration –  is “why are we so rich?” and the answer we get out of post-Christian secularized guilt is: “We must have done something wrong.”

The assumption of a secularized guilt is the underlying assumption. Heart attacks are  punishment for overindulgence in highly nutritious food; global warming is punishment for our thoughtless depredations upon Gaia. A future perspective may laugh at the modern human propensity to consider prosperity and health as occasions for guilt, just as we denigrate the Greeks for assuming all things want to burn their way to the empyrean sphere of a geocentric universe.

I tell you folks, the longer I live, the more truth I see in Chesterton’s remark – attributed to him – that when people cease to believe in God, the more likely they are to believe any nonsense that comes their way. Save your beliefs for absurdities like the Christian religion, and keep your mind clear to detect the bullshit constantly propagated in the material world.  It will not lack for targets, I assure you.




More unwanted Soviet retro

Vladimir Putin’s peculiar version of ’70s chic isn’t limited to backing thuggish client states and hurling invective at the West. A new generation of useful idiots has been fathered by the Kremlin.

Even the New York Times concedes Russia`s clandestine backing of the anti-fracking movement in Europe:

Anca-Maria Cernea, a leader of a conservative political group in Bucharest that has exposed the prospect of a Russian connection, said that while no documents have been uncovered proving payments or other direct support from Russia, circumstantial evidence shows that “Russians are behind the protests against Chevron.”

The protesters, she noted, included groups that usually have nothing to do with one another, like radical socialists, some with ties to the heavily Russian influenced security apparatus in neighboring Moldova, and deeply conservative Orthodox priests. Russian news media, she added, were curiously active in covering and fueling opposition to fracking in Pungesti. RT, a state-run Russian TV news channel aimed at foreign audiences, provided blanket coverage of the protests and carried warnings that villagers, along with their crops and animals, would perish from poisoned water.


None of this has stopped Gazprom from looking for shale gas and oil itself. Its Serbian subsidiary, Nis, is now exploring prospects in western Romania near the border with Serbia. Unlike the Chevron project at the other end of the country, however, the Gazprom effort has stirred no mass protests.

It is not surprising that an ex-KGB chief of station would resort to the toolkit that gave us the World Peace Council, the CND, and the Greenham Common “peace camp”.

H/T Small Dead Animals

Flogging a dead horse, episode 582: climate change

I was reading a few moments ago the confessions of a Joseph Boutilier, of the Loonie Politics aggregator site: “When it comes to climate change, we must all be leaders “.

Boutilier meditates on the issue of how to get people motivated when so much cynicism pervades the public. {Hold your nose -purple prose alert}

The pitfalls of the quest for climate action can also become our strengths.  Now that a real groundswell of awareness surrounding the need for urgent action has been translated into some effective, visible, exciting campaigns, the activist arm of the climate movement will mature with more bravado, empowerment and recognition than we’ve seen since the Al Gore bubble burst close to ten years ago.  Combine that with the undeniable passion of many climate-concerned opposition politicians and the high level of guidance and expertise offered through the same scientists and educators who first raised the issue to the public’s attention – smart, moral, dedicated people like James Hansen, George Monbiot, Andrew Weaver and David Suzuki – and the potential for a grassroots movement in Canada with pinpoint ambition, poise and influence is unparalleled among global causes.

Boutilier writes better than he thinks.  Apart from the reasons he cites, there are several reasons (note the word reasons, and not just causes) why interest in “climate change ” has declined.

Global warming is at bottom a scientific proposition. It asserts that by far the preponderant cause of observed global warming is carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Being a scientific proposition, it can be falsified. Humans have been pumping CO2 into the atmosphere steadily since the industrial revolution. The proportion of CO2, while still minuscule, is rising towards or has surpassed 400 parts per million. According to the theories of the warmists, there ought to have been a steadily observed increase of global average temperature to accompany the rise in CO2, since the causal relationship between CO2 and global warming is the core of the theory.



The warming has not been observed for something like 17 years. Climate change is basically a computer-modelling game, in which one matches a theory of climate against observed historical  data, and makes projections into the future of what will happen if the model is true.

There is a rough but not exact  correspondence between most computer models and the recent past. To say this rudely, the models do not even “predict” the past very well. There has been no correspondence between the predictions and the observed facts for the last 17 to 26 years.

Accordingly, it can be concluded that the scientific basis of global warming has been significantly damaged by the failure of models to correspond to observations.

 cmip5-models-versus-temperatur The black line above shows the mid-point of computer model predictions; the blue squares show what has been observed.

So let us return now to the credal statement of Joseph Boutilier and observe the poor fellow’s passion:

I realized that what the climate movement needs isn’t more extraordinary people.  It needs more ordinary people with extraordinary passion.  Like the first time I learned how to ride a unicycle, I had to let go of my own expectations and reservations to gain the impetus for action.  I had to see that I wasn’t especially capable, creative or resilient to discover that none of that mattered.  To realize that my heart wouldn’t be silenced by any logical excuse not to learn how to balance on one wheel.  And that my heart couldn’t possibly beat stronger than it does when I imagine the slim chance for a dramatic shift in our approach to climate justice.

What’s more, if such a shift does occur, if such a movement could be sparked by any number of ordinary folks like me, it wouldn’t just save the human race from famine, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, ocean acidification, desertification, heat waves, war and conflict, societal – and possibly species – collapse.  It could also restore our faith in the potential of our political system.  It could demonstrate the value of our parliamentary democracy.  Better yet, it could transform government through a process of peaceful, consensual, fundamental shifts in influence, aim, and connectedness with citizens to reflect the needs and desires of the rising generation.

How many tropes are touched upon here?

  • saving the world
  • saving the human race
  • justifying parliamentary democracy
  • getting right with the younger generation
  • achieving climate justice

Boutilier’s  screed is the expression of the romantic spirit in man, the quest for authenticity, the desire to transcend and also perfect the Self. All very German Romantic circa 1820. Global warming or climate change is just the cover for an essentially religious desire on his part to merge with the creative possibilities of the Spirit moving through history.

All very Hegelian. All drivel. He will be embarrassed by what he wrote within fifteen years.

I would like there to be a new ice bucket challenge: I challenge Joseph Boutilier and his band of Romantics to blather on about the horrors of global warming while having a large bucket of ice-water  dumped over their heads in freezing temperatures. There will be no sauna or fire to warm them afterwards, lest CO2 emissions increase. They will then be offered the microphone to urge us to climate action. Most coherent sermon wins. It should be a hoot on YouTube.

Then we will see how well “smart, moral, dedicated people” like Mr. Boutilier continue to enthuse about climate change and political engagement.


Since the decline of Bourque Newswatch, Loonie Politics is doing a reasonable job of aggregating the headlines and the columnists.