Saturday, December 20, 2008

‘A lie can race its way around the world, while the truth is tying its shoelace.’ Twain.

A real blogpost is home made. The advantage is authenticity. The blogger, however, is in a vulnerable position: who is he to say the things he says, and what is his underlying motivation.
It is for these reasons and because I think humanity is taken down the garden path on an immense scale, that for once I'll just paste into this blog the end declaration from the 2008 International Climate Conference, not to be confused with the IPCC:

Mar 05, 2008
The Manhattan Declaration - from the 2008 International Climate Conference

"Global warming" is not a global crisis

We, the scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers, and business leaders, assembled at Times Square, New York City, participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change

Resolving that scientific questions should be evaluated solely by the scientific method;

Affirming that global climate has always changed and always will, independent of the actions of humans, and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all life;

Recognizing that the causes and extent of recently observed climatic change are the subject of intense debates in the climate science community and that oft-repeated assertions of a supposed ‘consensus’ among climate experts are false;

Affirming that attempts by governments to legislate costly regulations on industry and individual citizens to encourage CO2 emission reduction will slow development while having no appreciable impact on the future trajectory of global climate change. Such policies will markedly diminish future prosperity and so reduce the ability of societies to adapt to inevitable climate change, thereby increasing, not decreasing, human suffering;

Noting that warmer weather is generally less harmful to life on Earth than colder:

Hereby declare:

That current plans to restrict anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a dangerous misallocation of intellectual capital and resources that should be dedicated to solving humanity’s real and serious problems.

That there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.

That attempts by governments to inflict taxes and costly regulations on industry and individual citizens with the aim of reducing emissions of CO2 will pointlessly curtail the prosperity of the West and progress of developing nations without affecting climate.

That adaptation as needed is massively more cost-effective than any attempted mitigation and that a focus on such mitigation will divert the attention and resources of governments away from addressing the real problems of their peoples.

That human-caused climate change is not a global crisis.

Now, therefore, we recommend

That world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as “An Inconvenient Truth.”

That all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.

Agreed at New York, 4 March 2008.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blame Canada

Sometimes I read the weirdest things about Canada and the USA.
So weird I don't quite know what to make of it.
Take this movie for instance. Canada as the root of all evil?

Now I read that Harper has suspended Parliament! And then there is this strange article, about the US patrolling their border with Canada. Unmanned aircraft will be used. Not to stop terrorists surely?
Well actually it is meant to stop terrorists. They have tested it along the Mexican border since 2005 and what do you think? Not a single terrorist has entered the USA from Mexico since then, as we all know.

Normally I just might have said 'So what', but I have a few too many dear friends and even a brother in Canada.

Edit: This is my post that I published and then withdrew, the one Anne-Marie refers to.
To make easier reading, here is her comment:
"Koos, all you need to know is that the American government loves to blame us for the leaky land borders, especially after 9/11. I can tell you that as an air passenger, I always found airport security to be lacking into and within the US when I flew there, whereas Europe and Canada generally had the same higher standards. It all has evened out now, except you still find what Austin amusingly calls "security theatre" at many airports in the US (ie: it looks good but accomplishes very little in practical terms).

As for parliament, it seems out PM's pro-roguing manoeuvre has worked quite well in his favour. We have a new leader of the opposition, and things have been suspended until mid-January, where he hopes cooler heads will prevail and he can save his government from falling. His biggest problem is that he has acted like he's had a majority government and didn't think the opposition parties had it in them to fight back because they are essentially broke from the recent election and not terribly willing to head back to the polls. Nothing illegal about forming a co-alition, though, which blindsided him nicely. He is petty and partisan, and a bit of a control freak. Can you tell I didn't vote for his party? ;)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Please meet the amazing photographer Aleksander Prugar

No, the photo below isn't one I took, but those who are familiar with my photos had seen that already.
Neither is the man in the picture Aleksander Prugar, it is a photo taken by same Aleksander.

The subject is obviously a miner. *)
The photographer has published several series about miners and the mining areas in the South of Poland. Not only that; there is also a series about what it is like to live behind the huge ads that embellish the façades of Polish buildings these days.

Need I say I am in awe of Mr Prugar?
Maybe the reader of this blog has the time to see what this Polish photographer's take on Poland looks like.
You won't regret it, of that I am sure.

*) Alexander Prugar sent me a correction: the man is not a miner but a charcoal worker in Bieszczady Mountains.