Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quietly It Begins

I'm self-publishing some fiction online here.

Critics, be gentle please.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Great "Climate Change" Debate

I have been skeptical for some time about the position the most strident proponents of "global warming" have taken, mostly due to the inordinate amount of effort they have expended to limit debate on the subject. When the rhetoric took on the tone of religious debate about three years ago, I was fairly convinced that we were being sold a bill of goods. When my wife began working for a major western Canadian university she told me that professors indicated to her that they had to write their research proposals with an intentional eye on keeping their lines of research within the sphere proscribed by the "green" science cabal - or at least avoid asking questions that might ruffle feathers - or else they ran the risk of not receiving the funding they need. When the lines of scientific research are constrained by what amounts to social and political policy - however well-intentioned it may be - then it has lost it's academic independence and, I would argue, much of its usefulness to humanity.

One of the writers who has consistently poked holes in the "global warming/climate change" conclusions and proposals is Patrick Bedard, a staff writer for Car and Driver (Yes, yes I can hear the cat-calls and hissing saying "Vested interest!" - SHHH CHILDREN! Listen and LEARN!). Mr Bedard is an engineer, and his mantra isn't "cars at any cost" it's more "does this add up?". If you take the time to survey a few of his articles you'll quickly come to see that he does his homework and he doesn't fudge the figures. Now his perspective is going mainstream thanks to a recent article by Lorne Gunter.

Of course, if one has been paying attention to stories on the fringes of the media and the subtle shifts in the rhetoric of the "green" movement, these revelations should come as no surprise. A recent report suggested that the climate change movement was heading for a "tough decade" because global temperatures were trending down, not up - a fact Gunter's article supports. And the label "global warming" has been shifted over recent months to "climate change" - a suitably non-specific moniker that can be interpreted in any fashion to fit the facts. It seems that political expediency, power and money have co-opted the science community, the media and our political leaders. And we probably shouldn't be surprised.

I am a Christian, and as such I am deeply concerned that we take seriously how we use God's creation. I believe we are charged with stewardship of this planet, and all places we may touch - but if we are to be able to do this we need truth in the information we use to help us make our decisions. We need scientists, academics and researchers who are politically, socially and economically independent so they can pursue the lines of investigation they want to without fear of reprisal or censure. And helping maintain and protect this independence must be the first and the constant goal we should pursue in science.

Sadly, most people want the "academic eggheads" to provide us with solutions that we can understand with eighth-grade education and that can be explained in 30 seconds by some "talking head" on the six-o-clock news. And we want solutions that will not require much from us. We are the common denominator in this power struggle and it is by and to our low expectations and selfish lifestyles that the arguments and policies of our leaders are shaped and directed. We are getting what we demand - just like angry, hungry babies. We should be getting what we need.

So my exhortation to the one or two of you who read this blog is this - do some more reading on this. Don't let me or others make up your mind for you. Question those who are sanctimoniously using their authority to dictate what questions may be asked and what answers may be accepted. And talk amongst yourselves. Then talk to your local politicians, write letters to the editors of newspapers, email the news directors of broadcast news, comment on the electronic news sites and share the info. Because - and here I agree wholeheartedly with the leaders of the "green" movement - we ALL need to get involved.

Up to this point there has been no real debate on this subject - it's high time we had one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On Going Green

I was ranting a while ago about things recyclable (or not) here in Flatland. Well on my last visit to our recycling station I discovered that glass was seemingly back on the recycle menu. I'll keep you posted, but if it is true I'll take partial credit - as if! I'm just glad to see that my glass can be sent somewhere useful again.

In this month's issue of Car and Driver there is a 10 page advertising section from Saturn - GM's 'brand with a difference'. In fine print on the first page is a disclaimer that states that the new Aura XE and XR-4 sedans get 33mpg (hwy) - 34 for the hybrid.


Is it just me or is owning a hybrid vehicle just a new form of conspicuous consumption wrapped in ecological hypocrisy? ONE WHOLE MPG MORE! PINCH ME!

The whole 'holier than thou' stuff from the eco-nazis has been wearing thin on me already, but now it has manifested itself in creating products that are definitely just a whitewash to help cover someone's conscience and meet some arbitrary goal.

We are gonna break our collective arm patting ourselves on the back over how we are 'going green' while nothing really changes - and I blame the big names in the so-called "Green" movement for this. It is their stridency, their demonization of their favourite targets, their amped-up rhetoric that has led us to this sorry juncture. Now, in order to placate the dragon, we will swallow any trendy thing if it will get the collective conscience off our backs. What was needed was cooperation, innovation and encouragement. What we got was politics, posturing and pontification.

It's not Saturn's fault. This is what the mob is crying for.

Oh, and if you're interested - the Emperor has no clothes too!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Uncertainty in Uncertain Times

This post at caused me to comment - something I don't often do.

A lot of people think I "have it all together" because I'm a pastor. The truth is that my journey has raised more questions than answers. So why do I persevere? Because of the one thing I am not uncertain about - God's love for us all through Jesus Christ. I guess that's faith. It may not seem intellectual, but it is where I am - questions, doubts, insecurities and uncertainties notwithstanding. That is what He has done for me. And it's enough.

"It's the end of the world as we know it,

And I feel fine."

Lyrics from "It's the End of the World" by R.E.M.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Disappointing Result

One of the many radio talk show questions I heard posed last week was "What outcome do you want to see in the federal election?" Typical answers expressed the desire to see a majority or minority government formed with the party of the respondent's choice holding the balance of power.

I had another reaction. I wanted to see more than 70% of my fellow citizens cast votes - the outcome of that being entirely beside the point. Please note: I said 70%. I wasn't looking for a miracle - just a decent turnout. And of course there are those who had legitimate reasons for failing to cast a ballot - but I suspect that I'll not offend anyone in a coma with what I'm about to say - nor are my comments directed at them.

It's difficult to express my disappointment in all of you who could have but did not vote. But I'll try.

If you could have but didn't vote, don't offer an excuse - there isn't one worth giving voice to. You think you live in a world where your reality is reality everywhere. The truth is there is no one more isolated, selfish and ungrateful than you. People all over the world will be tortured and die today because they wanted the freedom to express a political opinion. Yesterday you stayed warm, comfortable and safe in your ignorant refusal to exercise your obligation to the rest of us. Canada is still a democracy, flawed and difficult, but still a place where free speech and free political expression are possible - and you take that for granted. Shame! Shame! Don't even start with your insipid excuses and rationalizations about how the system is "skewed" or "doesn't work". If you were capable of anything resembling adult, logical thought you would understand that those are the most compelling reasons to exercise your right and fulfill your duty to be involved.

If you could have but didn't vote, don't complain - about anything! You have no right. You didn't participate. It didn't matter enough to you to be involved so you have no moral right to be disappointed.

If you could have but didn't vote, don't comment. Leave that up to the adults. Children - especially spoiled ones - should be seen and not heard. And in your case not being seen might also be an improvement. Those of us who take our civil duty seriously don't have time for your infantile gibberish. Just be quiet, try to do your job without messing up and make plans to redeem yourself at the next election - be it municipal, provincial or federal.

I love Canada. It's the indifference and apathy that makes it hard to love.

And indifference and apathy are exactly the opposite of love!

If you could have but didn't vote, you do not love this country. And it is so, so disappointing that there are so many of you.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


One of my first postings in the blogsphere was an exhortation to vote. The wheel turns and here we are again.


Just DO it! (Sorry Nike - please don't sue me - I don't have anything anyway.)

If you don't vote - don't complain. Ours is not a perfect system, but you get to exercise your franchise and you get to do it without fear of violent coercion. Heck, you even HAVE a franchise.

If you vote try to do it intelligently. Read some stuff about the candidates and the parties. Talk to your friends - the smart and lucid ones - and finally form your own opinions.

We'll get the government we choose. So choose.