An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Quote for the day

As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.

- Vaclav Havel (1936 - )
Czech playwright and president


Global warming crisis

Where were the SUVs?

An extraordinary burst of global warming that occurred around 55 million years ago dramatically reversed Earth's pattern of ocean currents, a finding that strengthens modern-day concern about climate change, a study says.

The big event, the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), saw the planet's surface temperature rise by between five and eight degrees C (nine and 16.2 F) in a very short time, unleashing climate shifts that endured tens of thousands of years.

(Emphasis added.)

America didn't exist 55 million years ago.

Actually, neither did Europe.

Actually, neither did homo sapiens!

Please explain, greenies.


Fat Canucks

Also in Toronto's Globe and Mail:

Canada's obesity crisis appears to be deepening, with the number of people classified at the most extreme end of the spectrum exploding in recent years, new research suggested Monday.

The findings were part of a study conducted by researchers at Queen's University, who were looking at changes in the prevalence of three classes of obesity in this country.

They found that between 1990 and 2003, the prevalence of those falling into the class III category of obesity – those with a body mass index of 40 or greater – rose to 1.3 per cent, from 0.4 per cent, an increase of 225 per cent.

That trend, they said, mirrored a similar move south of the border, where the prevalence of class III obesity soared 175 per cent.

Canada: 225%
USA: 175%

Wait, I thought it was the Big Mac scarfing, SUV driving, reality show watching couch potatoes in the U. S. of A. who were slapping on the lard?

How can the compassionate, fully insured, fully disarmed Canadians be outperforming the Yanks?

Re obesity, see earlier post on South Korea. And for the whole bleedin' world, see this post. (The Maltese and Malians and Mexicans and Jordanians are fat too? I bet it is still the Americans' fault.)


Shocking news

The Toronto Globe and Mail has endorsed the Conservative Party!

Full details at the New Sisyphus.

I don't know how long it has been, but it has been quite a while since the de facto mouthpiece of the Grits has endorsed the Tories. The rotten stench of Liberal corruption must really be thick in Ontario.

The election is 23rd Jan.


Quote for the day

If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi. But if you enemy has no conscience, like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer.

(n.b. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Christian minister hanged by the Nazis in 1945 for helping Jews and for his involvement in the plot to kill Hitler)

- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968)
American pastor, civil rights leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner


Kyoto greenhouse gas wheeze

Hypocrisy? Bite your tongue! Only the morally superior sign Kyoto...

Rob Lyons in Spiked Online:

One of the many strange things about the Kyoto protocol is that its biggest defenders are also its biggest breachers...

Canadian prime minister Paul Martin said in his speech to open the talks at Montreal: 'The time is past to pretend that any nation can stand alone, isolated from the global community, for there is but one Earth and we share it, and there can be no hiding on any island, in any city, within any country, no matter how prosperous, from the consequences of inaction.'

Canada, bound by the treaty to achieve a six per cent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012, is currently producing 24 per cent more emissions than in 1990.

The treaty demands that global emissions of six greenhouse gases fall by 5.2 per cent compared with 1990 levels over the period from 2008-2012. Yet its biggest supporters are failing miserably in this effort. Emissions for the EU are supposed to fall by eight per cent but the 15 longest-standing members of the Union will manage cuts of only 2.5 per cent by 2012.

What is Canadian PM Paul Martin saying? That the only important thing to do is sign Kyoto... implementation is optional?

Lyons again: "The Kyoto process is not dead, but it may be in a permanent vegetative state."

Isn't that a perfect example of hypocrisy?