Archive by Author

Alright Maybe Not

25 Aug

So after our biggest contributors graduated and moved on out of our organization, I turned to our new leaders to join the blog and contribute. Over the course of three months I finally managed to drag a few people on board but even so the output has been zilch. I guess people just aren’t so enthusiastic about writing these days.

So my statement earlier that this blog would become active once again – false.

In the meantime we shall wait and see if anything happens. Otherwise, I expect this place to close soon enough.

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Tell Me You’re Kidding

29 Jun

The other day a friend of mine was interviewing candidates seeking a job pertaining to sustainability management. Among the general questions asked was one very simple inquiry: “What is climate change?” This was a simple test just to gauge each candidate’s level of knowledge. Anything really, could have passed as a suitable answer.

Except this one response.

It went like this. “Climate change is when a cold front meets a warm front.”

It wasn’t a joke.

Must We End This Journey

25 Jun

If we are not the ones who end our species, from our own technological collapse, then it will happen when the Sun dies out.

Most educated people are aware that we are merely the outcome of four billion years of Darwinian evolution. But many tend to think that humans are still, somehow, the culmination of that. Our Sun, however is less than halfway through its lifetime. It will not be humans who watch that demise, 6 billion years from now. Any creatures that then do exist will be as different from us we are from bacteria or amoeba.

– Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, from a speech entitled “Dark Materials”

Continue reading

Go Shit All Over Democracy Somewhere Else

23 Jun

We have all heard of the large communal voice from advocacy groups about the G20’s apparent avoidance of any issues pertaining to the environment. Some of us may even be tired of hearing about it. So tired that they have decided that violent protests are the answer. I put my self in the other category. I am not tired of hearing about it. I am, however, tired of the violent protests.

This post is going to irk some people. Continue reading

A Modest Proposal to End the World

1 Jun
  1. Enriched Flour
  2. Dextrose
  3. Vegetable Oil Shortening (Made from hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil)
  4. Water
  5. Sugar
  6. Soy flour
  7. Mono and diglycerides
  8. Dried yolk
  9. Wheat gluten
  10. Yeast
  11. Dry skim milk
  12. Calcium sulphate
  13. Ammonium sulphate
  14. Calcium Peroxide
  15. Calcium Phosphate Monobasic
  16. Calcium Phosphate Dibasic
  17. Ammonium Phosphate Dibisic
  18. Sodium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate
  19. Whey Powder
  20. Modified Corn Starch
  21. Ascorbic Acid
  22. Sodium Bicarbonate
  23. Calcium Carbonate
  24. Lecithin
  25. Salt
  26. Calcium Propionate
  27. Cellulose Gum
  28. Natural Lemon
  29. Mace
  30. Cinnamon and Vanilla Flavours
  31. Artificial Pentosanase
  32. Protease
  33. Corn Maltodextrin
  34. Sodium Caseinate
  35. Corn Syrup Solids
  36. Agar
  37. Locust Bean Gum
  38. Sodium Phosphate Dibasic
  39. Sorbitan Monostearate
  40. BHT

Glaze may also contain:

  1. Calcium Carbonate
  2. Agar
  3. Locust Bean Gum
  4. Disodium Phosphate
  5. Sorbitan Monostearate

Manufactured by your local Krispy Kreme Doughnut Store under the authority or Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation.

———–

Keeping with the topic of junk-based foods in Tyler’s last post, I find it absolutely comical to list the ingredients of Krispy Kreme’s recipe for their original glazed donut. Krispy Kreme likes to boast that it’s their original recipe from as far back as 1937 – and this highlights the problem. We eat crap. People eat crap – and they would hate to stop. Continue reading

It Goes On and On

28 May

Thank you for reading this blog.

As it seems to be with many blogs, the contributors go through phases of inspiration and creativity.

Despite the lull in new material, new posts will be coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned.

Children of Children

23 Nov

The thought of climate change creating havoc, leaving an unbalanced ecosystem, and perhaps at some point in time, one last remaining animal, is very depressing. The unbalanced ecosystem will have destroyed food resources, and infrastructure in the developing world will have collapsed. Cars, pianos, houses, clothes, tables, computers, and dead bodies will be strewn across the streets amid floods and hurricanes and storms and earthquakes. Masses of humans will have become environmental refugees, but safe places of refuge will be too few and far between. Over time people will die of famine and poverty, disease and murder. At some point, there may be one last remaining animal. Not necessarily human, but at least one last remaining creature. It might not even be a mammal, or an amphibian or reptile. It might just be a jellyfish or some deep-sea creature. Nevertheless, the idea of only one living creature is a depressing thought. But facing depressing, or at least disturbing, frightening, and downright dangerous scenarios is necessary.

Star Wars. Batman. The Lord of the Rings. In picking out three of the highest-grossing Hollywood film franchises, there is an apparent common theme. It is one of heroism, where people in a state of danger or peril – not just to themselves but to all those around them – display unparalleled courage. The “heroes” exhibit self-sacrifice and place their own lives in danger – all in the hope of saving, esssentially, the world. In all three franchises, the heroes experience unimaginable terror, fear, danger, peril, sacrifice, and loss. That these themes appear significantly in popular culture suggest that heroism is of cultural value – at the very least – in North America, although heroism is even more prevalent in myths and fables, which exist in all cultures.

Yet there remains excessive apathy and opposition against any meaningful progress in sustaining life on earth.  There are two levels of opposition – one in which climate change is denied outrightly, and the other layer whereby the methods of dealing with climate change are hotly contested. Being that it is 2009, I simply have no patience for the former, given all of the scientific evidence accumulated to this date. As for the latter, well, at the very least, it’s on the right track. I would much rather have a raging debate between equally invested and interested parties than a large population of apathetic citizens or, as I like to call them, pathetic excuses for consuming food, occupying space, and sharing oxygen with my friends and I.

Through my ring of fire I throw those that do not demonstrate intelligence in making climate change a priority in their lifestyles or career, those that know of the importance but could not be bothered, and those that simply do not care. Perhaps the magic of hollywood is such that one really suspends disbelief during a film that they cannot take the morals and values out of them – the same morals and values that can be found in literature, in the fables that we read as children. The idea of heroism, of stepping up to the plate instead of cowering in the corner, appeals to most audiences in my estimation.

However, people appear to be so content with dragging their feet on the issue. Even if I were to throw out all of the science for a moment, one would think that even the selfishness would drive people to become engaged in sustainability. Have they no desire nor will to live comfortably? The luxuries found in North America will rapidly disappear in form or in the way they are delivered within the next decade – they already have, as reflected in food and gas prices. Has this no impact? Even the most crudely selfish person ought to preserve their luxurious (read: excessive) lifestyles by engaging in sustainability. No? What about the child-raising kind of person? Is it really so, that those that embody procrastination cannot find it in their hearts, when staring into their child’s eyes, the vital importance of sustainability? Even our very own children, for crying out loud.

From Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca) and Forest Ethics (www.forestethics.ca), two of the leading environmental groups in Canada, came Moms Against Climate Change, a group born out of the idea that the survival of our children is at stake.

Their campaign video can be found at http://www.takeactiononclimatechange.com, as well as YouTube.

This video is fantastically filmed and edited. The thought of children speaking up and protesting is a welcome juxtoposition. Against a backdrop of the melancholic – and appropriately selected, considering the lyrics – “Celebration Guns” by Canadian indie rock band Stars, the montage of children protesting ought to send alarms to adults of our irresponsibility. Perhaps it is the peroccupation that adults have with, well, their occupations, and other responsibilities, that they forget about sustainability, a decidedly future-oriented aspect. But the future is closer than we thought, as climate change worsens more than expected, and if the future is not secure, of what relevance are our daily duties?

Ironically, despite being less intelligent and less knowledgeable, it is children who can point out the obvious things which adults have overlooked. Children, being uninitiated with the struggles of our daily lives as we shuffle back and forth between stressful workplaces and stressful homes by way of stressful commutes, have the ability to see simple things for what they are. The equation goes like this: If the future, both near and far, are not handled carefully now, then nothing inbetween now and the “near future” will be of relevance. Giving up is not an option; that would be the equivalent of suicide, a result of mental disorder, of which I would not charge all of society. The only solution to this equation is complete focus and attention spent on sustainability across all industries and sectors.

Perhaps the only amendment I would make to the video is that a) many kids, even at their young age, have already figured out that which is so blatantly obvious, and b) the effects of climate change are happening now and and will increase exponentially in the next few years, so unless you are on your death bed, you should damn well be selfish enough to think, “hey, maybe I should do something afterall, even if I’m a douchebag and I don’t care about anyone but myself.”

The video tickles with the idea that, yes, if children knew of the grave situation we are faced with, they would be all over it like vultures on the last animal on earth. Humans need to step up to the plate and face the large headache of implementing sustainability across all industries and sectors in a proper manner. If not, pretty soon, there will be the death of the the last animal on Earth. Only then will sustainability not matter. Only then will danger need not be faced.