Friday, April 27, 2007

The Devil and Kyoto

Let's start with the good news, what little there is, and give the devil his due: at least Harper and the Tories have done something on carbon emissions.
Mind you, it's very little and probably far too late, but at least it's something.
The bad news is that our Kyoto commitments will be not be met, in violation of international law, and there is no guarantee that the Tories' targets will result in emissions being reduced anyway.
By using intensity targets instead of hard caps, it will possible for industries to increase their emissions, yet still meet the Tories emission reduction targets. How's that for having it both ways?
And the ultimate kicker is that industries that can prove that they have no way of reducing their emissions, cement factories for instance, don't have to. That makes a lot of sense. I can prove that my industrial waste emissions, which are killing people and the planet, cannot be reduced in any way, therefore I should be allowed to continue to kill people and the planet with impunity. WTF???
The Tories worry that too much emission reduction will damage the economy. I wonder how much the economy will suffer when ocean levels rise in a couple of decades and Canada has a million former-residents of Vancouver as refugees. Of course, that sort of long-term thinking never enters the thoughts of most politicians.
The ultimate irony is that the Kyoto targets are only a start. They are only a small fraction of what needs to be done. Meeting Kyoto is only the beginning: the real hard cuts are yet to come.
If you hear any politician say that we can continue on our merry way and all we need to do change a few light bulbs and drive a little less and everything will be fine, he is woefully ill-informed. Or he is lying.
Vast societal changes are coming. But the politicians, like the rest of us, have their heads in the sand.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Long Recovery Week 22

Today was another Doctor appointment. My surgeon wanted another look-see.
After I stretched and move my arm and shoulder around, he said he was very pleased with my recovery. So pleased in fact that he doesn't want to see me again.
He said that I will probably never get full range back, especially when reaching straight up over my head. But the mobility that I have now is more than adequate to be described as functional. And as long as I use it, it will keep getting better, so working and stretching are still the keys.
He said that I had sustained a lot of damage and scarring, but he was quite happy with my recovery.
And so am I, of course. I thanked him, and left the hospital. Five months ago, my arm and shoulder were shattered. Now my arm works. What more can I ask for?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Not Just on Earth Day

I've signed up for the Canadian Living magazine green challenge. Daily tips, so far I'm very impressed with how green I actually am.

Take the challenge....very interesting facts!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So It Goes

Kurt Vonnegut picked my birthday yesterday to die.
What a pisser.
He was a literary giant; moreso, he was a literary giant who wrote science fiction.
Most famous for Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five, my first Vonnegut was Breakfast of Champions, a funny and sad novel that many of Vonnegut's regular cast of characters wandered through, including Kilgore Trout, a science fiction writer who toils away at his craft making no money and gaining no fame. But it is through Trout that Vonnegut answered that age old question.
It is Trout, while sitting in a men's room stall, who sees the question scrawled on the stall wall:
"Why are we here?"
Trout doesn't hesitate for a moment. He whips out a pen and replies:
"To be the eyes and the ears of the conscience of the universe."
And it is in Slaughterhouse-Five that Vonnegut becomes our conscience, bemoaning the madness of war and lives that spin out of control.
Another moment lost, another giant falls.
So it goes.
Hi ho.

The Works of Kurt Vonnegut
A recent Vonnegut Interview in Rolling Stone
An excerpt from his last book, A Man Without a Country: A Memoir of Life in George W. Bush's America

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Long Recovery Week 20

Despite my prediction in the last installment that it might be at least a month before I'd be back on the water or on my bike, a few days ago my physio-therapist gave me permission to kayak and ride again. So not being a person to let moss grow under my feet, mainly because then they smell icky and turn green, it was time to return to action with a short paddle at Elk Lake.
The Usual Gang showed up: Alison, Paula, Louise, Bernie, and myself. Even the elusive Dennis appeared.

My left arm is still weak, so getting in and out was a bit of a challenge. I tried a couple of times on land and it was doable. So I got into my kayak and Paula pushed me off.

And now, 161 days after my last paddle, I can only paraphrase Bill Murray from the film What About Bob?: I'm paddling! I'm paddling!

Louise soon hit the water, while Dennis decided to wave goodbye and go home. No, just kidding. It was good to have the gang out on the water again.

Bernie headed out.

Dennis decided that I was taking too many pictures of Bernie, so he made sure that Bernie's face was hidden in this picture.

It was busy out on the lake today... the rowing club was having a big celebration this weekend and was using much of the lake, but that was okay. We were just doing a small, short paddle today, because I didn't want to overdo it on my first paddle.

So we paddled gently and watched the races.

My shoulder survived reasonably well. It was sore and stiff, but not overly so. The hardest part was tying down the kayaks onto the van. Holding my arms up while tying off the straps took a lot of effort. But I did it! Or rather, we did it, as everyone was very keen to help. Afterwards, The Gang presented me with a Challenge Trophy, for overcoming a challenge!

Ah, bliss!