It looks like this may take years to resolve: Float-plane terminal still up in the air.
Jane Goodall on the Daily Show commenting on extremism, “That’s really what’s wrong with the world right now…whether it’s on the left or the right, it’s the fundamentalists.” Well said.
Full clip links below.
Rather than going on at length about the protests last night that disrupted the Olympic torch relay, here’s some comments.
In my opinion, there are legitimate concerns about the cost of the Olympics, where money could be better spent, who really benefits (is it really the children as claimed?), etc. But the disruptions last night only served to discredit the protesters and their issues, while impacting everyday folks who wanted a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
One poster commented on the cost of helicopters and security. And why was that cost necessary, protesters?
Who was the audience for the protesters? Who is going to be enlightened by this?
The intolerance in the protesters only mirrors the intolerance they perceive in corporations and government (which I agree often exists). The protesters are no different, and they only serve to perpetuate division and fear.
At a meeting of Organizational Development professionals the other day, Michael Keller kindly led us through a process called Freelisting, using the term “Sustainability” as the seed term. Learning about the process was fascinating, and the session brought up varied issues for people. I was reminded how strongly I feel that (a) sustainability is an important concept to many people, (b) the anger many people feel towards the damage we are inflicting on our planet is misdirected and (c) how the divergent forces have the potential to lead to a better life for everyone.
Periodically a large meteor strikes the Earth, the last being the Chicxulub Impact of 65 million years ago. This impact is estimated to have released two hundred thousand times as much energy as all the nuclear weapons on the earth simultaneously exploding, and air pollution on a scale thousands of times greater than what we are producing. The majority of the Earth’s species were wiped out.
And these events pale in comparison to the creation of Earth and its ultimate destruction as the Sun ages and expands.
So if you believe there is a higher power, or Creator or God, I suspect he/she does not believe we are destroying the Earth; rather it is our playground, our school, our home. We can no more destroy the earth than we can destroy a thought. The Earth does not need us as stewards; it will continue with or without us, regardless of what we do. The most we could do is alter it in ways that are trivial compared to the transformations it has seen in the past and will see in the future.
The Earth provides a microcosm in which we can learn to manage our resources and maximize our quality of life. We have the option of making life quite miserable for ourselves, or improving it dramatically. But it’s not the earth we’re saving against some demonic external force. It’s not short-sighted politicians, or greedy capitalists or intolerant environmentalists that are these demons.
If anger comes up when you think about the environment, are you aware of who you are really angry with? Who are you really saving?
What are you personally doing to improve the quality of life on this planet that does not blame others, but focuses on personal responsibility and action?
Carnegie Endownment for International Peace
Total world stockpile of nuclear weapons: 5,000 Megatons
University of Wisconsin – Stout, Department of Physics.
Energy released by meteor that killed the dinosaurs: 5×1024 J (or about the energy equivalent in 80 billion Hiroshima size (12.5 kiloton) bombs
American Geophysical Union
More on the Chicxulub Impact
John C. Lahr Consulting
Comparison of earthquake energy to nuclear explosion energy.J.C. Lahr, Revised 8/28/00
The government of British Columbia recently sold some old surplus computer tapes, unfortunately without erasing them first. So a lot of private data on citizens was still on the tapes. Read here one of the reports on this. This is quite the screw-up, but I also was amazed that the press apparently chose to examine the tapes in detail, and publish confidential information, although they didn’t reveal names. I responded to the media chain with the following letter:
It is disturbing that the Provincial Government does not have in place safeguards to ensure that personal information is kept confidential. I hope this breach will be fixed immediately so it cannot occur again, and the individuals responsible are held accountable.
And there appears to be a further violation: a lack of respect and integrity shown by CanWest, and possibly the tape buyer. Someone has gone through this private information in detail. Worse, reporters are choosing to write about (and editors choosing to print) confidential information protected under the Personal Information and Privacy Act. CanWest publications have said, “Due to the sensitive nature of the information, [this paper] will not identify any people named in the files on the tapes,” as if this is a statement of integrity. I think not.
Some questions arise: Have copies been made of this information? How many people are looking at it? Did the buyer get paid by CanWest for data he didn’t own? (He bought the media from the government, not the data.)
I understand that the buyer wanted to ensure the government was held accountable; hopefully that was the motivation for sending the information to a third party. However this could have been done by contacting the police, a lawyer or the privacy commissioner, without examining the information in detail.
I believe the hidden story here is the potentially illegal use of private information shown by the press, and I hope Mr. Loukidelis’s office will be thoroughly investigating this as well.
Here’s an interesting one: only two weeks after the Canadian federal election a Liberal member of parliament has chosen to change his stripes and become a conservative, and has been appointed to the cabinet. After criticizing the conservative leader Harper in the election campaign, he now joins him. I’d love to hear the inside story on what really has happened here. The conservatives had no members from Vancouver, and now they do. So do folks that had voted for this man feel betrayed, or glad their constituency had the local MP as a member of the cabinet?
And is as the first move of a Prime Minister who promised ethical government, I think Harper blew this one.
In a discussion about the recent Canadian election, a friend mentioned how powerful he perceives political leaders are, and what a great influence they have on people. I’ve considered political leaders be rather irrelevant, and that economic forces, social norms and personal beliefs are far more important. Maybe I’m wrong, and the words and actions of political leaders affect people’s thinking more than I considered. Personally I think I can effect change most effectively through my own actions. Both in what I do, and how I serve as a model to others.