October 2009

A briefing on the state of water policy in California contains a passage that I think is illuminating when it comes to the relationship between humanity and the natural environment in general: Californians hate rain but love water, so three-quarters of them live in the arid south, spurn the wet north where three-quarters of the […]


The Globe and Mail is full of coverage of a ‘landmark’ new report, considering whether and how Canada could meet the stated greenhouse gas reductions of the current government (20% below 2006 levels by 2020, 60-70% below by 2050). The report was paid for by the Toronto Dominion Bank and compiled by the Pembina Institute […]


Getting interviewed by the New York Times, climate scientist Gavin A. Schmidt came up with a very nice quotation: If you ask a scientist how much more CO2 do you think we should add to the atmosphere, the answer is going to be none. All the rest is economics. It’s a nice pithy summary – […]


One thing I didn’t know about continental Europe is that in many countries there inheritance isn’t something that you can allocate in your will. If you want to give it all to charity, tough luck: it is impossible and illegal. Instead, you are obligated to leave a set portion of your total estate to your […]


A recent report from the International Food Policy Research Institute highlighted the degree to which climate change threatens global agricultural output: In parts of the developing world some crop yields in 2050 could be only half of their 2000 levels. Irrigation may not help: climate change will hit irrigated systems harder than rain-fed ones. And […]


An article in today’s Globe and Mail argues that it is selfish for people to refuse the H1N1 flu vaccine, given the risks it creates for other people. The argument is a pretty strong one. The chances of suffering serious side effects from the vaccine are very low, the illness is a serious one, and […]


A new book estimates that the climate change impact of pets is considerable: In a study published in New Scientist, they calculated a medium dog eats 164 kilograms of meat and 95kg of cereals every year. It takes 43.3 square metres of land to produce 1kg of chicken a year. This means it takes 0.84 […]


Unfortunately, my year-old Canon Rebel XS suffered some kind of failure on Saturday: constantly reading ‘busy’ in the heads-up display and being unable to take photos. Henry’s is sending it back to Canon for repair, and estimate it will be away 4-6 weeks. Quite kindly, when they heard that I was planning to take photos […]


I don’t usually use Flickr, but that seems to be the default platform for the 350 movement. In any case, here is a slideshow of my photos from today. Some video is here. [Update: 2017-10-18] Here’s a normal album for those without Flash to run the old Flickr slideshow.


Today’s climate change rally on Parliament Hill was a great success, with a huge number of people showing up despite the nasty weather. The speakers were strong, and the mood in the crowd was very positive. It’s great that people have rallied around such a challenging target, with the 350 campaign. Let’s hope that this […]