Note to self: Do not get sucked into another episode of As the Habs Turn. The Montreal Canadiens’ ongoing saga is one big soap opera, a la Coronation Street. The Montreal media are all part of the supporting cast, as are the many fans who take to the streets after decisive playoff wins and trash police cars, loot shops and get up to all kinds of drunken mischief.
No, I’m not mischaracterizing those particular fans. The only reason we haven’t seen more hooliganism by Habs fans over the years is because the team hasn’t been doing well. But they did well in the playoffs this season, and we saw more hooliganism in the name of a Habs victory. Thank God they didn’t win the Stanley Cup because the city might still be smouldering if they had.
As for the chain of chicken joints that virtue-signalled this week by threatening to pull their ads from the boards at the Bell Centre over the drafting of a particular player, they backpedalled two days later, after the owner of the team apologized to fans — but held firm on the draft choice.
So, the chicken chain got a ton of free publicity from the media when it announced it MIGHT pull its ads, then a ton more when it announced that it would stick with the Canadiens after all.
Was I surprised?
It was a lesson in Free Marketing 101.
Go back and read my first post on the fiasco. I said: “I don’t think for a moment that they will follow through on pulling their ads from the Bell Centre.”
And I didn’t even have to polish my crystal ball.
Second note to self: Stay away from the cesspools on Twitter as much as possible. I tell myself this at least twice a year, but I still get sucked in. It comes with the turf when you are a journalist, I suppose. One has to keep an eye on what’s trending. And often, the first hint of breaking news shows up on Twitter.
But it is soooo easy to get sucked into nasty whirlpools there.
Third note to self: I figured out (through some research) why there aren’t many mosquitoes in my part of the forest this summer: wildfire smoke from northern Ontario. Usually at this time of year, the mosquitoes are ferocious. This summer, I’ve seen exactly two.
The wildfire smoke has been quite dense at times in these parts, as it has been in much of Canada and the United States. There are all kinds of media reports about the smog and how it is affecting people. Well, it turns out it affects mosquitoes, too. They don’t like smoke.
I’m guessing the bat population is suffering as a result, given that mosquitoes are a primary source of food for them. I haven’t seen a single bat this summer.
The smoke might also explain why the leaves seem to be changing colour earlier than usual around here. Indeed, I started to notice them changing a couple of weeks ago.
We’re seeing more and more articles about climate change. And, as I had mentioned in the preceding post, the fingerpointing is beginning. One article I saw yesterday pointed at oil and gas companies as being primarily responsible, and questioned whether they should be compensating communities that have been hard hit, like Lytton, B.C., which was wiped off the map by wildfires with at least two people dead.
B.C. has seen at least 500 die from the smoke and heat this summer, and another article yesterday predicted thousands of people will die in Western Canada alone — and billions of dollars will be lost — if the province doesn’t take steps to mitigate future wildfires.
So, essentially, thousands will die, because we can’t stop climate change dead in its tracks. And because industry and people in general will carry on as usual until the last gasp.
I get the sense of futility. I found myself questioning my own climate advocacy the other day. Why bother? Why not just eat, drink and be merry . . . until climate change kills me, too?
Because it is not in my nature, I guess.
Anyone who has been following me here or elsewhere over the years knows that. Perhaps that’s why you read me.
Finally today, I am starting two weeks of vacation. I plan to touch base with some friends and acquaintances, spend some R&R time with Maggie, maybe even play my new instrument (more on that another time).
I am a little worried about actually hanging out with people after a year and a half of social distancing and all that. I’m fully vaccinated, and any friends will have to be, too, if we are to hang out. Still, I imagine I will keep my distance from them, anyway.
It’s going to take some time to readjust.
And, of course, I’ll be blogging here and for The Naturism Community newsletter.
I suppose the lack of mosquitoes could be viewed as the silver lining in the cloud of smoke.
Here’s the thing. Climate change is going to happen. Not a thing we can do to stop it. If we act right now, we can limit it to a couple degrees C. That’s still a big change and will have major impacts on the world. Ice caps will melt, coastal regions will be flooded. Storms will be more severe, droughts will worsen. Large countries with diverse climate regions will fare better than small countries with a narrow range of climates. Russia and Canada and Alaska might see economic improvement as more land becomes arable/habitable and the Arctic ocean becomes easily navigable.
Countries with a lot of northern and southern exposure will fare less badly. Countries in the tropics are screwed. Carbon extraction from the atmosphere using noncarbon energy could become a growth industry.
The fires could be viewed as good things. They remove drought and heat intolerant plants and will be replaced by plants that can deal with the change better. (Assuming we don’t just replant the same plants in the same areas. That would be stupid but appears to be what the US Forest Service is determined to do.) Tundra starts to thaw and is invaded by coniferous forests. The temperate forests move north and are in turn replaced by savanna and that is replaced by grassland. Oaks replace pines. Chaparral replaces oaks. Scrub replaces chaparral. And the scrub becomes desert.
Water really isn’t an insoluble problem as far as human needs are concerned. The total amount of water on Earth will remain the same. The distribution of the water will change. Some areas will experience much more rain, others less. Water transport is an issue that needs to be confronted, also desalination projects for countries that have no place to import water from. Water NEEDS to be much more expensive because we have been pumping it out of the ground and rivers unsustainably for several decades now and now we get to pay the price. TANSTAAFL!
Animal species that can”t cope will die out. Those that can will expand into new territory. Over the long haul, they will have an evolutionary explosion. Not in our lifetime, but it will happen. Mankind may be mighty but Darwin is mightier.
I have no doubt the developed west will get its act together (eventually) and cut carbon emissions dramatically. Probably a lot later than it should but it will happen. It will involve embracing nuclear fission, solar power, geothermal power, and if we are really lucky, nuclear fusion. Some fossil fuels will always be used by western countries, so we can’t zero that out. Big cuts in standard of living will not happen voluntarily and it is impossible to go back to an agrarian life.
But you try telling China or India or the many smaller developing countries they can’t use fossil fuels for their growth spurts and it won’t go over well. China cranks out more CO2 than the next 3 countries combined. There will be no sudden U-turn on CO2 production.
As I see it, the REAL problem is 8 billion people and growing. The most we can hope for is that growth will slow. I foresee many wars cropping up over resources, widespread famine in undeveloped countries, higher food prices in developed ones. The countries that are faring less badly are not going to be able to bail the rest of the world out. I suppose small nuclear wars are not out of the question. Let’s hope the major nuclear powers don’t get mixed up in it.
We have records of when it has been much hotter and when it has been much colder. Used to be dinosaurs at the south pole. There was a time once when the American midwest was under a thousand feet of ice. In many ways, humans are just another comet impact, probably not as impressive as the KT event but still pretty significant.
All any individual can do it the best they can about moving the ball down the field with what they’ve got. You’re one very small player in a very large game. As long as you do that, all that is left is to smile and accept what life throws at you.
Good analysis, Fred. As I mentioned in a response to Ron, I do think modern civilization is likely to crumble in the face of climate change — as much of our hydro-electricity infrastructure and other things are destroyed.
Earth will survive mankind, but we may have decreased its lifespan.
Personally,I think I will be an advocate till my dying breath. And once I retire,I may become one of those sign-carrying activists. First stop: a certain chicken restaurant franchise . . .
“Smile, as we accept what life throws at us “ is as wise a comment as ( or is that advise?) as I’ve heard throuugh this pandemic.
Jillian, now i know why I have so many “@&$? Mosquito’s in my neck of the woods this season, because they’ve left your neck and are here happily feasting on mine. You are welcome!
I listened to a interview during this past year (on our wonderful national broadcasting network) with a very wise and creative indigenous film producer/actor .
He was eloquently expressing his anger and frustration at those ( read everyone everywhere) who are all doing their (our) part to destroy an earth that we (they) do not love, honour care for or take time to understand.
It was an amazing interview, thoughtful and insightful, I wish I could remember who he was or at least on what program I heard it.
He ended by saying “ he thought none of it mattered! … He says his elders liken the earth to a healthy dog, humanity to an infestation of or a plague of fleas on the dog . They may seriously damage but will not kill the dog …. before they do to much damage, the flee will simply shake them all off, take a bit of time to heal, then just start anew with no fleas.
The earth has done it before, maybe it’ll do it again?
I’m beginning to believe it’s happening.
What do you think?
LikeLiked by 1 person
I agree with the elder’s point of view. Theosophical literature echoed those thoughts long ago. I’m not so sure if the Earth itself has a spirit or soul, as some believe, but I do believe in cause and effect, a.k.a. karma. Man is reaping what he has sown.
Yes, the Earth will shake off the human race and survive the damage our species has done, hopefully. But it, too, has a life cycle and is doomed to die like the rest of us. We may have hastened that death.
I read a report in the Independent yesterday that talked about the best places to be when modern civilization collapses. The top spot: New Zealand. Apparently, some of the wealthy folks on the planet have bought chunks of land there, to escape to when the time comes. In other words, people are already envisioning the scenario of climate change bringing modern civilization to its knees — and I guess you don’t have to be a genius to see that it is a very plausible scenario.
But then, I’ve been writing about the “end days” here for a while now. (Maybe they’ve been reading my blog?)
When I was a kid we worried about the end of the world… like 20 minutes from now. That particular fear started in the 50s and stretched to the early 90s.
Have you ever visited the Diefenbunker? I have. If I ever go east again I want to visit the Greenbriar which was the US version.
My own feeling is that is is still possible for technology to pull a rabbit out of the hat. My money is on nuclear fusion plus carbon recapture technology. That allows us to get away from carbon based energy and start to reverse the damage. I suppose we could decide to cover a few thousand square miles in solar panels instead but that seems unlikely. There simply isn’t any way to support 8 billion people worldwide (or 350 million in the US) without huge energy expenditures.
Fusion as a power source is decades away. The longest sustained fusion reaction so far is 6 minutes and 30 seconds. It has a long way to go.
Solar has the best option today, followed by wind. The power companies have hundreds of miles of right-of-way where they have 100 ft wide strips of land with nothing on them but high-voltage towers. Why aren’t they covered with solar panels?
Offshore winds are consistent and would provide a lot of zero emission power.
We also have the technology to use geothermal heating and cooling year round, reducing the energy load.
Drive through your neighborhood- how many black roofs do you see?
We are at least a couple of decades from people waking up, but then it could be too late.
That’s the problem: we may be too late to stop much of the devastation of climate change. Scientists are already saying it is accelerating faster than they expected. So, what happens next summer?
The word more and more people are starting to use is “adapt.” Man will have to adapt to climate change. But I am also seeing more articles about the end of modern civilization, with one predicting that end by 2050.
So, who knows? Nobody, really.
But conservatives here in Canada are still denying climate change, and it’s business as usual for companies and individuals.