Suzuki’s sockeye black eye

Last year the David Suzuki Foundation issued an article that blamed declining sock-eye salmon stocks on global warming, among other things:

The Fraser River’s sockeye salmon are in trouble. And when the salmon are in trouble, we’re all in trouble.

The number of sockeye returning from the ocean to the Fraser River this year is one of the lowest in the past 50 and follows two years of dangerously low returns. In fact, we have witnessed decades of decline for diverse sockeye populations from the Fraser Watershed, some of which are now on the brink of extinction.

Sockeye have been heavily fished over the years, their spawning habitat in rivers and lakes is being destroyed, their survival is threatened by warming oceans and rivers due to climate change, and they are vulnerable to sea lice and diseases from open-net salmon farms.

The stocks were so low last year that the government launched an investigation which is set to cost $14 million and start next month.  The David Suzuki Foundation was granted standing as part of the Conservation Coalition.

we're baa-ack!

This year, the salmon are back, in numbers not seen in almost 100 years:

Fishery officials estimated Tuesday that more than 25 million sockeye salmon will return to the Fraser River this year, the largest number since 1913. Last year’s return was 1.7 million — the lowest in more than 50 years.

And the estimate could yet go higher as Tuesday’s test catch was the largest all year, said Barry Rosenberger, area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Radical environmentalists have been parading NOAA’s declaration that the first 6 months of 2010 were the warmest on record.  Yet sockeye salmon thrived in what are presumably the same ‘warming oceans’ the Suzuki article declared would see them vanish almost into extinction.

The Suzuki Foundation has been caught out by the nature of things, they took a short-term trend and used it as an example that global warming is real.  Now, nature has bounced back with record numbers of fish and the David Suzuki Foundation’s unfounded fear-mongering is exposed.


Blogger down

The weekly round-up will not be published today, due to a laptop that will. not. boot.

That’s the laptop with all the links in it.  Yeah, I know.

If I can restore the computer from its current paperweight status, the round-up will happen tomorrow.

Apologies for the crushing disappointment I know you feel.  Now, where’s my hammer?


James Cameron bravely turned his back and fled

James Cameron, the decadal director of monumental movies like Titanic and Avatar recently called climate skeptics out in a challenge:

The “Avatar” director was equally unsparing in his comments about those who don’t accept global warming as fact.

I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads,” Cameron said. Turning more serious, he added: “Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I’m not sure they could hear me.”

Skeptics accepted his dramatic challenge, although to a debate rather than guns at high noon and the venue for Cameron to face the boneheads was set for the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit.

But then Cameron cancelled.  He quit and ran, but sniped over his shoulder that skeptics were ‘swine’.  If Cameron is afraid of facing ‘boneheads’ in a debate, what does that say about his own mental acuity?  Oh, wait, have you seen Titanic?

Cameron is a fool and a coward.  He may have been advised by Joe Romm that he would lose the debate but by quitting and then sniping from the sidelines Cameron further damaged the credibility of warmers.  If the science is so settled, why not debate it?

Monty Python understands:



Green or convenient, can Tesco be both?

Shoppers at UK grocery chain Tesco might soon be able to enjoy a very North American convenience, drive-thru shopping.

I like the idea, it’s innovative, it differentiates the store and shows that they are looking for new ways to increase market share.

But it does also show that Tesco’s ‘environmental’ concern is and always has been so much ‘greenwash’.  The chain tried a biodegradable plastic bag that turned out to be worse than the original, and makes overtures to the hippie shopping demographic all the time.

Drive-thru’s have long been a green target in Canada.  The idea that Tesco is considering them shows good business sense, but exposes the lie of the green image.


Green or convenient, can Tesco be both?

Shoppers at UK grocery chain Tesco might soon be able to enjoy a very North American convenience, drive-thru shopping.

I like the idea, it’s innovative, it differentiates the store and shows that they are looking for new ways to increase market share.

But it does also show that Tesco’s ‘environmental’ concern is and always has been so much ‘greenwash’.  The chain tried a biodegradable plastic bag that turned out to be worse than the original, and makes overtures to the hippie shopping demographic all the time.

Drive-thru’s have long been a green target in Canada.  The idea that Tesco is considering them shows good business sense, but exposes the lie of the green image.


Why, Mr President, are you deliberately destroying the American way and committing economic harakiri?

As I wrote in my post The Biggest Heist in American History – Cap and Trade 4:

“President Obama, one of the men behind the Biggest Heist in American History – Cap and Trade, and who at ALL COSTS want to ram through the cap and trade bill, has now put in place an administrative system that allows him, at will, to totally bypass Congress

After the EPA, Health care bill and now the financial bill, they can sneak it trough in big chunks through administrative orders. Not the whole cap and trade bill at once, but in two, tree maybe four steps.

America, your whole system has been hijacked, and you have done nothing, so far, to stop it. What the Obama administration has done during the last one and half year makes a mockery of your constitution and the principle of separation of power.”

These are the “representatives” that rammed through the Obama Care, the financial bill, etc., against the will of the people. They don’t care about the constitution, and they don’t know the difference between the declaration of Independence and the Constitution; and they don’t care that they don’t know.

The people in congress who voted for these bills, this is EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANTED AND INTENDED with these bills. But to get it through Congress they gladly and wilfully lied through their teeth and ears, they even gladly put their lies in writing.

Why? Because they are ramming through their political agenda which they have been waiting and planning so long for to be able do.

As I have been saying all along, it has always been a political agenda – anti human, anti freedom, anti development and anti capitalism. And this Global Warming Hysteria is part of that agenda. It has nothing to do with science, facts or saving the environment or the Earth.

All of this, as always, paid by us, the common people, in the form of taxes, high energy costs and reducing our living standard back to the Stone Age.

And these guys spends billions and TRILLIONS of $ of our tax money.

While they at the same time preach austerity, frugality and sacrifice from us, the taxpayers.

This blatant hypocrisy is so mind numbing that it would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that these people have the power to force us to obey them.

They are a truly parasitic class in the sense that Karl Marx wrote about it.

How ironic that today most of this parasitic class is leftists and so called “liberals”.

In fact, it is the PERFECT scam and heist – the more they can get you to feel guilty, the more money they earn. And the more control they get over society.

In short, it is very troubling to see a country on a path of economic and political self destruction. But if the present trend continues you are, to put it simple: toast.

Just one small example – the increase in federal taxes and regulations (EPA, Healthcare etc.), the cost of running a business has increased so much during the last year that it has become in many ways uninteresting. On top of that, the huge tax increases that is coming January first next year.

Not to speak about all the uncertainties what is going to happen in the near future.

As more and more people are discovering this and becoming aware of this the biggest heist in American history (see the letter below), President Obama, and his administration, is not doing so well. His approval index is at bottom. As is all the other indicators (see below).

It’s time for the people of America to take their country back. Otherwise the consequences for you as a country are going to be devastating. Especially for the common people. .

Meanwhile, we STILL await Mr. Obama’s explanation why if his ”historic” health care law is so great for America, it’s not good enough for him and his family.


An Open Letter To President Obama


Posted 08/19/2010 06:22 PM ET

In today’s dangerous world, we need a president with experience, leadership and courage. Unfortunately, you have shown us little of those traits.

Your childhood and younger years denied you the opportunity to grow up as an American man, and that is no fault of your own. Unfortunately, your lack of empathy for and experience of a traditional American upbringing has left you out of touch with those of us who grew up learning the traditions and work ethic of our predecessors.

You have never accepted the honor of military service, or held and survived in any sort of entry-level working position. You are bereft of many of the basic building blocks of a true American personality and worldview.

You have never experienced the icy hand of fear caressing your gut during a firefight when your very survival from second to second depends on your luck, wits, fellow troopers and the grace of God. You have never sweated out a payroll when your receivables are late.

You’ve missed the rewarding feeling of flogging a loaded truck all night to deliver a load 500 miles away at 7 a.m. You never shoveled cow manure for less than minimum wage to earn enough for a rattletrap car. You missed out on greasing dump trucks on the night shift, and never had the opportunity to start out cleaning restrooms and sweeping floors in a factory.

Your education was in the law, and you ignored any opportunity to absorb the lessons of history or the theories of economics. You have never experienced the law of the jungle in the private sector.

While you play golf and basketball and surround yourself with “the swells” enjoying concerts in the People’s House, those of us in the general public dine on Spam and Costco burgers. I can’t put my wife on a 747 and send her to Spain so she can be ready to spend 10 days on Martha’s Vineyard when she gets back. She works seven days a week and so do I — spreading four full- and part-time jobs between us to make ends meet.

(My explanation: “Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche“, supposedly said by a French princess upon learning that the peasants had no bread. As brioche is a luxury bread enriched with eggs and butter, it would reflect the princess’s obliviousness to the nature of a famine.)

I watch in pain while my business venture slides into oblivion and my small IRA erodes as your economic policies push the nation into a double-dip recession. This economy is locking up again, and you cannot blame former President Bush. The great construction jobs I created are ending while you pour trillions in borrowed money into the public sector to buy votes. I blame you personally for appointing the ship of fools you have as Cabinet officials and advisers.

You are repeating the gross mistakes of Japan in the ’90s and the Roosevelt administration in the ’30s — both of which failed and lengthened severe economic problems for a decade or more. You are intentionally smothering our private sector with regulations, taxes and mandates at the same time you squander the wages and futures of our children and grandkids.

I deplore your continued efforts to divide the greatest nation of immigrants in the world along race and class lines. Pandering to various groups and attempting to set them against other Americans is demagoguery at its worst. I sincerely hope such actions end up damaging you in the end and not our country.

You will leave office with a big pension, Secret Service protection and gold-plated health care for life. I may well end up with 40 years of hard work down the drain, living in a mobile home in the backwoods.

I do not resent you for your good fortune — you worked hard to become president and won the election fair and square. I do, however, despise your policies and the damage they are visiting on our nation, its economy and our future. I have dedicated my remaining years to fighting you and your policies and protecting our children’s futures.

I may well end up destroyed financially from the results of your misguided and dangerous actions — but you will never break me psychologically or crush my spirit. I am a Marine, I have a wonderful wife and family, and last but not least, I live in the greatest nation in the world. I shall work to my last breath to keep it that way, and you, sir, shall fail to destroy that dream.

• Howard, a Marine Corps veteran, University of Washington graduate and heavy-equipment supervisor for two decades, is now a developer with projects in Washington and Oregon.


On disobedience: If you haven’t heard of Stanley Milgram, nows the time.

Just by reading this blog, you are disobeying the norm, the consensus. Congratulations! How did you come to this junction in your life? What made you decide to buck the trend and go out and assess the facts yourself and make a decision accordingly?

 I have often wondered about the  make-up of people who have disobeyed the “consensus” when it comes to, among other things, Anthropogenic Global Warming hysteria, being of a medical-scientific bent (with the emphasis on “bent”), I can’t help but ruminate accordingly.

One of the things about science and the process of scientific discovery, is that often the most interesting thing is not the discovery that is made or the question that is answered, but the inverse question that comes out of the process. For instance, experimental research into transplanting dopaminergic tissue into the basal ganglia of patient’s with Parkinson’s disease (aka “cracking open people’s heads and doing things”), seemed to be working quite well, until they realised that the placebo group who merely had their skulls opened but no tissue transplanted improved, too. The scientific conclusion from this was that ergo the intervention didn’t work. However, in my mind the inverse question, given the positive result experienced by the patients, of “should we be considering drilling holes in people’s heads (aka “cracking open people’s heads and NOT doing anything) as a treatment for Parkinsons?” is probably more fascinating.

In the 1960’s a psychologist named Stanley Milgram conducted seminal research into the process of obedience to authority. The “Milgram Experiment” is now famous, and is pretty much impossible to reproduce in this day and age due to the fun-police who sit on research ethics committees. (When you hear about his experiment you will probably see why they won’t let anyone do it again.) Participants were recruited and paid to help with research into what they were told was the effects of punishment on learning, in reality, Milgram was researching submission to authority, as his experiments took place during the Eichmann trials and he wanted to research what has come to be known as the “Nuremberg defence” or “I was just doing what I was ordered.”

This is what Milgram did:

Volunteers were recruited to take part in a study of memory and learning, upon arriving they were taken into the lab two at a time and randomised into “teachers” or “learners”. The learners were all hired to act the role, and the randomisation was fake. The learner was strapped into a chair with an electrode attached to his wrist and tied down, and told that he will be asked to reads lists of word pairs, and if he gets it wrong, the teacher will administer increasing intensities of electric shocks. The teacher was then seated in front of an impressive looking device that would supposedly administer the shocks, with rows of switches labelled Slight Shock, Moderate Shock, Strong Shock, Very Strong Shock, Intense Shock, Extreme Intensity Shock, Danger: Severe Shock. (Two switches after this last designation were simply marked XXX.) The teacher is then given a sample shock of 45 volts to reinforce belief that the machine is real. When the experiment starts, the learner has been instructed to act out a series of responses at difference voltages (although no real shocks were delivered to the actors), ranging from expressing pain, to screaming, to begging to be let go and then to silence. During the experiment, an instructor (Milgram) stayed with the teacher and guided them to deliver an increasing intensity of shocks and instructed them that they must continue should they question their role.

When Milgram designed the study, he canvassed experts and students alike as to what they thought the number of people who would proceed to a “painful” or “dangerous” level under orders would be. Almost universally, people predicted that only a small percentage of people would knowingly harm the subject, and only a lunatic fringe would continue to what they perceived to be a dangerous level. In reality, around 65% of people, male and female alike, did as they were told and dialled all the way under the direction of the authority figure overseeing the experiment. This is not to say that people liked doing it, everyone questioned the examiner and asked to stop at some stage, but after being directed to continue, they complied.

To my mind, it is the inverse question that has always fascinated: The focus was on the psychology of obedience, but what of the minority of people who disobeyed and refused to continue? What were they like?
The only subject who calmly refused to continue before the 300 volt threshold was reached was a woman who was a German immigrant and had been through World War 2. She just said it wasn’t right to hurt someone, took responsibility for the fact that if the subject was hurt it would be her fault and she wouldn’t do it, and that was it. Milgram himself mentioned that

“The woman’s straightforward, courteous behavior in the experiment, lack of tension, and total control of her own action seem to make disobedience a simple and rational deed.”

 Another man actually correctly guessed that it was a set-up and correctly guessed the true nature of the experiment, and even guessed it was to investigate how the Nazis coerced people into doing things they knew were wrong. He wrote about it later, and felt it was his previous life experience that had led him to notice that things weren’t adding up and to question authority.

Another guy who reportedly stopped was an electrical engineer, who knew what electric shocks felt like and so refused to keep going, even though the authority figure said it wasn’t dangerous.

So, analysing the minority of people who refused, they were people whose life experience either gave them insight or expertise that others didn’t have, or a few people who also refused because they believed they were answerable to a higher moral authority. In all of the people who refused, there was the common trait of feeling responsible for their own actions. The majority of people who kept going rationalised that either they weren’t responsible because they were following orders, and had become an agent of another person, or blamed themselves for hurting the subject, but in situations of stress conformed to the societal or behavioural model being presented to them by an authority because they did not themselves possess the ability or expertise to make a decision for themselves. This latter group, after learning of the true nature of the experiment were the type of people who would be less likely to be coerced into that type of situation again.

The conclusions of this experiment were very interesting, and have ramifications for what is going on in the world today. In one of Milgram’s own articles on the experiments for Harpers magazine (which I have quoted from elsewhere in this article), he discovered that:

 Conflicting authority severely paralyzes actions — When two experimenters of equal status, both seated at the command desk, gave incompatible orders, no shocks were delivered past the point of their disagreement.

The rebellious action of others severely undermines authority — In one variation, three teachers (two actors and a real subject) administered a test and shocks. When the two actors disobeyed the experimenter and refused to go beyond a certain shock level, thirty-six of forty subjects joined their disobedient peers and refused as well.

He then concluded with this:

The problem of obedience is not wholly psychological. The form and shape of society and the way it is developing have much to do with it. There was a time, perhaps, when people were able to give a fully human response to any situation because they were fully absorbed in it as human beings. But as soon as there was a division of labour things changed. Beyond a certain point, the breaking up of society into people carrying out narrow and very special jobs takes away from the human quality of work and life. A person does not get to see the whole situation but only a small part of it, and is thus unable to act without some kind of overall direction. He yields to authority but in doing so is alienated from his own actions.

Which seems to be rather prescient and pertinent to the world today. It is also reassuring, in the sense that merely being present with a dissenting view can have important and far reaching ramifications in giving permission for others who are following the “consensus” to choose a different path.