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Re: “Blow job

Nice article, but clearly biased against wind power. I agree with several other comments here: we've made our bed, now we have to lie in it. There is dispute over the health effects of windmills, but there is NO dispute over the various health effects (asthma, cancer, and a host of other diseases) caused by our addiction to fossil fuels. Do the MacDonalds drive a car? Bet they do... What about the aesthetic blight of the Tuft's Cove generating station and the Dartmouth refinery on Halifax harbour? Doesn't matter because "it's the city", not the precious countryside, no doubt.
If the problem is deceitful and greedy corporations, then be sure to lay the blame on them -- don't blame the technology for the faults of the implementers.
As for the bird/bat problem, and the single infamous vulture youtube video... commenter Weigand himself says he can provide only one study to back up his claims... so where did the "chopping up cranes" and "25 bald eagles" come from? I don't believe it.
Back to the article: are there studies reporting health risks, or not? You seem content to pit one politician's word against another. Do a little investigation! Can you find these studies? Have they been peer-reviewed and accepted by the medical community?
Finally, the "wind variability" problem. Now that's a real stretch -- your article claims that it may (just MAY) require more fossil fuels than it saves to operate standby generating plants, that the solution is to link the power grid up with New Brunswick, and that this won't happen for 5-10 years... precisely when a big roll-out of windmills will occur. Does this not seem like a non-problem to you? It certainly does to me!
I've stood at the base of a full-size windmill and listened to the gentle "whoomp" sound it made as the blades passed my head -- no birds in sight. I am extremely doubtful about severe long-term health effects. I agree that the effects are probably all in their heads (psychosomatic). Still, requiring the companies to provide accurate and timely information to residents, and establishing a minimum distance of 2-3km from habitation would be a good idea. Pity we humans have infested every last scrap of land available... using fossil fuels to do it.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by D.Morrison on 08/05/2010 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Climate change 2010: time to get our shit together

Hmmm, I've just remembered that using radio-carbon dating techniques, the carbon in CO2 might JUST have serial numbers after all. However I stand by my assertion that it is irrelevant. Extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a problem, as all CO2 acts a greenhouse gas, whether it is ancient (fossil-fuel derived) carbon, or part of the current carbon cycle.

Posted by D.Morrison on 01/06/2010 at 6:01 PM

Re: “Climate change 2010: time to get our shit together

Hal, please don't spam the comment section, and please take your selfish attempts to make statements elsewhere (preferably nowhere). Are you trying to make a point? Why don't you present a logical considered argument, instead of a series of mismatched and questionable opinions?

Well we all know the answer to that: because you don't have a considered argument.

I will limit myself to rebutting only your last post: "Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere."

Well, you make it look like this statement comes from a reputable-sounding organization, but in fact it is quite meaningless. The carbon cycle on Earth is large; tons and tons of carbon dioxide are absorbed (by the oceans and terrestrial ecosphere) every day, and an equivalent tons and tons of CO2 are emitted by animals and decay (oxidization). The idea that we can identify "CO2 emitted by human activity" and track it in order to determine what portion of it remains in the atmosphere, and what portion is absorbed, is laughable. Not only that, but it is irrelevant. What matters is that the excess CO2 we are producing is upsetting the balance in the system.

You go on to attribute statements to a supposed scientist (and yes, I realize that you have quoted them verbatim from a "science site" that you neglected to provide the URL for) saying things like "the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased ... during the past 150 years".

Well, that is quite simply wrong. "The airborne fraction of CO2" has historically been 270 ppm, and now it's almost 390ppm. That's an increase.

But, you say, the "airborne fraction" they are referring to is intended to be the "anthropogenic CO2 fraction".

I simply don't believe it. CO2 is CO2; the molecules don't come with serial numbers. The proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere HAS increased since the industrial revolution. It has increased in close correlation with human's exploitation of fossil fuels. Maybe 100% of our CO2 emissions have been absorbed, and instead it is "natural" CO2 which is remaining in the atmosphere. So what? It has the same impact on the climate. Like money, it is fungible. (look it up).

I'm sorry that these truths are difficult for you to accept, given that they spell the end of our freedom to pillage the Earth's natural resources with out any thought to the consequences. Unfortunately: "life isn't fair". Get used to it.

Posted by D.Morrison on 01/06/2010 at 5:57 PM

Re: “Crossing the law

Realist in Dartmouth, kay, and lovehatehalifax: agree with you all 100%.

Those push-button systems cost a lot of money, I'm sure. In the old days, there were none, and the white man came on for every cycle. Sometimes only for 5 seconds at a busy intersection, but that's enough to start walking and comfortably finish before the red light. In any case pedestrians were allowed to exercise their own judgment regarding whether it was safe to cross. Heaven forbid that we allow that anymore!

We should save the money on these systems, and spend it on an improved bus/mass transit system instead: less cars, less problem.

Yes, as I understand it by the Motor Vehicle Act, pedestrians always have the right of way at any (express or implied) crosswalk. Period.
Personally, I use my head. I cross when it's safe, and don't when it's not. (I will admit confusion about what to do when a driver, often the last in a long line of cars, and with plenty of time to proceed ahead of me, stops to let me cross... even if I'm jaywalking! Thanks, but just move on already! It's more dangerous to add unpredictability to your movements (there's cars coming the other way... is he stopping? Should I go? Should I back up? Crunch time! Oh he's stopped -- pick up my heels and leg it across the road...)

I would heartily welcome more police presence to ticket both impatient drivers and reckless jaywalkers. Please give me a ticket for starting to walk when the white man has gone out; I will take it to court, and win.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by D.Morrison on 04/07/2009 at 2:00 AM

Re: “Bad bus drivers

Dr. Fever: "What do you want them to do issmat? Create a Customer Service desk? They're doing the right thing in posting what is policy."

You are an idiot.
Wait, they DON'T HAVE a Customer Service desk? You're a genius! Yes, definitely they should create one!

Seriously, issmat said all the right things. In a PR fiasco, you don't fan the fire by playing blame games and upping the ante. You behave like the poor bus driver described by hrmboy: you take your knocks, and act professionally. That builds respect.

Acting petulant builds nothing but resentment.

On the topic of the seal hunt: unprofessional journalism aside, I have seen absolutely ZERO comments supportive of the bus driver that had any basis in rational thought (here or in the CBC article). The best anyone says is that the seal hunt supports local workers. Well, tough. That's an irrelevant aside. We live in a free country, and people are free to hold public demonstrations to voice their opinions in their free time. The bus driver was ON THE JOB, driving a bus. Whether he whacked a stuffed seal, or the sidewalk next to a stuffed seal doesn't matter -- it was unprofessional in the extreme. Un-Canadian even. I can't imagine that seeing some protesters advocating a viewpoint he disagreed with could have been worse than being verbally abused and spat on... so why couldn't he just shake his head and drive on? If he wants to stage a pro-seal hunt demonstration on his own time, all the power to him.

And yes, it is despicable that the coast is reporting what anonymous online comments on a CBC article are saying, and reporting it as news. HRM MAYOR PETER KELLY HAS SYPHILIS! Let's see if the CBC picks up on that as their next Maritimes story. (Sorry, Peter, you're a public figure...)

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by D.Morrison on 04/07/2009 at 1:40 AM

Re: “Bad bus drivers

Plastic Driver Guy: "It stinks being stuck behind a bus, to get cut off by anything, etc..."

Hear, hear. I must say, coming from Montreal, I am absolutely appalled by the lack of respect Metro bus drivers receive from other motorists. People make jokes about dangerous big city traffic in Montreal, but I will say this: motorists in Montreal make way for buses!

As far as I know, it's the law. Buses have right of way. I was once on a number 20 on Summer, where there is a pull-in lane for the bus stop. I sat on the bus, saw the driver turn on his indicator, and then wait... and wait... and wait... until the light turned red and the traffic stopped coming, and only then could he pull out and continue the route. I wanted to tell the driver: just step on it. Cars had better stop if they know what's good for them.

Motorists: you don't want to hit a bus. It's very bad for your car, very bad for your wallet, and very bad for your license.

Intolerant and unprofessional behaviour by bus drivers is unacceptable and should be reprimanded, and bad apples should be fired. But on the other hand, bus drivers have a tough job driving a big, unwieldy vehicle, with typically 20 to 40 times more people with important jobs to do, compared to you, lone motorist in your car.

Give the drivers some respect -- we're all in the traffic together.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by D.Morrison on 04/07/2009 at 1:18 AM

Re: “hbus, the transit day tripper

Dr. Fever: "Sorry, I don't buy the argument of everything on the internet should be open and free, that also goes for information. MT has no reason to share the information with you"

You are obviously trolling. You picked the most insignificant part of D. Haran's post (that the info is on the Internet) and twisted it into your entire argument. Who cares how the information is transmitted? Write it on a DVD. Put it on a USB stick.

D. Haran provided several reasons why MT should consider sharing the information (open competition, support local business, benefit the public), and your counter-argument addressed exactly none of them.

While I can read a map, that doesn't mean I enjoy deciphering MT's crude PDF route schedules. And I'm not about to chase buses on my bike with a GPS I'd have to purchase in order to work out if I can catch a bus on my street corner in five minutes. I'll take my car instead -- and that's bad for everyone.

And what about people who actually can't read MT's online PDF maps? Many people my parent's age have trouble sending an email, let alone reading a PDF. And after a lifetime building a world for my generation to enjoy, I'm not going to begrudge them that! What if you're blind? Hbus.ca gives text instructions that a screenreader can speak. Does MT provide this service? (Yes, one can call the bus stop number. But you need to make a transfer mid-route. What now? Even so, what benefit does MT gain by prohibiting alternatives?)

While still in it's first edition, hbus.ca is an excellent, easy to use rendition of the data you need to know in a complex system. and it's been developed for FREE. Should anyone be denied this? I don't think so.

Metro Transit is dragging its feet while progressive, forward-thinking movers and shakers are pushing us into the future. That's not the image you want for your city infrastructure, and I hope their management realizes that sooner rather than later. Well done hbus.ca!

Posted by D.Morrison on 04/07/2009 at 12:46 AM

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