This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Friday, May 20, 2005

Of original thinking, and the end of the world

When I was a wee lad, scarcely knee-high, I had to do a class presentation on a topic assigned by the teacher. Well, alright, that was a bit of an exxageration, I wasn't quite so short, but I still had to do that presentation. Every kid in the class got a topic assigned to them, and we had no choice in the matter. My topic happened to be “Is there too much violence on TV?”. Now, the thing you have to understand is that I've only been in Canada by that time for only a few years, and my English wasn't the best. I also wasn't used to watching so much TV that I'd have an actual opinion on this subject, but there it was. I had fifteen minutes to prepare, and then I'd have to get up in front of the class.

I struggled with it in the hall. That's how we had to do it. While the class waited, we had to go out into the hall and come up with a speech. I realized right off the bat that I simply didn't know enough about Canadian(or, as it happens, American) TV and so I couldn't think of very much to say. But then it occured to me that while I didn't enough about Canadian TV in general, I did know about certain specific shows. In particular, I wa absolutely fascinated with the then-current, hour-long sitcom known as The A-Team. Yes, yes, I know it wasn't a sitcom, but it sure was funny. As an aside, they seem to be remaking The A-Team.

For those that don't know the show, it's about 4 US Army veterans who after being imprisoned for a crime they didn't commit, escape and become mercenaries, mostly helping people who need help, all the while running from the military police.

The funy thing about this show was that, despite all the ammunition being expended every week, nobody ever actually got hit, or at least I hadn't seen any by the time of my speech. And so, I made my presentation about how I didn't think there was enough violence on TV, and I used The A-Team as an example. “Look at that show,” I said, “that's not violence, that's a joke.”

I got an A for original thinking. I suspect, however, that in today's world, a kid making a speech like that on that particular topic would get an F for disagreeing with the prevailing wisdom, and more importantly, for disagreeing with the teacher's bias.

Which brings me to global warming, and the Kyoto Agreement that's going to cost Canada billions to implement.

According to the weather service, the 14-day trend is forecasting temperatures between 3 and 10 degrees Celcius below seasonal norm. Last year's summer was one of the coldest on record, and New Brunswick lost millions of dollars in tourism revenue because people didn't want to travel anywhere. Today there are people outside wearing light parkas with hoods, many are wearing hats, and I saw a few with gloves on.

My original thinking which called bullshit! on too much violence on TV is also calling bullshit! on global warming. Kyoto is costing Canada billions, yet the end result is that in fifty years, it's supposed to lower global temps by about half a degree. Wow! That's a truly impressive accomplishment. Funny thing is that emerging economies with billions of people(China and India, for example), are exempt and don't have to worry about it. With most of the low-end manufacturing already there, and with a lot of mid- and high-end manufacturing moving there, do we really need to give them a bigger stick to beat us over the head with?

It's all nonsense anyway. The polar caps always fluctuate, and the temperature always shifts. There've been famines due to excessive temperatures before, that's nothing new. There've been cold periods, warm periods, normal periods, it goes up and down. The last ice age didn't start because of human high-tech activities, and it certainly didn't end because of us. The same people who're telling us the planet itself is alive(Gaia) are the ones telling us it's also a static object that never changes, or if it does, it's only because we are responsible.

Ice Age, The Day After Tomorrow, The Core, these are just a few of the movies in recent years showcasing the “man-bad, nature-good” idea. Don't believe a word of it. We're told that we're the only ones that live above our means, that all other animals live with nature, not against it. Right. They don't tell us that we're also the only ones who've stepped on the moon, who've photographed distant planets and have the ability to communicate ideas more complex than lice-picking, and instanteneously across the planet, to boot. They also don't tell us that we're the only ones aware of more than our immediate surroundings and that many of us have progressed beyond mere existence into actual living.

We think and communicate with each other about our origins, our past and present, and our future. We don't, as a matter of course, eat our young or the males after mating(though divorce comes close to that). We have dreams and aspirations and feel a wide variety of emotions. We get bored and then dream up entertainments for ourselves, which we then go out and manufacture them. We create tools to simplify our jobs, and we take pleasure in a job well done. We live with feelings and emotions, we don't exist on instinct(though that doesn't appear to be true for everyone). We bring suffering and death to our fellow Man for the most idiotic of reasons. We are large, we contain multitudes.

If seals aren't culled, the white bear population explodes, and then promptly dies out when resources run out. So much for living with nature. Plant and animal life has gone extint before, and Man wasn't responsible. Automatically blaming human activity for whatever pet cause you've got is both silly, and in my opinion, counter-productive.

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