Monthly Archives: December 2006

Recharge or reduce?

Brian Larter wrote this great little guide on rechargeable batteries. Thank you, Brian.

But still I have my gripes about upstream energy consumption and production. Are we just deceiving ourselves by not seeing the damage of energy production methods like coal. The best thing really to do is reduce consumption and use non-energy products.

Why use a PDA when we can use a diary produced from recycled paper? Why not just listen for danger in traffic coming from behind, or even better, the sound of nature on those bike rides instead of your music device? If something needs energy then it is still contributing to the problem.

Reduction – not more efficient technology – is the best method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More efficient energy use will only leads to more use because we can.

In short, buy less, use less.

Blogging is work!

Since Christmas holidays started I have had the luxury to blog again.

Yet, this break has taught me one important lesson – that maintaining a blog is really time consuming. It takes more than just the desire to blog – the want to be heard – to keep one going. And even if you have the drive to have one you may not have that much to say. So one has to consider why one wants to blog.

When I started this blog it was to talk about my belief in sustainability, Buddhism and theory. And it still is. While I have much to talk about I don’t have the time to put it down into posts. A “good” blog needs at least two hours of work a day. And that does not include reading. To be a good writer one must also be a good reader, I believe. Because I do not have the time to keep up with the latest news, my blogging suffers for it.

So why I do not have this time? Well, I have twelve hours of lectures a week. I have the homework that comes with these classes. I drive at least as many hours just to get to and from university each week. (Don’t talk to me about contributing to greenhouse gases. If I could move closer to campus I would.) I have two children under two, so my time at home is devoted to helping with looking after them and doing other chores to free my partner’s time to perform other household duties (and to relax). And I teach three nights a week to slow the rate of dwindling of our savings.

So, when I say I do not have time, yes, I mean I do not have time.

There are plenty of websites out there that give advice to people about blogging and how to be a good blogger, etc. They usually tell you you need to post regularly, you need to read other blogs and comment, you need to do this and do that. Well let me tell them – great, if you are single, or somehow you are blessed with much time on your hands (this usually means an disgruntled wife or husband lurking somewhere in the background).

But most people are not like that. Most people have real work that takes up most of their waking hours. I repeat again, most people are not like that.

So here is my advice for people who want to consider starting a blog or has already started a blog:

  1. Do you have things to say that are important or interesting?
  2. Do you think you have enough to say for at least one year?

If you said ‘yes’ to both these by all means, go for it.

Even if you do not have time it could be done if the content is important or interesting. If you are like me – without time to even read let alone write – then I still say it is fine. Don’t listen to those “professional” bloggers telling you you need to do this or that.

And don’t worry about stats and hits. If you have good content people will come.

Be realistic about what you can do with a blog. It is an only outlet for your thoughts. It is only a glorified webpage. It is only a personal journal of sorts. It isn’t the whole world. If you want to be blog-popular then by all means put work much into it. But if you are like me, who does not care for ratings, then it can be a rewarding means of self-expression that does not take up most of your life, because there is life beyond the internet and blogging.

Arctic ice shelf breaks off

Relating to my recent post on polar bears an ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has broken off the Canadian Arctic. Let’s just hope it doesn’t drift too far south or we might be watching Day After Tomorrow live from our living rooms.

Floods in Aceh kill 120

In “lesser” news (those that are not reported as much because other “more important things” are in the news) floods in Indonesia’s Aceh Tamiang district have killed over 120 people. Neighbouring Malaysia’s Meteorological Department has labeled it as “extreme” weather phenomenon and has issued warnings as already 90,000 people in the country’s south as been displaced.

Saddam’s death and karma

Saddam’s death seem to bring joy to most, and hate and vengence to others. So just when is this karma going to stop?

While his death may have been his own doing through his karma, it is not for us to continue our own by rejoicing his death. Our own karma will only come back to us.

This is why I hate politics.

We can only work to free ourselves and no one else.

Polar bears and skiing

What a week for global warming.

The Bush Administration has finally agreed to look into protecting polar bears. This move only came after much pressure from a lawsuit which found the polar bears were not adequately protected by government policy from the effects of global warming on their habitat. All the while groups from within the Bush Camp still believe that greenhouse gas emissions is not the cause of the rapid lost of Arctic ice threatening the bears’ way of life. Gas and oil drilling in Alaska will continiue until a clear picture comes from a 12 month study.

So, tell me Mr. Bush, how many signs do we need before you realise that global warming is actually happening? And how deeply we have to get before you – the leader of the nation with the greatest output of greenhouse gases, as well as, the leader of the nation which exercises such power only because of “economic” wealth – will listen to the drowning cries of the bear (and perhaps the people whose houses will be below the sea level)?

I just hope you, Mr President, are not going to the skiing World Cup this week. In case you haven’t heard they haven’t had much snow in Europe. Bormio, Italy, where one of the events is being held, had to bring in forty-seven (yes, 47) snow cannons to produce 100,000 cubic metres of artificial snow due to the lack of real snow.

Do we need any more signs before we realise global warming is here?