Global Warming or Global Con?

A couple of days ago I read this story on ABC about new study showing that one of the major influences in climate change debate  –Earth’s oceans, weren’t included as component of the overall theory.

That got me thinking. Someone out there is paying big bucks for all these studies. Studies proving beyond any doubt that our planet’s climate is getting hotter. Studies proving just as convincingly that the Earth is perfectly fine and we are doing great job at looking after our global home.

Global Warming

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So apart from all the tree-hugging greenies, who get all warm and fuzzy at the very thought of saving the planet, or the whales, or the orangutans, or the albatross, or the unicorns; apart from them, who benefits from these studies? I mean, if I have a business selling air-conditioners, I would feel inclined to sponsor a study into global warming. Yet, if I were running a business selling fur coats, I would back up a study into the Earth getting cooler.

But the question of financial backing is only part of the mystery here (although I really do want to know “who’s who in the zoo”).

The other burning question is why people who like to present themselves as advocates of the global warming theory are doing their best to produce as much CO2 as possible?

Al Gore

Image courtesy of James Barker/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The few most noticeable are:

  • John Travolta flying his own Boeing 707 – normal occupancy is 150 passengers.
  • Barbra Streisand is too important to fly commercial, so for a short flight Manchester to London, she opts for a private jet.
  • Sting’s band, The Police, labelled by environmental experts as the dirtiest in the world because of the amount of pollution.
  • Attendees of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 utilized 1200 limos and 140 private planes.
  • One of the most prominent “activists”, Al Gore is a firm believer in travelling by private jets.

Now, I’m not a whinger, but…. if you feel so strongly about preserving the future of our planet and want to reduce the CO2 footprint, here’s a word of advice: placing a sticker “Save the forests” on a back of your petrol-gushing 4WD is NOT helping your cause.

If you are serious about saving the world, get rid of your 4WD, get rid of your private jet and a stretch limo and try living what your preach.

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Food that kills you, or food that helps you living longer

I was busy on my PC the other day, editing a video I filmed earlier and I had one of those infotainment shows on TV, just for a bit of a background noise. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the TV, until I’ve heard them saying that milk is bad for our health. By the time I found the remote control to adjust the volume, they already moved onto another
segment-“no loss of suction” vacuum cleaner, or maybe it was the Fat Trimmer, or ABRocker, or some other “must-have” invention. But my curiosity was now piqued. I wanted to know more about the dangers of milk and it’s by-products.

Cows are out to get us

Cows are out to get us

So naturally, I turned to my friend, Mister Know-It-All: Google. 
Sure enough, I find this article in Huffington Post telling me that Mark Hyman, MD warns us all about dangers of milk in his piece “Dairy: 6 Reasons You Should Avoid It at All Costs…” It sounded pretty serious, so I immediately decided to adjust my eating habits and exclude all dairy products from my diet. After all, there is plenty of other food out there, right? But just to be on a safe side, I decided to check what else can potentially kill me. Imagine my dismay when I realised that red meat increases my risk of dying by 13% (Thanks, LA Times and BBC News); fish in general is a big “no-no” according to Vreeland Clinic and PETA assures me that salmon is practically waiting to kill me.

At this point I’m starting to freak out. No meat, no fish, no dairy – that smells like a vegetarian diet to me and I DON’T DO VEGETERIAN!

What are we to do?

What are we to do?

Once the initial shock wore off, I decided to check what other people eat, in particular people in countries with a high life expectancy. So I’ve consulted with Wikipedia, and it informed me that among the top 10 countries with a high life expectancy are Andorra, France, Italy, Israel, and Spain – all Mediterranean countries, all famous for their
cuisine containing cheeses, lamb, fish. Another country on a list is Japan, and their love of fish is well known. Closer to home, Australia is also in a top 10 and we are famous for our seafood and our beef.

Now, I am not a whinger, but… I would really like to know one thing. All those “specialists”, all those so-called “gurus” go out and disseminate the message of doom and gloom. Why? What do they stand to gain? Who paid for their “research”?

Do you know how to park your car?

Strange question, isn’t it? You’ve been driving for 5, 10, 20 (insert your number here) years, sure you know how to park! Or do you? The other day I went to get a few things for dinner and was amazed by the number of people who have no idea how to park.

What I found interesting, is that people know that what they are doing is wrong, I’ve observed a few of them getting out of their cars, “admiring” their parking, guiltily looking around, as if checking “have I been caught out?” and walking away with a smug expression on their faces.

So why do people do it? Why do they ignore the rules, ignore the fact that they inconvenience other road users? Why do otherwise intelligent people commonly failing at this simple task?

Parallel Parking?

Example of less than perfect parking.

Part of the blame is resting with the local council. Their lack of policies creates and encourages the wrong behaviour in people. Our local city council has given away way too many permits for new apartment blocks, and as the result of it, population (and the number of cars) exploded, without any additional parking spaces being created. People get really excited when they do find a spot, and forget about small, not important stuff, like parking between the lines, following the basic rules….

I guess what I’m saying is this: I am not a whinger, but….unless you want your parking spot to warrant a special designation like the one below, PARK BETWEEN THE BLOODY LINES!

Special parking

Image courtesy of evilletimes.blogspot.com

Scum Villages of Amsterdam, or Gulags of Russia?

There is this post doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment, and everyone seems to be so happy about it, hitting “Like” and “Share” and showing their support…. It’s the one about City of Amsterdam hanging out gay pride flags on all council owned buildings and offices. All this just in time for Putin’s visit to Amsterdam. They do it in protest to Russia’s new anti-gay law.

Facebook post displaying gay pride flags in Amsterdam

Facebook post displaying gay pride flags in Amsterdam

Well, I have a problem with it.

First off, let me make it clear that I don’t support Russia’s anti-gay laws.

What I do have a problem with is some lousy local city council trying to tell sovereign foreign country how to run their internal policies. it’s a bit like a Shih Tzu trying to pick a fight with the Moscow Watchdog.

I probably wouldn’t have reacted this way, if it wasn’t for the fact that Amsterdam is currently looking into creating a “scum village”. A modern day version of a lepers colony. The idea behind it is that the council is to create separate camps where people who are making a nuisance of themselves, or are behaving in ways deemed ‘anti-social’ can be sent away.

I assume that the Amsterdam council wants to clean up their municipality and dispose of all the “trash” in one sweep. Which would be great, if it didn’t smell so much of Russian’s infamous gulag system. This is exactly what Stalin was doing – sending people who were deemed ‘anti-social’ to Siberian camps.

So, here it goes: I am not a whinger, but… if you want to teach someone how to fix stuff in their backyard, how about you make sure first that Your backyard is clean?

Who will watch the watchmen?

I couldn’t help but think about this phrase as I was reading news about deteriorating relationships between USA and Russia. The two superpowers (or at least that’s what they like to think of themselves) hit yet another low point in their relationships after Moscow’s decision to grant asylum to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Obama even had a hissy fit and cancelled his meeting with Putin. Reminded me about observing kids in kindergarten – “I’m not gonna be friends with Johnny no more, he’s playing with my toy, and he doesn’t even want to share!”

Obama and Putin fighting over Snowden

Obama and Putin fighting over Snowden

I understand why the US government is upset and screams “traitor” – I would be upset too, if I were caught red-handed stealing from my friends. One can argue, that giving out state secrets is in fact a treason, and should be punished as such. But at the same time, a government – any government should be accountable for its actions and for the actions of its branches and institutions.

Whenever a government installs more CCTV cameras, or attempts to introduce a National Identity Card, or introduces laws that allow Police to listen in on people’s communications without a warrant, all these attempts are met with an outcry of civil libertarians.

Who is watching you?

Who will watch the watchmen?

The government’s standard response? If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.  Makes perfect sense, right? Right, but only if the government is prepared to live and be governed by the same rules.

Another important aspect here is the freedom of information. We are lucky enough to live in a democratic society, and whether we are talking about Australia or America, the basic principles are the same. One of those principles is that public officials are subject to greater scrutiny by society.

These days even the Chinese government has a Regulation on Open Government Information, so unless we want one day to find ourselves being dragged across the coals by Chinese, we better stop pretending that we are a democracy and start acting like one.

Now, I am not a whinger, but…. the question remains – who will watch the watchmen? 

Dodgy Election Tactics

It must be the election time again – I can see various political candidates on TV, jumping at every opportunity to have their photo taken while patting a child, holding a child, or just near a child.
Personally, I have no idea why they even bother with the election; if the Labor remains at the helm, they’ll be changing Prime Minister every few months anyway…..

But as for the actual election campaign – why do they all feel the need to be next to some random kids? I am not only having a go at one political party, or even one country, no. It happens all over the world. Just have a look:

Here is the Prime Minister of Australia K. Rudd doing his best to look engaged.

Australian PM K.Rudd

Australian PM K.Rudd (ALP) pretends to have fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the President of the USA, showing some lovin’

President Obama doing his media thing.

President Obama doing his media thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s the founder of the Communist Russia, Vladimir Lenin, or as he was lovingly known “Дедушка Ленин” (Grandpa Lenin)

Lenin

Founder of the Communism in Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another one, of a man responsible for the death of over 60 million people during the World War II

Hitler, hugging a couple of kids.

Hitler, hugging a couple of kids. Was he planning to invade France at this moment? Or kill all the gays?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that taking a photo while surrounded by children does not make you a better candidate, does not make you a better person. Maybe it’s just me, but all it tells me that you, as a candidate, have really very little of substance to show us and are trying to fill in the void by (someone else’s) cuteness.

Now, I am not a whinger, but… it would be nice if all the candidates, from all the parties spend less time sucking up to the media and more time developing policies and strategies that will actually work.

Super Fast, or Super Stupid?

Over the past few weeks, we were bombarded by a new Optus ad on TV – you know the one, two girlfriends talking on a phone and one of them complains “she is trying to send a photo, but her internet is too slow” and the other one responds “You have buffering issues, but I don’t, I have a 300 Gb plan with Optus”.

Without going into the details of the actual plan, I wonder how much the advertising agency understands what the commercial is about, who in Optus signed off on it, and how stupid do they think the average person is?

The thing is, both women in the ad can be on a “massive 300 Gb” plans, but one of them could be on ADSL1, or Satellite, or even a Dial-up, and the other one on ADSL 2+ or Optus via NBN. Comparing the speed of your internet connection with a download allowance is a typical case of comparing apples and oranges.

To finish it off, I would like to say that I am not a whinger, but…. if you are trying to sell a product, or a service, treat your customers with respect, don’t assume that you have to “dumb down” the advertising in order for it to be understood. Give us some credit.

Note:
The author of this post is a customer, shareholder and employee of Telstra.
The views expressed here are the author’s only and do not represent views of Telstra in any way, shape or form.