Category Archives: environment

Gaming news that affects you

Via CBS News:

Expect cheers among hardcore online game enthusiasts when they learn Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year. Or, more accurately, expect them to “w00t.”

“W00t,” a hybrid of letters and numbers used by gamers as an exclamation of happiness, topped all other terms in the Springfield dictionary publisher’s online poll for the word that best sums up 2007.

I suppose this means that the most notable event of 2007 is that a lot of guilds won a lot of gold killing orcs.

Via BBC News:

Greenpeace has called on gamers to persuade Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to make their consoles greener.

According to the environmental campaign group, game console makers have so far “failed to reduce the toxic burden of their products”.

As part of its campaign, Greenpeace has launched a 90-second video featuring some of the iconic games console characters – Microsoft’s Master Chief, Nintendo’s Mario and Sony’s Kratos – competing for the prize of a greener games console.

Now Kratos — there’s a fellow who really cares about the environment.


Whether or not you missed the unveiling of the Polystation 3, enjoy a YouTube tour of exciting Chinese products with exciting Chinese names.

Jennifer Lopez hates the environment

Scientific research has revealed that divorce is harmful to the environment (in more than one way):

“A married household actually uses resources more efficiently than a divorced household,” said Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University whose analysis of the environmental impact of divorce appears in this week’s online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More households means more use of land, water and energy, three critical resources, Liu explained in a telephone interview.

What can we do about this? The first step is to recognize the problem.

“People have been talking about how to protect the environment and combat climate change, but divorce is an overlooked factor that needs to be considered,” Liu said.

How about assembling an international panel to draft a protocol to regulate divorce rates in each country? Of course we’ll go easy on less-developed countries that may just be getting around to discovering how annoying it can be to live with the same spouse for over a year.

By the way, gay marriage is good for the environment!




9/11 Linked
To Iraq, in Politics
If Not in Fact

Inspired by the above almost-Haiku identified by James Taranto as masquerading as a Washington Post headline, I thought I’d try listening to my own poetry muse for a change. Here are a few I came up with. I hope you find them pleasing to your mental ear and soothing to your soul.

Jews, Christians, Muslims
Why can’t we all get along?
The Jews most of all

Bush and bin Laden
A cycle of violence
A cycle of pain

Match made in heaven
Our love will last forever
Al Gore and the tree

Why do they hate us?
Don’t they know hate is a crime?
Live, love, and abort

Serene emptiness
Snowy field of silent white
The page will not load

Caged bird cannot fly
All men desire freedom
OJ Simpson too

Falling autumn leaves
Who will pick them up? Someone?!
Suffocating, help!

Waking in cold sweat
Nightmare of nations come true
Results in, Jeb won

So who else likes to write Haiku?

What are you doing for ‘sex day’?

From BBC News:

Russian ‘sex day’ to boost births 

The governor of Ulyanovsk region in Russia is offering prizes to couples who have babies in exactly nine months – on Russia’s national day on 12 June. 

Sergei Morozov wants couples to take the day off work to have sex. If a baby is born on national day, they will receive cars, TVs or other prizes.

Mr Morozov has declared Wednesday “family contact day” as part of efforts to fight Russia’s demographic crisis.

The population has sharply declined since the Soviet Union collapsed.

This is the third year that Ulyanovsk, in central Russia, is offering prizes for babies born on 12 June.

This year, a couple won the grand prize of a sports utility vehicle (SUV).

When you think about it, offering SUVs as incentives is a stroke of genius.  If we can get enough CO2 out there into the atmosphere to warm up the planet’s surface, the Russia climate might get cozy enough for people to actually want to have sex on their own.

Your one-stop news source

Den of Hydralisks is committed to bringing you the most shocking and exciting news of the day. Such as a report published in Pravda that “Dead people grow no huge claws and no long hair as they lie still in their graves.

Den of Hydralisks brings you the news you want to hear. What is the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island in the world? Den of Hydralisks has the answer.

But Den of Hydralisks goes the second mile, sending our reporters off to faraway websites to lift images acquired and scanned by others for your viewing pleasure.


And Den of Hydralisks goes a step beyond to bring you all the relevant information you might need in order to plan a vacation with your family to that island lake island lake island.

(Must-see attractions: water
Items you should bring along: a towel
Useful phrases for communicating with the locals: stand at the highest point and shout at the top of your lungs anything you please)

Den of Hydralisks delivers the scoops no one else will. Den of Hydralisks was the first and only to report that Blizzard has confirmed Archons will be returning in Starcraft 2.

We bring you the news *before* it breaks. Such as an unconfirmed rumor that Maki Goto‘s new album scheduled for release in September will be titled How to use SEXY (Den of Hydralisks is not making this unconfirmed rumor up). And Den of Hydralisks answers all your relevant questions about it. “Am I the only one who thinks Maki Goto looks like a horse?” Answer: no

goto maki

Den of Hydralisks cuts through the spin to get at the heart of issues. Is global warming really happening? Den of Hydralisks has no idea, but here’s Al Gore’s email address:

But most importantly, Den of Hydralisks brings you the news you need to know.

The stories that make a difference.

The stories that impact our lives.

The stories that touch our lives.

In-depth analysis of the most meaningful, historically significant events of our day.

The President on global warming

Or Will Ferrell anyway.  Hee hee hee 😀

France Is Green

A radioactive tint of green. I had heard France was doing the nuclear, but I hadn’t realized they get 80% of their energy from it, the highest percentage in the world. WILLisms examines what this means for France in terms of CO2 emissions. Why can’t it mean the same for the US or Canada?

More Reasons Not To Swallow the Fear

Bjorn Lomborg, in a testimony to a climate committee, gives data on why global warming may not be all so bad (that has nothing to do with oil industry profits!):

Much has been made of the heat wave in Europe in early August 2003, which killed 35,000 people, with 2,000 deaths in the UK. Yet, each year more than 25,000 people die in the UK from cold. It can be estimated that every year more than 200,000 people die from excess heat in Europe. It is reasonable to estimate that each year about 1.5 million people die from excess cold in Europe. This is more than seven times the total number of heat deaths. Just in this millennium Europe has lost more than 10 million people to the cold, 300 times the iconic 35,000 heat deaths from 2003…

…A paper trying to incorporate all studies on this issue (a so-called meta-study) and apply it to a broad variety of settings both developed and developing around the world found that “global warming may cause a decrease in mortality rates, especially of cardiovascular diseases.” For the US, the net lower death count from global warming in 2050 is estimate at 174,000 per year.

It’s intuitive, isn’t it? Life should thrive in warmth, not languish. (And…if it had been a little warmer that day, perhaps the message these folks were trying to convey might have been more meaningful :D)

Other considerations are raised in the full testimony which are worth reading. Lomborg’s is the kind of analysis I can appreciate because he recognizes the need to weigh the good against the bad before deciding if the net gain from taking preventative action against global warming is worth the cost. Clearly GW will produce both positive and negative results. Spit out the cool-aid in their face whenever anybody tries to wash down your esophagus a picture of GW that is all one-sided.

Global Warming and its Critics

Just because I’m skeptical about the claims the Global Warming crowd make does not mean I throw that skepticism out the window when the other side presents their case. In this post I referred to a program broadcast in the UK (okay okay, “programme”) entitled “The Great Global Warming Swindle” and mentioned that I could not recommend it. Well here’s why:

On the surface it paints a damning portrait of the Global Warming movement, and in spite of what I’m going to say here it may very well turn out that when all the fog clears (caused by the water vapor which we all know is a greenhouse gas more abundant than CO2) many of the assertions they make, perhaps even the crux of them, will be proven to have been valid in the end.

But as numerous observers have shown, the credibility of that piece leaves something to be desired. The rebuttal on RealClimate includes the following points among others:

  1. The apparent falsification that we should expect warming for the period 1940-1980 where there is none can be explained by the impact of sulfate emissions.
  2. The apparent falsification that we should expect the troposphere to warm faster than the surface when data shows otherwise can be dismissed when we use the most current satellite data.
  3. The part about CO2 levels lagging temperature by 800 years (this was the strongest argument the show made imo), when you consider that 800 years constitutes a fraction of a warming period, does not rule out the possibility that CO2 and temperature might be influencing each other.

If anyone thinks I’m missing something important here please feel free to say it. I will listen. Otherwise I’m inclined to view the Channel 4 piece as propaganda of more or less the same caliber as what we’re accustomed to getting from a certain former vice-president.

Update: Voice of Reason examines propaganda from the pro-side here.

Patrick Moore

We’ve all heard of Greenpeace, but have we heard of Greenspirit?

I learned of them when I became curious about its founder Patrick Moore, a co-founder and former Greenpeace president, who had interesting observations to make in The Great Global Warming Swindle (a show I can’t recommend, unfortunately; more on that later perhaps). Having played an instrumental role in winning the attention of citizens and governments over environmental issues, Moore left Greenpeace in 1986 and became a critic of the organization which, in his view, has become ever more extreme.

Not surprisingly, the environmental movement considers him a heretic. Having perused the short auto-biography given two years ago in his Nuclear Statement to the US Congressional Committee he comes across to me as wholly level-headed. He advocates nuclear energy, believes environmental reform must be weighed against its effect on economies, and is a moderate global warming skeptic.

His take on today’s environmental movement is particularly interesting to read and supports a conclusion I arrived at a long time ago — that the environmental movement, like the civil rights movement in America, having in large measure accomplished its admirable goals, survives today by clamoring for increasingly unreasonable positions. (reparations for slavery, for instance)