Taking responsibility.

The Liberal party was in power in Canada for 13 years, during which time they did nothing but talk about the Kyoto Accord to reduce greenhouse gases. During that time, carbon dioxide emissions actually increased between 25% and 35%. They had the responsibility to act, yet they did nothing but talk.

The Conservative party has been in power for 1 year. The opposition parties have banded together to pass a bill to force them to meet the terms of the accord. The saddest comment of all comes from the MP sponsoring the bill, Pablo Rodriguez:

Mr. Rodriguez said he is not suggesting how the Conservatives should meet the Kyoto targets. "They are in power. They wanted to run the country, so they have to take the responsibility," he said.

Mr. Rodriguez’ party was running the country and had the responsibility, yet they did nothing. So let’s suppose that the government falls based on this. How long would it take the Liberals to ignore the law if they regain power?

This whole debate has also brought out the worst math skills that I have even seen. I saw one article today that suggested that to reduce emissions by 25% in four years they merely had to reduce emissions by six percent per year. Actually they would have to reduce emissions cumulatively 6.25% per year everywhere, and assume no new emissions of any kind.

The example was given that one could merely reduce the thermostat by 1.5 degrees. However, one would actually have to reduce the thermostat by 1.5 degrees in the first year, and eventually reduce it by 6 degrees in the fourth year.

Let’s be rational. Elimination one quarter of the entire country’s emissions will be incredibly painful to the economy. Some might even call it I’m not clear on how a historic event involving the death of millions of Jews can be compared to something that might or might not happen in the future. I’m also not clear on how stifling discussion on climate change can be a positive thing.

Tip of the hat to small dead animals.

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Ouch.

Computerworld Windows expert Scot Finnie has switched from Windows to Mac. And he had a few choice things to say about the switch:

If you give the Mac three months, as I did, you won’t go back either.

[...]

After living with the Mac for three months and comparing it with my Vista experiences, the choice is crystal clear. I’ve struggled to sort out my gut feeling about Windows Vista (see "The Trouble with Vista"), but the value and advantage of the Mac and OS X are difficult to miss. While I continue to work with Windows XP and Vista on a number of other machines, I am now recommending the Macintosh for business and home users.

Microsoft’s marketing materials for a past version of Windows used the phrase, "It just works." But the only computer that tagline honestly describes is the Macintosh.

Via digg.

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A sign of climate change.

From Mark Steyn:

If it’s hot, that’s a sign of "climate change." If it’s cold, that’s a sign of "climate change." If it’s 53 with sunny periods and light showers, you need to grab an overnight bag and get outta there right now because "climate change" is accelerating out of control.

The silliest argument is the anecdotal one: "You only have to look outside your window to see that climate change is happening." Outside my window in northern New England last week, it was minus 20 Fahrenheit. Very cold. Must be the old climate change kicking in, right? After all, December was very mild. Which was itself a sign of climate change.

Climate change has reached the point where shrill arguments have replaced rational discussion; where you are branded a heretic at the mere suggestion that there might even be something to discuss.

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Tell us how you really feel.

Charlie Brooker of the Guardian hates Macs:

I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don’t use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.

I like Macs. I use a Mac, having switched completely about a year ago. But I don’t hate PCs or the people who use them.I can only assume that his missive is somewhat tongue in cheek.

I spent years building PCs, trying to get them to behave properly, just so I could get some work done. Switching to the Mac didn’t just help me work better – it made me into an evangelist.As Mark Evans says:

Charlie, you’re not just dealing with a product; you’re dealing with a religion.

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Living in fantasyland.

Daring Fireball quotes Bill Gates’ response to a Newsweek question about similarities between Windows Vista and Mac OS X:

I mean, it’s fascinating, maybe we shouldn’t have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise.

Iwonder if he actually believes himself?

When I was using a PC, if I updated my virus software and did a virus scan every day I might be ok. Since switching to a Mac I just do what I want to do. It just works.

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