I bought a pen 24 years ago…

The other day I had a sad thing happen. My old friend got injured. He either had someone man-handle him, or he fell from a great height. I picked him up the other day and I noticed something was off…

Back in 1989, I left the confines of my parental homestead, and moved over to the big city to get an education. If there is one thing that post secondary education teaches you, it is to think outside the box. One day, as I sat through yet another boring English lecture, I looked across the 200 or so students, and noticed each and every one of them ( including me ) was using a disposable pen. Hundreds of crappy pens, trying to keep up with another lecture about symbolism and Margaret Atwood.

For one reason or another, I started thinking about all the money I was about to start spending on pens. It was probably an early flag that my mind wasn’t quite into the Arts program, and I should start all over again and go into the Sciences. haha.  I figured out that one of these disposables lasted me about a week or two before I tossed it out. In my wisdom, I figured I was going to be spending hundreds of dollars on pens over the next 4 or 5 years…Books were expensive enough (yes, a complete understatement), so spending that much to simple take notes about the books seemed like something all together evil!

In the days before the Internet, one did not simply look online to find solutions. You pulled out the 6 inch thick phone book and went straight to the back of the book and looked up what you were searching for. In my case, I went to P, and found Pens! Ah, the good old days. I saw one pen shop in Vancouver that sold all sorts of pens! At least that’s what I gathered from the 2″x2″ ad they paid thousands for. I picked up my phone receiver, and proceeded to rotary dial the store. Yup, I did say this took place 24 years ago. 😉

The fellow on the phone told me there were having a pen sale on right now, and I should come on down and he could help me come up with a nice solution to my disposable pen problem.

I went down the following weekend and on that day I realized that I grew up in a disposable generation. I was introduced to the “fountain pen“. It seemed like the perfect solution to me throwing away hundreds of pens! What a great new invention!! Ya, I had never seen one in my first 18 years of life.

I found the following fountain pen on for $40 (half price! Woo Hoo!), and the store threw in a free bottle of black ink…

Image

I felt like the smartest guy ever! I calculated that by the end of my first year, I would break even. After that it was all profit baby!

The pen is an Elysee. A German company that sadly has since gone under, but I loved it as it was thinner almost like a regular disposal. I got a fine nib so it didn’t feel like I needed to learn calligraphy before scratching rabid notes during one of my fast paced lectures about famous authors. Yawn…

This pen has followed me around for a very long time…Through my multiple failed attempts at completing a degree, to my first serious job that required me to sign my name, to the birth of all my kids, 2nd marriage, all the way to 2013. I suppose like many German-made cars, this pen was made to last, and through time, it has proved itself without ever failing me.

That is until I picked it up last week and noticed a small crack on the pen. I don’t know how it happened. It is easy to point fingers. It could have been my curious 3 year old, an old scorned lover, an angry declined loan applicant, or simply…Time.

Much like an old classic car, it is off to find replacement parts for him. I can’t give up on him now! He’s saved me a fortune, and now it is time to repay the favour…

 

 

 

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Stephen Harper, Canadian Environmental Groups ARE NOT terrorists! Shame on you.

The Canadian Conservative government is setting itself up to be the most right wing government in Canadian history.
There has been a steady erosion of environmental protections, lack of public consultation, aggressive erosion of rights, blatant racism to exclude First Nations negotiations when their lands are threatened by oil companies and their pipelines, as well as the muzzling of our scientists in the international community. How far right can they go? I don’t want to find out.

We are only one year into their 4 year majority government, and our future is looking scary…

Now, the Environment Minister is suggesting that people outside of Canada that fund Canadian environmental groups are money laundering! WTF? Seriously?

It is OK for foreign ‘investors’ to bring in big money to help extract our natural resources, and the Conservatives are welcoming this foreign money. But the moment people question our poor environmental record and send money to legitimate environmental groups to fight and oppose things like the environmentally crippling tar sands, they are doing something criminal?

What a crock of shit.

Stephen ‘Baby Bush’ Harper, you are an embarrassment to Canada.

“Some charitable environmental groups in Canada are “laundering” funds from offshore donors to obstruct Canada’s environmental assessment process, Environment Minister Peter Kent says.

Kent made the comment Tuesday in a wide-ranging interview on CBC’s Power & Politics when asked by host Evan Solomon to clarify a comment he made earlier on CBC Radio’s The House.

In The House interview that aired Saturday, Kent said the government has been concerned charitable agencies have been used “to launder offshore foreign funds for inappropriate use against Canadian interest.”

via Environmental charities ‘laundering’ foreign funds, Kent says – Politics – CBC News.

Global Warming is Real. Deal with it…

There are some vocal sceptics out there that say that global warming is not man made. I find that the majority of these opinions are brought forth by right wing think tanks, and corporate sponsored ‘researchers’. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of these sponsors are oil companies!

Here is a graph showing temperature flucuations for the last 120 years.
instrumental_temperature_record

(source)

Over at Scientific American, comes the question, “Is global warming a myth?”

…U.S. National Academy of Sciences declared in 2005 that “greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise,” adding that “the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action.” Other leading U.S. scientific bodies, including the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union have issued concurring statements—placing the blame squarely on humans’ shoulders…

Click through for the article

Over at Science Centric is a bit more research to add to the mountain of evidence that global warming is being influenced by humans. This is a study about drought in Mexico.

…Droughts come and go, but the researchers believe that this drought in particular may have a human-generated component on both a regional and global scale…

Click through for the article

The Huffington Post has an article about Obama’s new science advisor John Holdren, who wants to shoot ‘pollution particles’ into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays. Crazy? Who am I to judge?

The real reason there has been a pronounced increase in global temperatures? A steady decline of Pirates…

lack_of_pirates

(source)

What are your thoughts? Do you think humans are wrecking the planet? Drop me a comment. I would love to hear your opinion!

Carbon Credits are Bullshit!

Here we go again! Penn & Teller have done up a new video all about the new fad pushed by Al Gore. Carbon credits. I have never bought into this. And, apparently neither do Penn & Teller. Give yourself around 30 minutes and watch all 3 episodes. Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

You can now stop feeling so guilty, and quit buying all those useless carbon credits! You are just making someone else rich…

And while you are at it, here is a link to my article on why recycling is not so good for the environment!

Church of England To Apologize For Dissing Darwin

Only 150 years too late, the Church of England is going to officially apologize to Charles Darwin for creating doubt and misinformation on his famous theory. In the USA, the battle against evolution is raging like it was 150 years ago in England. Good to see that the USA is going backwards due to their radical religious organizations.

It is also too bad that the leading candidates for the Republicans are carrying on the tradition of George W Bush,charles_darwin_aged_51 and pushing for creationism in the science classroom.

[From » Church of England To Apologize For Dissing Darwin Dvorak Uncensored:]

I am worried that if our scary prime minister Stephen Harper gets a majority government in the upcoming election, we may be heading in the same direction. Assuming that he keeps mimicking the Bush regime like he has been for the last couple of years…

I might as well put my opinion forward now about our upcoming election. Please do not vote for the Conservatives!!!!Harper is a war monger, is pro-big business, has a horrible environmental record, and is trying to push a terrible digital copyright bill that does nothing for the consumer. Harper will set up Canada to be a real target for our upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics. Unfortunately the Liberals have put forth a flip flop leader that has no leadership qualities. I just hope for another minority government, so the Liberals can get their shit together and knock Harper out of power.

It is a pretty bad right wing political environment in Canada when I hope for a Liberal government!

While I’m at it, if you are American, please do not vote Republican!!Need I say more?

President George Bush: You couldn’t make this shit up!

bush-g8-404b_686375c

(courtesy of Reuters)

From the Telegraph in the UK comes this story about George Bush’s actions at the G8 summit. Here is a small quote from the article…

The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.”

He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

[From President George Bush: ‘Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter’ – Telegraph]

Seriously, could you make this shit up? If he wasn’t such an ass, I would almost like the guy!

Letter to David Suzuki

***Update***

The David Suzuki foundation wrote me back. 🙂 Here is the letter, and their agreement that recycling is not all that it’s cracked up to be…https://pakos.me/2008/09/30/reducereuse-but-forget-recycling/

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I recently wrote a letter to a Canadian icon. Dr. David Suzuki. If and when he responds, I will post his answers. In the meantime, keep checking out the site for new content, and leave comments!

Hello Dr. Suzuki,

I understand that you probably are quite busy, and one of your staff will probably answer my email(if at all, as this topic may be controversial). But I thought that since I have had some problems understanding the benefits of recycling, I would ask a major Canadian environmental scientist, and one so highly looked upon here in Canada…

Recently I have been doing some online research about the benefits of reducing waste, reusing materials, and recycling. I have been concerned by some of my results so far. There seems to be a great benefit of reducing packaging, and waste in general. Composting has a positive benefit for my garden for instance. Buying items with little or no packaging, or packaging that can biodegrade seems good as well. Then, reusing items again and again eliminates the need to make additional packaging, bags, bottles, etc…We use old torn shirts and socks as rags. We reuse beer and pop bottles for various purposes(including making beer!). We try and use all our paper in the compost as well…

But recycling seems to be really bad for the environment. Here, on Vancouver Island, we have strong recycling programs. I originally was quite proud of this fact. But I got to wondering where all my recycling was going. It seems that once it is picked up at the curb by another truck(bad carbon footprint), and taken to a sorting station to be sorted by people on specially made equipment(bad as well), it is then piled onto ships using many trucks, backhoes, cranes etc… The material is shipped on huge tankers to another country to be recycled(really bad for the environment). I understand that up to 40% of the material is just burned which we know to be bad. As well, the chemicals needed to bleach,clean, and make ready the recycled items are quite bad as well. Then once the material is in a state considered good for reuse, new products are made. Once made(mostly in China) these items are then shipped back to North America on huge tankers and wrapped up in packaging for sale. The ‘cycle’ in recycle seems to be the repeated use of chemicals, shipping, and packaging over and over again…

I notice on your foundation site that the 6 things you can do right now to help the environment doesn’t even mention recycling, where as not long ago that was the major focus of the environmental movement.

This gets to my questions… What is your opinion on recycling? Is there any movement in place to make recycling a more environmentally friendly process? In your opinion, is it better to not recycle certain items, and are there any materials that are good to recycle(glass, aluminum)? Is it better to put our current waste in modern landfills, and just try to reduce our future packaging and reuse items the best we can? Should we ban plastics in packaging for instance..

I have to say that some of my research was done on the ever inaccurate internet, which can give you any answer you are looking for… Whether right or wrong…But I have been a university science student, and normally am able to weed through the crap(pun intended).

Thank you for your time, and keep up the good work and keeping environmentalism in the public eye.

Best regards from Vancouver Island.