Archive for 2006 December

Chappy Chanukah

Chanukah menorah on blue tableclothEvery year our family celebrates one night of Chanukah with whatever Jewish or sympathetic friends we can find.  We especially appreciate Jewish friends because we don’t actually know what we’re doing.  My family is not very observant Ukrainian Catholic, and Charlie’s is even less observant Jewish.  So beyond the latkes, dreidels, gelt and the menorah at nightfall, we pretty much wing it.     Read more »

Sleepless bears

Yet another disturbing sign of global warming reported in the Independent:

In a December in which bumblebees, butterflies and even swallows have been on the wing in Britain, European brown bears have been lumbering through the forests of Spain’s Cantabrian mountains, when normally they would already be in their long, annual sleep.

Geothermal heat and insulation

On Tuesday morning, Andrew James and I participated in a meeting at Cosburn Middle School organized by Gord Crann, the candidate for school trustee you may remember I endorsed.  Gord had come to realize that the lawn at the school needed to be resodded, and thought this would be an excellent opportunity to install the loops for a geothermal heating project.  Gord is promoting this project and brought in Ben Chin, the former (and presumably future) Liberal candidate in the provincial byelection to meet with school officials.

While I’m supportive of any project that reduces energy demand, my involvement in the project so far has been to redirect the enthusiasm to the best and most cost-effective solutions.  This process demonstrates the challenge of reducing energy use in buildings, particularly in a world where the price signals do nothing to encourage retrofits.     Read more »

The Federal NDP Climate Change Plan

Having already discussed several approaches to climate change, I’d like to look at the Green Agenda for Canada [see also NDP Kyoto plan].  Everything indicates to me that this plan would be outrageously expensive and would probably fail to accomplish its fairly ambitious goals.     Read more »

Greenpeace recommendations

Greenpeace submitted their recommendations to the same Ontario Climate Change and Clean Air Plan that I participated in, along with a letter criticizing the sudden way in which this plan was launched with very little time allocated for consultation.  In many ways, the Greenpeace recommendations are the ones I wish I had written.  They are concise and informed and cover most of the same territory I do.     Read more »