First up, there's a story from the Wonderfully Weird World of Wikipedia-- an uplifting tale in which a single man, one William Connolley, rewrites (literally) the history of climate change. After that, we have a scrumptious pet-owner's guilt-fest. (People who have pet rabbits are sure to love it.) And finally-- as a special treat-- some videos from Build-a-Bear wherein the little children are simultaneously brainwashed and terrified by a charming story of how the North Pole is on the verge of melting, which could lead to the *gasp!* cancellation of Christmas! (Trust me, you don't want to miss it.)
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Earlier this week, Donald brought a news story to my attention. He thought I might like to blog about it, particularly after my delicate slamming of Wikipedia in a recent blog entry. (You know, the one where I said we shouldn't take everything we read there as Gospel? Yeah, that's the one.)
The short(ish) version of the story is this:
So there's this Green Party (read far, FAR Left) activist named William Connolley. Somehow or other, he wound up with Special Wikipedia Powers and effectively rewrote the history of global warming-- er, I mean climate change. He erased the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period-- both of which, as you may already know, cast doubt upon the effect of industrialization upon the planet's climate. (You know, seeing as both of these happened long before industrialization. Almost as though-- historically speaking-- climate change may have little or nothing to do with the actions of us mere mortals.) He rewrote other articles relating to global warming/climate change-- and we're not talking a handful of articles here. No, apparently he rewrote "5,428 unique Wikipedia articles".
According to the National Post, "when Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."
Yes, that sounds about right.
Now, Wikipedia says Connolley's Special Wikipedia Powers-- um, I mean "administrator status" has been revoked after the discovery "that he misused his administrative privileges while involved in a dispute unrelated to climate warming." However (as I learned from this article in the Telegraph), as little as three days ago, Connolley was spotted messing around with climate-related Wikipedia articles. (He's also been deleting criticism of himself. Very noble behavior!) Oh, and he just happens to be a friend and peer of the lovely scientists involved in the Climategate scandal. (You aren't really surprised by that, though, are you?)
(Here's another article on the story, if you want to read about how Connolley averaged 27 Wikipedia contributions a day during June 2009, and so on.)
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Want to read more about inaccuracies and other problems with Wikipedia?
This looks like a good resource, for starters.
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Then this morning on Twitter, I saw a link to an article about a book titled Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living. Apparently "the carbon footprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle". Unless I'm misunderstanding something here, it sounds like they base their calculations on a much more luxurious-- and expensive-- meat-heavy diet than most dogs enjoy-- but let's just put that aside. (Because, really, who cares?)
What's your point, Robert and Brenda Vale (the authors of the book)? If you're trying to say that we shouldn't feel guilty about having an SUV if we want one, I don't have a problem-- but if, on the other hand, you're insinuating that people with pets (because it seems that cats are also an eco no-no) should give up the dirty habit of keeping animals. . . Trust me, you really don't want to go there. I love my two little dogs, and I don't take kindly to someone threatening my right to own a pet.
It really does feel like these people have completely lost it. For instance: "Other animals aren't much better for the environment, the Vales say." Yeah, I've always kind of thought that animals mucked things up-- killing plants and other animals just so they can live-- pooping everywhere (disgusting!)-- procreating like rabbits (especially the, you know, rabbits). I mean, seriously, what was God thinking when he made all these little consumers of Nature's Bounty? (Ok, ok, so they didn't mean all animals-- but doesn't that sound like lunacy?)
Then there's this:
And pets' environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say.
With a total 7.7 million cats in Britain, more than 188 million wild animals are hunted, killed and eaten by feline predators per year, or an average 25 birds, mammals and frogs per cat, according to figures in the New Scientist.
Likewise, dogs decrease biodiversity in areas they are walked, while their faeces cause high bacterial levels in rivers and streams, making the water unsafe to drink, starving waterways of oxygen and killing aquatic life.
And cat poo can be even more toxic than doggy doo -- owners who flush their litter down the toilet ultimately infect sea otters and other animals with toxoplasma gondii, which causes a killer brain disease.We should all be ashamed of ourselves for sheltering these destructive little monsters in our homes.
However, the article offers a ray of hope. We may be allowed to keep our pets-- if we feed them less "impactful" foods (less meat for dogs or fish heads for cats), keep them away from "wildlife-rich areas", and so on.
Better yet, "get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs"-- or (and lovers of rabbitkind may wish to skip this bit) get rabbits, which evidently are "prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table".
The story boils down to this: "As with buying a car, humans are . . . encouraged to take the environmental impact of their future possession/companion into account."
I'm generally not one of those people whose first reaction to every global warming / enviro-impact story is to say, "Oh yeah? Well, now I'm gonna buy extra seats on the airplane every time I fly-- and I'm gonna buy the biggest SUV I can find-- no, two of 'em-- and I'm gonna make it my goal to have the biggest carbon footprint on the block!" Usually, my reaction is "Grr." (Or something along those lines.) However, we each have our breaking point, and I may be reaching mine. No, world. I don't have to take my so-called "environmental impact" into account. I can have an SUV, if I want one, and I don't even have to feel guilty about it. I can adopt ten or twenty more dogs, if I want them. I can keep rabbits with no intention of ever eating them. I can even keep cows as pets-- not for dairy, not for meat, but because I like them. I can raise chickens, then take the eggs they lay and throw them at hybrids as they drive past. . . .I would likely be fined or arrested, but there'd be nothing stopping me from doing it, that first time. Obviously I'm not planning to do that-- or any of the other things I've listed-- but that's not the point. The point is this: Basically, I can do any darn thing I want to do, so long as it's legal. It's none of your business, world-at-large.
But I do wonder how long before we have to pay an enviro-tax based on the number and size of our pets.
(And apparently I'm still not done venting my frustration. . .) Sheesh. No more Fido or Kitty? Some of these wackos won't be satisfied until we're living in individual bubbles (Matrix-style, perhaps), with no contact with the outer world, because apparently we ruin everything we touch. *inside joke* "Don't hurt it! It's just Nature!" *end inside joke* Until Mother Nature herself materializes from thin air, bends down (because obviously she's about twenty feet tall, minimum), wags a finger at me and scolds, "Bad human! Bad! You'vee been vewy, vewy naughty!", I'm going to keep on doing just as I see fit. (Environmental crazies, I'm sticking my tongue out at you. Right now.)
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One last story, also found today on Twitter: "Build-a-Climate-Scare: Why You Should Boycott Build-a-Bear" by Maura Flynn.
This missive is directed at the guardians of, and donors to, tiny humans. If you fall into that category you likely are already familiar with Build-A-Bear, a world-wide corporation that provides the most innocent of services. They sell customizable stuffed animals. Make your own bear, dog…penguin. Cute concept.
So cute, in fact, that the Build-A-Bear empire sweeps across nearly every state and into 17 other countries. You’ll find their outlets in shopping malls everywhere and even some ballparks. The company also has a website called Build-A-Bearville.com where children can play an interactive video game that, on it’s surface, is unlikely to raise suspicion or sound alarms.
But when your unsuspecting tot logs on and hops a virtual train to the North Pole…you should know that he or she will be informed — by Santa Claus — that Christmas may be canceled this year due to Global Warming.
. . .
Girl Elf: Santa, it’s gone!
Papa Elf: It’s gone, It’s gone!
Santa: What’s gone?
Girl Elf: Tell ‘em, Dad!
Papa Elf: The North Peak.
Santa: A mountain? A mountain’s gone? How is that possible?
Ella the polar bear: Santa, sir, that’s why I’m here. That’s why we’re here. The ice is melting!
Santa: Yes, my dear, we know, the climate is changing. There’s bound to be a little melting.
Ella: It’s worse than that, Santa, a lot worse! At the rate it’s melting, the North Pole will be gone by Christmas!”
Santa: My, my…all of this gone by next Christmas? I don’t think so.
Ella: No sir, not next Christmas, this Christmas! The day after tomorrow!And this is merely the tip of the dialogue iceberg, if you’ll forgive me for putting it that way. . . . Children of the world can look forward to priceless exchanges such as, “Oh my! Where will the polar bears live?” and my personal fave: “Where will the elves live?”
I suspect you’d like to think it can’t get any worse than that. Thus, it pains me to tell you that animated characters actually break into a discussion of satellite photos and that Mrs. Claus conducts a rather unscientific experiment involving ice cubes.
Needless-to-say, this constitutes brainwashing on the sleaziest and most sinister level. The good news is that this nonsense isn’t coming from our government this time and the rocky economy is our friend here. People, we have the means, if we have the will, to topple these charlatans who shamelessly prey on little children. So boycott Build-A-Bear. And, more importantly, tell the world why.
Go tell it on the mountain, and hurry, before it melts.
Click the link above, if you want to watch the videos.
Those who have a weak stomach may prefer to skip it.
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Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did. ;o) Nothing like this sort of garbage to put you in a right jolly Christmas-spirit mood, eh? (And I didn't even mention the health care reform mess! Just imagine what I could've accomplished if I had. . .)