Here’s your proof of Evolution (or not?) Mr. Lunney

Dear Honourable Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni James Lunney,

On Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 you stood in Parliament and said this:

Mr. Speaker, recently we saw an attempt to ridicule the presumed beliefs of a member of this House and the belief of millions of Canadians in a Creator. Certain individuals in the media and the scientific community have exposed their own arrogance and intolerance of beliefs contrary to their own.

Any scientist who declares that the theory of evolution is a fact has already abandoned the foundations of science. For science establishes fact through the study of things observable and reproducible. Since origins can neither be reproduced nor observed, they remain the realm of hypothesis.

In science, it is perfectly acceptable to make assumptions when we do not have all the facts, but it is never acceptable to forget our assumptions.

Given the modern evidence unavailable to Darwin, such as, advanced models of plate tectonics, polonium radiohalos, polystratic fossils, I am prepared to believe that Darwin would be willing to re-examine his assumptions.

The evolutionist may disagree, but neither can produce Darwin as a witness to prove his point. The evolutionist may genuinely see his ancestor in a monkey, but many modern scientists interpret the same evidence in favour of creation and a Creator.

Now since you state that “the foundations of science” are established through the “study of things ovbservable and reproducible”… I would point you to this most recent study of Chimpanzees published in the journal PLoS One.

In this study, the scientist found the following:

“By sharing [meat], the males increase the number of times they mate, and the females increase their intake of calories,” said Dr Gomes.

“What’s amazing is that if a male shares with a particular female, he doubles the number of times he copulates with her, which is likely to increase the probability of fertilising that female.”

That’s right, whether it’s in the jungles of Africa or the Downtown East Side of Vancouver, you’ll always be able to pick out the Johns.

She suggests this study could lay the foundations for human studies exploring the link between “good hunting skills and reproductive success”.

“This has got me really interested in humans,” she said. “I’m thinking of moving on to working with hunter-gatherers.”

Does she mean monkey pimps?

Know why kids are fat?

It’s because we take them to McDonalds because they love it and will stop whining at us, right?

Wrong.

According to my 4 year old (going on 54)… she only wants to go because of the cool little toys.

So I asked her, if other stores had cool toys for kids, would she go there instead of McDs. “Ya! Of Course!” she replied.

So there you go… require all vegetarian and healthy food restaurants to have give away fun little kids toys with every kids size meal and obesity problem solved…

While you’re at it, every time you buy a broccoli or a bag of carrots, you should be given a toy at the register.

My daughter will be Prime Minister one day. :)

Earth Hour side-by-side comparison!

It’s Earth Hour today at 8:30PM PDT! And just in time, Murkyview.com has been “TED enabled!” If you want to know how honest *I am* during Earth Hour tonight, you can monitor my Energy consumption right here. Check out the graph links for different times along the bottom too!

Tomorrow I will post a side-by-side comparison of Earth Hour vs. the regular 8:30PM to 9:30PM hour for me so we can see just how much difference I made!

BC Liberals: “We {heart} BC Hydro” Really!

So because I’m a news dork, I subscribe to the PR RSS feed from the BC Government. I knew right away there was blogging material coming my way when I saw this headline:

FACTS ON INDEPENDENT POWER PRODUCTION

*rubs hands together*… lets begin:

Says El Gordo:

Claim: B.C. does not need to be electricity self-sufficient; we can easily import any new electricity we need from other jurisdictions.

Is anyone actually claiming that importing electricity into BC is a good thing?? Certainly is news to me.

They do get a little uppity in their response to…. themselves….

It takes time to build new electricity infrastructure responsibly, and government is not going to risk being ‘caught short’ by not continuing to plan for the economic future of this province.

Ya, so just lay off, Self! OK!! the nerve…

Ok, something a little more serious from Gordon:

Claim: The 2002 Energy Plan bans BC Hydro from building new electricity generation facilities.

Capital investments on several other sites are also proposed: Peace Canyon Stator replacement, GM Shrum Stator upgrade, Aberfeldie Dam Redevelopment and Coquitlam Dam Improvement Project.
In anticipation of increased demand, BC Hydro is adding capacity to the Revelstoke Dam and Generating Station. Revelstoke Dam is the most cost-effective energy source available to BC Hydro. This project will add about 500 megawatts of power, which will increase capacity at Revelstoke to 2,480 megawatts. As well, BC Hydro plans to add 1,000 megawatts of capacity with two new turbines at the Mica dam.

Funny. None of the projects in the response sound like new generation facilities to me… do they to you? Yes, renovations are important and good, but what about addressing the question of who is building the NEW projects in the province? Yes, Site C is there for BC Hydro only, but then, that’s not the problem, is it.

OK, I’m going to do one more… quoteth King Campbell:

Claim: B.C. ratepayers are paying the capital costs of new power projects being built by private energy developers through Electricity Purchase Agreement contracts with BC Hydro, and are paying as much as double the current energy market rates.

The cost BC Hydro pays for new power supply from IPPs is similar to that being paid in other jurisdictions for new supply.

But isn’t that the point? We don’t *want* to pay the same as other jurisdictions. We are supposed to be using our monopoly and advantage given to us by our Publicly Owned Electricity to ensure that we pay *less* for new supply than other jurisdictions and retain that advantage for the lifetime of the project.

At least that’s how I thought it was supposed to work?

Building new power projects is more expensive today than it was several decades ago. It costs more, not because they are IPPs, but because they are new projects. Similarly, a new home or vehicle costs more to build today than it did in the 1960s or 1970s.

Again, what is being implied here is that it is cheaper for private companies to build new plants than it is for BC Hydro. And again, have economies of scale stopped working since 1968? Can BC Hydro and BC taxpayers not benefit more from having full access to the revenue stream (no pun intended) from run-of-river than if built by a private firm?

In 1968 BC Hydro started work on the W A C Bennet Dam… it ended up costing just under $1 Billion in 1974. That’s about $4.5 Billion in 2009 dollars.

Site C is a much smaller dam compared to the WAC Bennett which has been expanded with double the generators over the years.

However, at its initial build in 1974, WAC Bennet was producing around 1500MW.

Site C will likely cost around $6 Billion and produce 900MW.

This is all semantics of course, because the *point* of public ownership is that the public doles out the money in order to receive the maximum benefit and minimum payoff period.

Nothing has changed in that respect. So no matter how much Gordo wants to spin the beauty of IPPs, the fact remains, our resources are being sold to for-profit companies and their shareholders (like GE) who are right now feeling the hurt.

One wonders how many of the 30 projects currently under construction might get shelved or abandoned due to “credit tightness”. What’s the cost to take those over?

I don’t have a problem with Run-of-River or Site C, I think the environmental costs are minimal and manageable compared to our continued reliance on fossil fuels. However, public ownership, in my opinion, is not negotiable when it comes to water and power in BC.

An excellent perspective on Obama, from Russia.

I have the Moscow Times in my RSS feeds because it is one rare example of an excellent english newspaper from a decidedly non-western perspective.

Is Obama or McCain Better for Russia?

If Barack Obama is elected U.S. president on Tuesday, he will join President Dmitry Medvedev in becoming the first post-baby boom leader of his country. Both men were born in the 1960s — well after the tumultuous post- World War II decade, when the United States and Soviet Union were preoccupied with nuclear arms races and a deep divide in Europe.

Their early careers show how different they are from their immediate predecessors, President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Although Bush did not go to Vietnam, his young life — through his time in the Texas National Guard — was shaped by that proxy struggle between the superpowers. And Putin, who served in the KGB in a small town in Germany, was on the front lines of the Cold War.

Obama, by contrast, spent the 1980s working in the neighborhoods of Chicago — a different kind of battleground, formed in the race riots of the ’60s and ’70s. By the time Obama began his work, the violent struggle had abated but the problems had not, and his work was vital to developing new ideas that stressed not so much race as community solutions. This is one of the reasons that Obama can lay claim to being the United States’ first post-racial leader.

Medvedev, for his part, spent the 1980s learning the lawyer’s craft in Leningrad. By the time that city became St. Petersburg again, his career had been formed by studying and teaching law rather than climbing through the Communist Party hierarchy. Although Russian law is different from the Anglo-Saxon tradition, it still formed an intellectual system different from the Party’s nomenklatura ladder. For that reason, Medvedev can lay claim to being Russia’s first post-Communist leader.

Therefore, Obama and Medvedev have the potential to start a truly modern phase in the U.S.-Russian relationship, finally leaving the Cold War behind. This will not be easy, as the summer’s tragic conflict in Georgia showed. In the aftermath of the fighting, voices could be heard in Washington, claiming that Russia is an untrustworthy, violent adversary and needs to be contained.

In Moscow, the voices were equally loud, proclaiming that the United States was trying to cling to its status of global gendarme, including in Russia’s backyard. The bombers and naval ships that the Kremlin sent to Venezuela were supposed to convey that Russia would respond in the United States’ backyard if the United States persisted in supporting Georgia and Ukraine.

Obama and Medvedev would do well early in their relationship to make some policy decisions that would sharply break with Cold War patterns. For example, although Obama would not have assumed command of the U.S. military when Russia’s naval flotilla completes its exercises off Venezuela in mid-November, he could suggest that the Pentagon invite the Russian commanders to stop off at Central Command in Florida before their return to Russia. The purpose of the stop would be to discuss urgent issues that are engaging both navies, such as the piracy that is running rampant off Somalia.

And Medvedev, although he would have to push back against Kremlin hard-liners, could recommend that Moscow and Washington have some urgent issues to work on together with Tbilisi. Smuggling through South Ossetia has been a persistent problem, and it has at times involved that most dangerous of contraband — fissile material that could be used to make nuclear bombs. Both Georgia and Russia have cooperated with the United States to build defenses against nuclear smuggling, and all three could cooperate to confront this terrible problem.

These two examples show clearly what must be done to get beyond the Cold War. They convey that Russia and the United States can cooperate rather than compete, even in their own backyards. Since Obama and Medvedev are so clearly of a new generation, they are the leaders who may finally succeed in breaking the old patterns.