Mirror Mirror on the wall, Who is greenest of them all?

  This is a test. Which of these three vehicles do you think was responsible for the most carbon dioxide emissions per year in Alberta?  Each vehicle was listed for sale in the Alberta Kijiji on line marketplace in late April 2021, cherry picked by the Red Neck to make a point.  So if you smell a rat, you are correct.  The Tesla is only four years old as this is written, but has managed to rack up an impressive 171,000 kilometers.  The little Civic is also extremely well used, 480,000 km and counting.  The truck on the other hand, has accumulated 82,327 km over 7 years, which for Alberta means it's mostly a lawn ornament.  Comparison  will use the average mileage, or kilometerage per year for each vehicle, so the Tesla's impact will be based on 42,750 km per year,  Honda has been motoring along for 15 years, so 32,000 km PA, the dumb truck could only manage 11,761 diesel burning km a year.   But wait the Tesla is electric, so zero emissions right?  Well no, not exactly.  Batter

The Irrationality of Metric

  Officially Canada is 100% metric, but in reality our heights are in feet, we weigh ourselves in pounds, but we buy our steaks in kilograms and put liters in our gas tanks.  There are several good reasons to use imperial measure and some bad ones. The best reason for imperial is that we share many products with our imperialist cousins, the excitable states.  Most of the stuff we buy,  food weights or volumes, cooking temperatures, building products manufactured, measured and sold in feet, inches, gallons, quarts, liquid ounces or in Canada as awkward conversions to metric no one uses, such as a 3.78 liter one US gallon can of paint.    A bad reason to use imperial might be old fartism, of which I could be guilty.  When I learned to measure it was in imperial, but stick with me a for a moment.  When the 18th century enlightenment era philosophes (bored French rich people) contemplated ridding society of archaic measuring standards, such as the length of some long dead king's foot

How America became Un-Great

Charles Murray, a political scientist, is worried about social breakdown of the USA.  He has authored numerous books and articles criticizing social welfare policy and people who score low on IQ tests, especially if they weren't white.  Murray uses census and survey data to show what should by now be obvious to everyone familiar with the USA. Some people are doing spectacularly well, and a large number are seemingly locked into a downward mobility spiral from which there appears to be no escape.  This time he confines his observations to the white population to avoid muddying the waters with race, unlike a previous book, The Bell Curve . Murray attributes the  decline of the white working class to the breakdown of the two parent family, laziness, failure to attend church regularly and dishonesty, as in not respecting the law.  Distressingly, Murray notes that working class IQ and SAT (Scholastic Achievement Test) scores are getting lower. The upper middle class is also complici

Who is right about climate; a guide for non climate scientists

This was published a year ago, but went back to draft for some reason, so here we go again. The red neck remains not entirely convinced that one side or the other was right about climate. What swings me to the agnostic side are things like the University of Alberta's apparent firing (officially she resigned) of their Vice President of Community Relations for daring to suggest that global warming might not be all bad.  To put this into context, the University of Alberta is located in Edmonton.  Edmonton has the dubious distinction of being the farthest north city of more or less one million population in the western hemisphere.  Winters here are long and cold, anyone who can flees south for winter, including many of our birds.  Despite all this, Edmontonians in the public eye are supposed to profess that even here warming will be catastrophic or risk their career and reputation. Alberta also has oil and gas, lots of it, including the infamous tar sands.  Alberta has long been

Yet another inconvenient truth

Image So, it turns out that global warming started 100 years ago .  This is really bad news if increased carbon dioxide levels are responsible for global warming. In 1900 it is estimated that the 296 ppm (parts per million) CO2 level was only 16 ppm higher than they were before the industrial revolution (estimated 280 ppm in 1800) started to impact CO2 levels .    Let's review what that implies.  In 1804 world human population was about 1 billion. World wide coal consumption could be measured in thousands of tons, mostly for heating homes in the few places where coal could be found or transported.  There were no gas or oil wells except maybe a few in China. And other than a few steam engines in Western Europe and the USA there were no cars, trucks, trains, airplanes or stationary machinery running on fossil fuel. According to Our World in Data coal energy produced in 1800 was 128 Terra W

Global Warming Update

Your correspondent has a personal interest in the subject of global warming, or climate change, if you prefer.  The Redneck has been following the climate change debate with great interest for over 20 years.  The consensus in 2019 appears to be that each of the opposing sides, the  Alarmists and the Deniers,  are lying.  The Redneck only wants an answer, for how much longer does he have to put up with this white shit that keeps falling out of the sky, not to mention sub zero temperatures, C or F, take your pick. The Redneck will avoid taking sides in the great global warming debate as he has not studied climate the way Al Gore (A.B. Harvard, former Vice President) or Leonardo DiCaprio (GED and two (2!!) Golden Globes)  or all those guys with PhDs in Meteorology Physics and other stuff that requires you are able to do mathematics who are telling us that NASA and IPCC data has been tweeked, or to put it their way, shamelessly faked, obviously these fellas are just shilling for big

Capitalism's Useful Idiots

Hogarth's busted poet -  some things never change So back in the late 18th early 19th century Mr. Moneybags buys a factory full of machines, hires workers, and by applying the latest in management techniques and technology  increases production, lowers prices,  increases profits, and transforms dispossessed rural laborers into dispossessed urban factory workers. The critics say that Mr. Moneybags' profits were stolen from his workers,  cheerleaders that Mr. Moneybags deserves his profits for being clever and for providing the rest of us, (who don't work in his factory), with more, lower priced, and better products, and even a better life for his workers, when compared to their former lives as mostly unemployed and starving farm labor. Because we live in a fair minded quasi democratic society, the workers vs capitalists conflict ended  with an armistice, legislation guaranteeing reasonable treatment for workers, and capitalists having to suck it up, until they discov