Avatar Trailer

I have a confession to make. I've never seen ET or Titanic. Shame shame yes but I was never really  interested in the stories. A boy making friends with an alien only to have ET leave him at the end or to wait 3 grueling hours just to watch a ship sink. Come on.

Anyways, thought I'd share the trailer to the upcoming blockbuster Avatar. The film has been getting lotsa hype on the interwebs. Apparently it is filmed with a new technology - a fusion of  live-action, 3D and CGI.

Whatever - it looks really cool.

Elements of the central plot include many environmental themes. I may check it out in the theaters come December.

Enjoy and have a great weekend !


Metallica Monday

So my week kicked off with a big bang. Literally. My BF took me to the Metallica concert on Monday. The first time I've seen them live and wow. Had to be one of the best rock concerts I've ever seen. Our seats were great!  Check out some of the photos (keep in mind the quality is crap - from my camera phone).

As for their set - the first few songs were from their latest album Death Magnetic. Although I'm not familiar with those tunes - very impressive.  From there, they went to a few fan favorites with Seek & Destroy and One. Then the fever-pitch rose with  Enter Sandman and Unforgiven. I have to say the highlight for me was hearing the epic Master of Puppets. If there's one song that defines this band (if that's possible), I think it's MoP. It was the showstopper that brought the crowd to a frenzy.

I'll be checking-in later this week with a new rant on the environment.

Until then, here's a very clever animated short for your viewing pleasure.

Binge and Purge


Shaken, not stirred

So it's blog action day. The subject this year ? Climate Change.
First and last, the purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a discussion. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue.

I took a geology course in college that was dubbed 'rocks for jocks' because it was considered an easy credit. While I enjoyed the plate tectonics as such, it was learning about past climates that tweaked my interest on the subject. Climate Change, formerly known as Global Warming, is the latest media vernacular when reporting on all things green.

I find fear is the number one tactic used by environmental brain-trusts when trying to get their message across. If we don't do X now, we'll get Y later than eventually Z. (Oooh not Z). And Y not. Fear motivates a lot of human behavior - fear of failure - fear of dying - fear of flying - fear of work. I personally fear hummus. When someone puts a bowl of that stuff in front of me I have to leave the room. It's scary. I shudder just thinking about it. Fear as a tactic to fight Climate Change is one dimensional. Actionable yes but educational no. You don't conquer fears by not understanding them. (I'm getting therapy for the hummus btw).

How does one conquer climate change exactly ? Don a toque when it's cold?

As we look to take action on Blog Action Day - let's try something other than fear as the motivator for change.

So here's my offering. Climate Change for Christina is 2 fold. The first knowing Climate Change is about the earth's natural evolution over time. You know as we orbit around the sun, stuff happens, ummm, like the southern continents get warmer, I think, umm, yup they do this time of year cause, yah know, they're closer to the sun. Over longer periods of time, the earth's climate has a tendency to change drastically.

The second fold of Climate Change for Christina is mankind. Our nature as survivor & species taking up more of earth's real-estate as each year passes. Our ability to reproduce, adapt and evolve (ha ha) to the ever changing climate makes for some bad-ass mammals.

Making sense of the fact that population growth continues while the earth remains the same size is for the scientists to figure out. They've got a pretty good idea now. Yet it's increasingly become more complex and a problem we need to address sooner rather than later. So they say. Thus Climate Change as the subject de jour - and taking better care of the environment - the action. The solution is complex - improving how we re-produce renewable non-carbon-emitting-energy products for the masses.

Quiz Time

Q: What generates emission free electricity, cools our nuclear tubes and makes for a refreshing beverage? Oil? no. Coal? no. Cow poop? No.

A: For Aqua. In the great white north, we have an abundance of the most important resource of all things life on the planet. The majority of Canada’s power production (just under 60%) comes from hydroelectricity. In Ontario, Nuclear and Hydro combined represent 75% of power production – all of which is non carbon emitting. (*Source: laforet.ca)

I'll leave this post with a question.

Q: If our greatest natural resource is the key to human survival, the planet's well being & provider of clean energy. Why we talkin' bout 'clean coal', building wind farms and solar panels when we're ignoring what's got us this far ?

A: (Fill in the blank comment form)


Gobble Gobble

Just got back from Alberta after spending the last few days with family, giving thanks and eating some delicious turkey. My niece Sarah is one and a half years and now walking & talking. Absolutely adorable. Last time I saw her - she could only sleep & cry. She's even eating adult food. Not just cheese & crackers but turkey, stuffing and potatoes. You name it - the kid will eat it. I also got to stay 2 nights in Banff. What a place it is. We took a gondola to the top of Sulfer Mountain. I gotta say, the Rocky mountains sure put things into perspective. A perspective that's tough to describe in a blog post but unfolds when you breath the mountain air and gaze at the wonder. My world does not seem so complicated in comparison. > Check it out some of my photos.

Anyhoo, it's good to be back in the big smoke feeling warmer and seeing the fall colours. Here are some random thoughts on the headlines as I plug back to the interwebs.

Ontario FIT Domestic Content Requirements (Source: Renewable Energy World)

While the first draft of the FIT rules specifically mentioned that projects that applied for a FIT contract would need to meet a minimum of Ontario-made equipment, no details about the domestic content rules were known until September 24th, providing both the manufacturers and developers with little time to plan for them.

FIT stands for Feed-In-Tariff and a key element of Ontario's Green Energy Act. In order to receive the FIT incentive, anywhere from 25-60% of the equipment must be Ontario made. Not bad news for the industrial sector of a recovering economy, in theory. To mandate renewable energy developers to source a percentage of their materials within Ontario. There's some great detail in the report from Jon Worren of Renewable Energy World and he offers this opinion on the rule:

While the political and economic motivation for attaching domestic content requirements to the FIT rules are obvious and understandable, there are concerns about the long-term implications that they may have on Ontario’s marketplace.

Fundamentally, I also believe that the domestic content rules might hinder necessary innovation in Ontario’s marketplace in the medium to long-term. In particular, there is a lot of innovation taking place in the solar industry, with new products that straddle the various domestic content categories entering the marketplace. A failure by the OPA to recognize the probable impact that rapid innovation will have on green energy products could resign Ontario to being a marketplace for less innovative products.

I agree with Jon and liken the policy to the CRTC regulation on Canadian content. There's an inherent risk of being mediocre (without competition) in manufacturing various renewable components. It's one thing to listen to the same weak song on the radio knowing why they keep playing it. It's another to have a windmill explode because of shoddy parts.

I've shared my thoughts on the Green Energy Act before and will continue to scoff at the developments as long as the McGuilty government is running the show. After all, it's our tax dollar. Speaking of scoffing at the Ontario government, have you heard the one about the Priest, the Premier and his deputy? Apparently it goes something like this...

Scathing audit paints picture of rogue Ontario provincial agency (Source: Ottawa Citizen)

 For Premier Dalton McGuinty, the eHealth spending controversy represents the biggest and most damaging scandal his government has faced since sweeping to power in 2003..

Shocking is hardly the word to use to describe the behavior of the Ontario government as it's borderline criminal if you consider what the eHealth scandal is uncovering.  Just another day at Queen's Park I guess. According to the report, his right-hand man George Smitherman got the ball rolling with the evil-doers @ eHealth and is rumored to have one foot out the door looking to become the next mayor of Toronto. No thanks George. Toronto already hada nobody in Mel.

(Unrelated but noteworthy)

Top US Green Companies (Source: Newsweek)

1.     Hewlett-Packard →  "Strong programs to reduce GHG emissions....
2.     Dell → "Ranks 4th among the top U.S....
3.     Johnson & Johnson → "Its commitment to climate change is...
4.     Intel → "Largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy...
5.     IBM → "Has had formal environmental policies since...
6.     State Street → "In an industry slow to acknowledge...
7.     Nike → "Leads its industry in environmental management...
8.     Bristol-Myers Squibb → "Announced goal to reduce direct and...
9.     Applied Materials → "Semiconductor manufacturer designs its products to...
10.   Starbucks → "Announced commitment in 2008 to source...
Data is collected by Trucost, a leading international environmental data firm, specializes in quantitative performance measurement and management. The Environmental Impact Score in the rankings is based on its global database. www.trucost.com

Interesting that 5 of the top 10 are technology companies being proactive as they make products (and a carbon footprint) for the information age. It's a good read for a blogger dependent on a computer, the internet and the environment.

That's it for today. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving !


Curb Your Carbon Enthusiasm

As I try to become more green, I often ask myself what the hell does that really mean ? Thus the mantra, title and web address of the blog. I continue the emotional and spiritual journey to find the meaning in the greening of me. I search the interwebs for information, opinion and knowledge to help me reach this Xanadu. A challenging pinnacle to climb it is.

I came across this article and will use it for today's post because it had me look up the meaning of the word fodder.
1. coarse food for livestock, composed of entire plants, including leaves, stalks, and grain, of such forages as corn and sorghum.

2. people considered as readily available and of little value

The Globe and Mail

"Not to brag about it, but my husband and I have adopted a radical new green lifestyle. We've shrunk our living space, cut our energy bills in half and dramatically reduced our carbon footprint. These days, we walk everywhere. We shop at the (organic) grocery store and bring our food back in a bundle buggy. To get to work, I have a transit pass. I rarely drive our car at all any more." (Margaret Wente, Living in a green 'hood, Globe & Mail, Oct 5)

It's long been a pet-peeve of mine to read a piece of crap. Yes I made that choice but this article has as much charm as a Chia-Pet. It's so craptastic the Globe & Mail is publishing 'green knowledge' from a dying medium that still prints its product on paper. From a journalist who's research and expertise appears to be a result of a pay-cut forcing a different lifestyle (e.g less is more) now claiming she' s more green.

What's troubling is people have read this and will interpret it as something of value or influence. That would be like taking a lesson in comedy from Pauly Shore or friendship advice from Perez Hilton.

I don't propose I start eating organic spelt tortillas & salsa because some douchbag shops at an organic grocery store and happens to write a column for the Globe. I'll stick with my Old El Paso, thank you, and read the news on the internet. People - I take public transit. Some days I walk. When I need a car, I drive. I live in an apartment, recycle & compost, drink Brita filtered water and take reusable bags when shopping. It's what people do in 2009. Good for me but I wouldn't pass that on to you as something noteworthy. Or credible. Unfortunately for Maggie, she's too busy writing about her riveting day-to-day to know any better or to revel in the fact organic food is a sham.

I don't mean to be mean or look to discredit Maggie's mojo. She may have written something worthwhile back in the day, perhaps, but clearly those days have passed and reality has yet to set in. It's probably too late.

I'll save you the agony of reading Maggie's rag. Here's the synopsis:
"Those things make me love being green. And besides, I've lost weight."
That's deep and how she rolls ladies & gentlemen.

Do your research, keep an open mind and form an opinion for yourself. Right or wrong, it won't be fodder.

Tweet yah later.