Steve Roy

This is your reminder that most of the usual services on the Internet track you and own your data, so try more ethical alternatives.

I don’t use Google, I use DuckDuckGo instead. I’m not on Facebook or Twitter, but I’m on Mastodon. I’m not on Instagram, I’m on PixelFed. A lot of people are on these services and it’s growing.

Another things is that you can have total control over who you follow, what you read and in what order. Try an RSS reader. I‘ve been using Feedly for years to aggregate the sites and people I’m interested in and it’s lovely.

And you know what? Without Google/Facebook/etc, life goes on just fine. Don’t let them convince you otherwise.

I was in Georgia last weekend and I learned that the general minimum wage is $7.25, with tipped workers being treated to a lofty $2.13. Two fucking bucks. That’s just 29% of the general wage, and that means the employer of a full time waiter/waitress is only on the hook for about $4,400 for the entire year. Blows my mind. Compare and contrast with Ontario, where I live, with the tipped vs general minimum wage ratio is $12.20 / $14 so about 87%.

Today I set up my dad’s browser to use DuckDuckGo instead of Google. Less tracking and data collection is good for anyone but especially the less computer-savvy, so we’ll see how he likes it.

I looked it up and I think I’ve been using DuckDuckGo since 2012 and made it my default search engine not long after. Didn’t realize it had been that long!

Fracking is such a weird idea. Not content to pollute and mess with the very air that we depend on for survival, why not also destabilize the very ground we stand on? Makes perfect sense.

</sarcasm>

I read today that people cried to see Notre-Dame go up in flames but few tears are being shed over the Amazon forest and I couldn’t agree more.

I’m also appalled that most of what I hear is throwing the Brazilian government under the bus. But all countries are watching this disaster and doing nothing.

“How can we help?” is what I want to hear. The Earth and the Amazon belong to all of us. We should offer help, money, resources and people to make things right.

I don’t know how I missed this speech by Harrison Ford at last year’s Global Climate Action Summit. He said it all. Powerful words.

I feel a mixture of dread and hope for the next Summit in New York on September 23rd. Looking at pretty much any of the vital statistics—carbon emissions, loss of habitat, temperature records, you name it—close to zero progress has been made. No more talks. We need drastic action now.

Sean Holman’s open letter:

On May 6, the United Nations released a scientific report warning that around a million species are threatened with extinction due to human activity, including climate change. […]

It turns out that most of the country’s other major broadsheets concluded that proof of a dying planet was less newsworthy than puffery about a [royal] baby.

This interview with Sean Holman, following his open letter pleading for Canadian media to report on climate as an emergency, is full of well-articulated thoughts.

And in the media we, generally speaking, don’t have any hesitation about naming a crisis when it is a crisis. […] So why are we hesitant about saying the climate crisis is a crisis?

I love the tone and style of this declaration of independence in The Intercept:

We, therefore, the Sane People of this Planet, […] do solemnly publish and declare that all the world’s Leaders are hereby relieved of their positions

It’s all tongue in cheek but with yesterday’s dire warnings in Nature that we have to kill all fossil fuel projects now, the failures and/or refusals from governments everywhere to act accordingly are spelling out ever more clearly that they simply are not there for us.

It is irresponsible and rich for CBC to be shy about using the word “crisis” when it’s been used for so many other things before:

“The ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate emergency’ are words that […] sort of imply, you know, something more serious, where climate change and global warming are more neutral terms.”

I gave up on CBC as a serious news organization a while ago, but I’m still not impressed.

Thought process:

Ah enjoying the deck this summer. And the red umbrella is almost completely white from the sun. And I thought about the whitened American flag on the moon. And I wondered if the pattern is stitched on it, so you’d still be able to tell it’s an American flag. And if not and it’s all white, that’d be fitting to represent all of humanity.

Then my wife asked what I wanted for breakfast—screeching rewind—and she burst out laughing seeing my eyes unwind back to reality.

Mary Annaise Heglar writes that the conversation around climate change incorrectly assigns guilt to the people:

The belief that this enormous, existential problem could have been fixed if all of us had just tweaked our consumptive habits is not only preposterous; it’s dangerous. […] It’s victim blaming, plain and simple.

Given better options, people will make better choices.

September 20th. It’s time to fucking stand up as a planet and call bullshit on our own self-destructing way of life.

[O]ur choices will determine the future for tens of thousands of years: how high the seas will rise, how far the deserts will spread, how fast the forests will burn.

An encouraging report from Clean Energy Canada says that oil and gas is not as important to our economy as headlines and politics make it appear to be:

But here’s the thing: Oil and gas have never really defined Canada’s economy. Crude oil, for example, accounted for just 2.6 per cent of Canada’s GDP as of 2017.

Vice put up a 30-minute video documenting what the youths have been doing behind the scenes to organize the worldwide climate strikes. The media pays a lot of attention to Greta Thunberg, but there are many inspiring young leaders in this movement.

Such a great call to climate action by the kids. I hope this gets reprinted by other news outlets:

To change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance – we urge the adults to join us. On September 20th we call for a global general strike.

This piece by Jon Henley, a Brit reporting for The Guardian from the point of view of continental Europe, is one of the most interesting things I’ve read on Brexit:

Throughout the entire process, it appears from here, the Brits have been negotiating essentially with themselves, rather than with the EU27.

Seeing the election results in Australia (and other elections everywhere over the years) makes me wonder yet again how many people refrain to express their true vote. You often hear “but they’re not going to win so I’m going to vote for these other ones instead”.

Voting is a poll of what you really want. It’s your one chance to say what you think. Vote with your heart and your convictions.

Last night I moved my (micro)blog from micro.steveroy.ca to the more obvious blog.steveroy.ca, with a redirect from the old to the new. As always, let me know if anything appears to be amiss.

There was finally some movement in Canada this week to put pressure on our governments to be serious about climate action. I would love to see the climate crisis be the number one issue in our federal elections later this year. We have to tell Alberta that, sorry, it’s the end of oil. And we have to start talking about how we can transition our economy away from oil revenues.

In the light of Monday’s UN report on Earth biodiversity, I sent yet another email to my Member of Parliament to express my concerns and demand immediate drastic action in Canada. It’s all small things, but we need to tell them how concerned we are about the climate crisis and environmental collapse with whatever means we have.

Bill Mckibben in The New Yorker:

To answer [the climate crisis], at this point, means, in policy terms, a Second World War–scale mobilization to deploy renewable energy and a commitment to stop new exploration and development of fossil fuels. It means an explicit acknowledgment that their age is over

Here we go. Let’s see what this does:

MPs make history by passing Commons motion to declare ‘environment and climate change emergency’

How about it, Canada? Come on, what say you.

I’ve been voting for the Green Party for years, mostly as a symbolic choice, and seeing little gain from election to election. But with the escalation of alarm bells and people protests, I dare hope this year that more people will consider voting Green as a perfectly valid option.

For the life of me I don’t know why this graph is not plastered all over the news. This is the emergency we are talking about. Put aside all the numbers and stats about climate change; this is how long we have and what we have to achieve.