Steve Roy

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.

Tim Winton calling bullshit on the last 15 years of political inaction:

It’s time to make sharp demands of our representatives, time to remove those who refuse to act in our common interest, time to elect people with courage, ingenuity and discipline, people who’ll sacrifice pride, privilege and even perks for the sake of something sacred. […] It’s the soil under our feet, the water we drink, the air we breathe.

If you haven’t seen it go by, Greta Thunberg’s speech at the European Parliament yesterday is well worth a listen. She drew comparisons between climate change and the attention we put on Notre-Dame de Paris and Brexit. Ultimately, seeing the state of the Earth through her eyes, the eyes of a child, reminds us that some things are way, way more important than buildings and political regions. Choose love, choose Earth.

One UX thing that’s bothered me about Mac OS X / macOS since pretty much the beginning is how starting an app will force its windows to the foreground even though you’ve clicked on another app while it was launching.

By clicking on another app, my feeling is I’ve signified my intent to use another app while the other one is launching in the background. Is it just me?

Jeremy Leggett today:

Many researchers of past human civilisations tell us that our globalised civilisation may well now be in the early stages of collapsing […] for a variety of reasons, but some recur, and three in particular: climatic change, environmental degradation, and inequality.

I was contacted by an MBA today. Looked up the company and found this obscure statement:

At [redacted] Financial we provide intentional advice to inspire clients to choose to do what they will wish they had done, especially when they are not inclined to do it.

Please raise your hand if you regularly (or wish you could) speak aloud to your devices? Just wondering if voice recognition is a white male geek wet dream or if it’s actually useful.

To be fair, I sometimes dictate messages to my phone and use Siri to search movies on my Apple TV.

The price of MacBook Pros here in Canada has really gone overboard.

In 2012 I bought what was then a top of the line MacBook Pro 15-inch (2.6 GHz quad-core i7, 8 GB, 750 GB) for $2119.

Today just a base model with similar storage (2.2 GHz 6-core i7, 16 GB, 1 TB) sets you back $3919.

They are good computers but goodness, even as a business expense I think $4500 after tax is too much. I do want Apple to make quality computers but I don’t know how to justify these prices.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in Quebec where I still feel too many people think small, but I think that Trudeau, Trump, May et al have the same affliction. They are inherently unable to think about the big picture. Even at that level, the enormity of the fact that the house is on fire barely registers. I used to think an ant had no comprehension of the highway and cars going by. Now I’m convinced politics is closer to the ants than to the people who built the highway.

I posted a link to a video of the school walkouts in the UK today where the kids are chanting “fuck you May”. And the thing is, I feel this is exactly right. Fuck May, fuck Trudeau, fuck Trump. Because they have made it abundantly clear that they are not part of the solution. Brexit, border walls, whatever. It’s all a sideshow, a distraction from what’s really important. The fucking house is on fire and they are debating who gets the large bedroom. The kids are right.

I generally don’t think much of most news organizations but I started subscribing to The Guardian a year ago because they have a dedicated Environment section that has smart and extensive coverage of everything related to climate change. And after a year of it I’m about to renew it because it’s well deserved and there isn’t enough of it in the news media. Very recommended.

I read something today on TreeHugger that I never considered before:

Keeping people working all day is no cosmic good, it’s just a tradition that began a few hundred years ago and may be coming to an end

If capitalism is the enemy of good planet stewardship, that may be true. And somehow thinking about that makes me feel lighter.