Reporting from the front – Marilyn Medén

Hi, friends, and some relatives.  This is what I did today. (Thursday November 29th)

Up Burnaby Mountain to The Protest

 

Just go! I thought as I tried to find information about where to go, how much walking, what to expect.  Just show support by arriving … somewhere.  But Burnaby Mountain covers a large area, and if I went up it the way I knew, up to SFU, the only satisfaction I might have would be that I tried.  Not much support for the protest against Kinder Morgan.

After much trial and error I found a mapPark near Curtis and Ayrshire, and just head UP, and UP, on a paved walkway, across Burnaby Mountain Parkway, and UP a little further to an information tent where you are told where the action is.

I saw Karl Perrin [of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver] at the tent.  I had heard he was arrested the day before.  Was he out already?

The drilling had moved, and the gathering was now down a very steep deeply muddy path, slippery, winding, intersected by thick roots and unexpected holes.  People said it took 10 to 15 minutes to get to the gathering.  It took me at least 30 minutes of hanging on to branches, tree trunks, people. The demographic was young.  A guy tore a dead tree limb from the ground and handed it to me for a walking stick. Everyone wanted to help.

I could hear drumming: the First Nation presence.  Speakers. Singing of an adaptation of We Shall Overcome. 

Sliding, slipping, holding on, I reached a place where I could see the yellow ribbon.  To go past that meant arrest.  Gentle arrest it seemed.  The police were friendly.

Someone was speaking.  She was telling of her arrest the day before.  The police carried her to a van.  Solidarity Notes had been singing, and some of them were arrested at the same time.  There was singing in the van.  Singing again in the room they were taken to, and yet again in individual cells.  Kraft dinner was provided.  She signed a statement. I gather that at that point they were released, with trial was set for January 12th.  That was it.  I could have done that!  But what would the arrest mean?  Would one then be a “person of interest”?  Well, if I could interpret it as interest in not having oil pipelines, in avoiding oil, that would be all right with me.

I headed back up the trail.  Home to wash my mud soaked shoes and pants.  Home to warm up.

 

Marilyn

 

 

PLEASE NOTE COPYRIGHT FOR THE ABOVE POST BELONGS TO MARILYN MEDEN

Up at 2:45 this morning

This early rising business MUST stop.  So I guess it’s time for a roundup.

Adult onset diabetes foreshadowing in rising level of 5 proteins.  Link here.

Lots of lawsuits won’t necessarily help your case.  Righthaven screwed up, but fair use rights have been protected.

A very commonly used contemporary chart about radiation exposure, which I only link to on the off chance one of my readers hasn’t seen it yet.  Here.

The “serpent storm” on Saturn.  via Nasa/Cassini.

The assault of the Repulsigans on women’s rights continues.  Honestly, though, the “Harper Government” would do the same thing if they thought they could get away with it; fortunately the Bloc Québecois would have a collective seizure if they tried to pass something like this.

The assault of the Repulsigans against anybody who dislikes factory farming continues.  In what universe is it illegal to take a picture of a farm? (link removed for security reasons).

From chipper, an ad for what she termed a ‘proofreader’s delight’.

Also from chipper, some lovely ‘supermoon’ pix from England.

I have no idea how church went yesterday, I was in the kitchen helping Peggy with coffee. Gave Carol a ride home and picked up some frozen fruit so I can make fruit toppings for pancakes a bit at a time.

 

Weird weather in Vancouver

Last night at about 8:30, Keith and I were watching Cool Hand Luke (Keith’s first time, my fifth at least) when someone outside the house fired the biggest flashbulb ever.  At least, that’s what it looked like.  Both windows in my field of vision lit up like daylight for a fraction of a second.  I had time to look quizzically at Keith, then turn back and shrug, before the thunder arrived.  We estimated that it was about four seconds after the flash; long enough for both of us to dismiss the flash as something other than lightning.  We were wrong.  The thunder was like an earthquake; the house shook violently and I felt the shaking throughout my body.  I couldn’t figure out how the thunder could be that loud if the lightning strike was so far away; Keith suggested that it had indeed been far away, but right above us.  That would explain what we observed.  Of course, what made this particularly interesting for us was that it occurred at the point in the film where – you guessed it – there was a thunderstorm.  Anyway, soon after this event, it started to snow.  And this morning, snow covers the ground.  This is going to be a weird year for weather.

Good times, ow, solar science

Went dancing last night to the melodious strains of the Blue Meenies, a fabulous cover band of these parts, and they had Winter Ale on tap at the John B! Home by 12:30 thanks to one of my fellow revellers. Daughter Katie jammed, mentioning something about self-care. We had a small and lively crew there and it was lovely to see Mike and Heather.

This morning, of course, the piper has arrived with his hand out; I am interesting varieties of sore. Daughter Katie is showing up this afternoon, possibly maybe, for a meal and a visit, and then I’m off to the Luddite’s for dinner. I really wish I could crosspost his last email to me – it is a masterpiece of British humour. Reference to this video was made. NOTE: it is nothing you won’t see on TV these days, but that doesn’t mean you want your boss walking up behind you while you are thoughtfully educating yourself with its four and a half minutes of hardhitting content.

So after all this gimping about with climate change, and everything supposedly getting warmer, some bunch of solar science geeks are saying we’re heading into solar minimum and it’s going to get ass freezing cold around here. Well, why not!? It’s a planet, it’s a complex system, and I wish I hadn’t given away my ski pants. Here’s the consensus view of the timing of the event.

Here’s the International MSM take on the science.

Not so fast, said RealClimate in 2005.

Please note there’s a big difference between the solar minimum of the 11 year (actually 9 – 14 year) solar sunspot cycle and a Maunder Minimum, when there are virtually no sunspots for many decades. The last Maunder Minimum put Europe in the fridge for about 40 years. Or so some people believe…. the deep freeze can also be attributed to the stalling of the thermohaline current, which might or might not have something to do with the sun.  I am seeing the ‘problem with climate change’ as not being so much a problem with the planet as a problem with interpreting what’s going on around us.
The scientific problem (how do prove that we know what is happening by developing successful predictive models) is  aggravated by bumps in the research road.  Human beings a) live for about 80 years and we’re trying to see patterns that are godlike in duration and grandeur, b) see patterns where none may be, c) fail to see patterns because they’re too close to a problem and d) hold opinions and field arguments for reasons which may line up with their breeding rights and status rather than the facts in the case.

So is the earth getting warmer?  Well, yeah. Ice doesn’t melt without getting warmer, and 2007 was a f*cking catastrophe for glaciers and polar ice.  But in ten years of bad weather we could get every cubic inch of that ice back and then some; this winter was an interesting study for me in how very minor changes in weather patterns and temperatures can make immense differences in snowfall.  East Van got rain!  I got 1 foot of snow – twice!  (And had to clean it off the f*cking CAN car, both times, but I’m from Ontario and I am used to cleaning a foot of wet snow off cars.)

The debate goes on, but I have one plea for the boffins – please continue to work on food crop seeds which can deal with temperature and moisture extremes, because I suspect that will do more good for humanity than arguing about what kinds of spots the sun finds fashionable this year.

I am toasting almonds for biscotti.

The landpeer will be showing the apartment starting Monday, so I gotta tidy up.

Today the whole world blogs about the environment

Allegra’s tips for the environment.

Join a car co-op – sure works for me!

Join Freecycle.org to get & recycle an amazing variety of goods in your community.

Join Bookcrossing to recycle books.

Keep your spent batteries in a jar and then take them back to places such as The Source or, believe it or not, many cell phone kiosks in malls.  At a pinch they go to the toxic recycling facility locally.

Stop using paper tissues.  Recycled cotton clothing works great for hankies, ‘sexwipes’ (WAY nicer than tissues, blecch), cleaning windows and mirrors, etc etc.

For those still ‘running with the moon’ buy a cup instead of killing a sequoia with every period.  Works great, and now that I know you can clean it with tooth whitening gel I’m the happiest woman on the planet.

Quit dying your hair.  That stuff is gross, stains everything in the bathroom like a bastard, stinks to high heaven and is not nice for the water supply.

Quit using makeup.  Almost all of it is toxic crap with horrific amounts of plastic packaging.

Learn to cultivate and save seed from heritage plants.  I especially recommend corn, beans, squash, wheat, barley, hops, tomatoes, potatoes and medicinal perennials.  Mmm.  Beer.

Use vinegar to clean and deodorize things.  It’s gross, but only momentarily and it doesn’t make horrible aerosols.