How to save the planet

You’re feeling good because you think you are saving the environment by recycling and switching to LED light bulbs? Well, don’t (feel good, I mean). It is totally useless.

Last week-end, I read an interesting article in The Gazette titled “Want to save the planet?” (also from the National Post via PressReader). A study by the University of British Columbia is showing that what we are told to do to reduce climate change is rarely the most effective way.  We’re told that “making a difference doesn’t have to be difficult” when, in truth, making a real impact demands some major sacrifices!

The most interesting part of the article is found in a graphic that was available only in the print version. What high school textbooks suggest students to do for the environment is not very effective: using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic ones represent only a saving of 0.005 tonne (5 kg) of carbon dioxide per person per year, while upgrading light bulbs saves 0.1 tonne, hanging your laundry to dry in the sun saves 0.21 tonne, recycling saves 0.213 tonne and washing your clothes in cold water saves 0.247 tonne. Small changes.

In opposite, the more effective actions for helping the environment represents only four per cent of the suggestions given to students. The best tactics are eating less meat with a plant-based diet (saving of 0.8 tonne per year), buying green energy (saving 1.5 tonne per year), taking one less transatlantic flight per year (saves 1.6 tonne), and going car-free (saving 2.4 tonne per year — note that switching from an electric car to car-free saves 1.15 tonne per year and buying a more efficient car saves 1.19 tonne per year!). However, the most effective way to be environmentally friendly is to have one less child: you would save 58.6 tonne of CO2 emission per year! I always said that those kids are killing the planet.

I am really happy because I am already doing all those things (switching light bulbs, washing in cold water, hang-drying, using reusable bags, hydro-electricity, having a plant-based diet, no flying, no car, no kid) and I hope you will consider it too. I won’t go as far as some sci-fi shows and suggest, as some sort of Sophie’s Choice, that we should reduce the children population (or even the general population) — it would surely make the environment quieter — but please copulate with moderation (I would say “practice abstinence” but that would be inconsiderate: just don’t have four or five kids and think of it as a planetary-wide one-child policy)! There are already too many people on earth…

That would certainly be a good way to save the planet.

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Vie de bibliothèque

En bibliothèque on observe l’Humain sous toutes ses formes, du meilleur au pire, en passant par toutes les couleurs de l’absurde. Évidemment, on a inévitablement le désir de partager une telle expérience transcendante que ce soit par l’anecdote humoristique ou la thèse philosophique. Certains écrivent des livres, comme le Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian de Scott Douglas, mais l’on voit aussi beaucoup de blogues où les gens qui oeuvrent en bibliothèque à tous les niveaux s’expriment et s’épanchent par le rire, la rage ou l’aberration, par souci de partager ou besoin thérapeutique. On retrouve donc le blogue anecdotique, le blogue d’information, et le blogue collaboratif. De l’autre côté du miroir, il y a aussi le blogue de lecteur: dans le style blogue “club de lecture” (comme Les Irrésistibles, où j’ai récemment commencé à collaborer) ou simplement les blogues “coup de coeur” (comme le font Prospérine, Fractale Framboise, Sophie LitMon Coin Lecture et tant d’autres). Il y a aussi les innombrables pages Facebook

La nouvelle tendance est aux web comics dont le plus connu et apprécié était unshelved (par Gene Ambaum et Bill Barnes, et dont j’ai déjà amplement parlé), qui a finalement été remplacé par Library Comic (par Gene Ambaum et Chris Hallbeck, beaucoup moins intéressant que la version précédente) et, l’objet de ce billet, j’ai récemment découvert Vie de Bibliothèque (par San?) qui a le sublime avantage d’être local — quoique mes lectures m’ont apprise que la vie de bibliothèque semble similaire (et tout aussi absurde) où que l’on soi dans le monde… En voici un exemple (voir la page FB pour plus):

Le livre mal classé

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Le suffrage de la marmotte

Une élection partielle s’est tenu aujourd’hui dans le 6e district congressionel de la Géorgie. Les démocrates pensaient bien profiter de la vague d’insatisfaction envers l’administration Trump pour y faire élire leur candidat, Jon Ossoff, et ainsi offrir un excellent présage en prévision des élections de mi-mandat de l’an prochain.

Hélas, ce n’était pas écrit dans les astres, car la marmotte démocrate a eut peur de son ombre. Cela laisse donc présager huit ans de Trump! L’hiver s’en vient et il sera long!

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Monthly notable news (W12-16)

Another month (or so) has passed at lightning speed. Lots of stuff to do, particularly now that spring has come. We had plenty of rain at first, however now the weather is more enjoyable but still a little chilly. The humidity has made my left knee (and a bit my right ankle) hurt and, for a week, my back pain came back with a vengeance — libraries can be hard work sometimes (and not only for the soul; although it can be amusing too). I also had an episode of high blood glucose and I feared I would become a full-blown diabetic but it returned to my pre-diabetic “normal” after a week. This is no work for old men…

It has been a busy month. We’ve visited the notary twice for mom’s succession paperwork and there was plenty of work around the house particularly for the garden cleaning. I also had to deal with many unexpected problems: some strange Bell bug kept me from my blog for a week and I had some leaky roof, front door handle and water heater issues (the latter two just this weekend). Installing two more Outdoor Nest Cams (as one of my cheap IP cameras died following water damage inside the window) has been a strain on the Bell Wi-Fi causing serious performance problems. I’ll probably solve this issue by going back to Videotron, but only for the internet (I’ll share my sister’s).

A question on FB made me look back at my collection of old books and share my love for them. I also purchased a new Telephoto Mirror Lens for my camera. My TV viewing habits didn’t change much. I still watch too much TV: the new season for old series (When calls the Heart, Into the Badlands, Doctor Who) but two series are particularly worth mentioning for their quality: Anne and The Expense (and its beautiful opening credits with Norwegian vocals — listen on Soundcloud and Youtube). I also wanted to go see Ghost in the Shell in theatre but the reviews were not too good so I decided to wait. However, I’ll definitely won’t miss the Valerian‘s movie when it is released!

I have always considered blogging (and writing in general) as an essential mental exercice (as much as my daily walks) to keep in shape, the mind sharp and age better. However, now I have some doubt. It sometimes feels like a strain since I have less and less time to do it. I have to split my waking hours between my wife-together time, my me-time and work (from which I always come back exhausted). Lately, I had lots of problems with the blog (the Dropbox issue, not being able to log in for an entire week) and it leaves me with the dilema of having to choose between fixing the layout on the old posts or writing new material (or try to do both and be unhappy with the result). I just wonders if it is really worth it.

Maybe I should try less to DO something and just take more time to enjoy life right now (going to movies, to the museums, to the botanical garden, READ more, etc.) without always thinking about sharing it, what I would say about it, which angle I could use to explain the subject better or tell an interesting story about the whole experience. My health won’t improve with the years and I am quite sure that there is less road in front of me than behind, so maybe I should just take the most of it and enjoy the moment. Who’s reading me anyway. Although, I often say that I am writing for myself, so I can read what I wrote one day and remember how it was (particularly when I would not remember it at all). It is just like a journal left adrift in the binary stream of time, to create some sort of posterity.

Both ways seem kind of selfish: if I do write I feel guilty of not doing more of my life and, if I don’t, I feel I am letting myself down. Either way it is a losing battle. •Sigh* It’s the age-old depressing philosophical question: Did I ever really lived and did it really matter? I can only press on and hope for the best.

Finally, I nevertheless managed to stay acquainted with the (ever so depressing) affairs of the world and gathered a few notable news & links — which I share with you (in both french or english, and roughly divided into a few thematics), after the jump.

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The irresistible question

I swear  someone asked me this exact question at the library yesterday :

When I first read this (now defunct) Unshelved comic strip several years ago, I dreamt to answer exactly like Dewey did if I ever found myself in this situation. Unfortunately, such sarcasm would be considered very poor customer service so I abstained. After a long pause, I smiled (actually, I barely resisted laughing out loud) and I referred  the customer to the reference librarian. Always do like the t-shirt says: “Keep calm and let the librarian handle it” !

It reminds me of this situation, years ago, when I was trying to make a library card for a guy who didn’t want to give his personal information because he was an anarchist and he didn’t want the big-brotherly government to know anything about him. Incredulous, I said to the guy: “Wait a minute. You say you are an anarchist, but you want to benefit from all the free library services? Don’t you think it’s a little hypocritical?” He seemed unfazed but, since he refused to provide any of the required information, I couldn’t register him to the library. I found such audacity unbelievable. We really see the strangest stuff in a library…

Monthly notable news (W53-03)

The Holidays and the couple of weeks that followed were rather quiet. Thankfully, I had to deal with much less craziness at work. But that was only the eye of the storm and those depressing days (scientifically certified as such since Blue Monday fell on January 16th this year) are coming to an end. The days are getting longer and more shit will soon hit the fan. Of course, there’s also this endless American nightmare with everything Trump. I wish I could forget about all that and never hear about it again, but unfortunately that’s what the world has become now.

I am already getting behind in my writings, but I caught up a little with my TV and movie watching. Besides the restarting new seasons (mostly Call The Midwife, Colony, Endeavour, Father Brown, Homeland), the notable new additions are Victoria and Dark Angel (although those two have already ended) as well as the weird Young Pope (a young and reckless leader is unexpectedly elected to head the Church — a little reminescent of the whole “orange is the new black” American electoral fiasco — but it’s directed by Paolo Sorrentino, who gave us La grande bellezza) and the quite interesting Mercy Street, a medical period drama set at the Mansion House Hospital during the American Civil War.

I’ll try to reinvent myself this year (so much to do) and push forward even harder on the path to improve my temperament and expend my knowledge. That’s the only purpose one can have.

Despite everything, I tried to stay acquainted (a bit) with the affairs of the world. Here’s a “few” notable news & links that I came across this month and that I’d like to share with you, after the jump (in no particular order, in both french and english): Continue reading