Monday, December 07, 2009

Random Thoughts from Portland

I spent most of today trying to get on-line access to numerous bank accounts, our cell phones, etc. while attempting to update our address. I know we had already gone through this with some of these, and in one case, the only way to even open an account is online, yet they insisted that we we not set up for online access. Yea, like, whatever.

But it all ended well with complete documentation on how to access everything (at least until some 19-year-old decides that the web site is looking "stale" and changes everything) and nice secure passwords instead of having the same password for everything from Facebook to our money market account. This has been a project that has been on the to-do list for a long time, but finishing college, moving, remodeling, moving again, and unpacking sort of pushed it off the list. But it's done. Maybe at some point I'll write up a little ditty about how to manage the mountain of user ID's and passwords that afflict anyone who spends a lot of time online. But not today. Tomorrow isn't looking good either.

I did take a several-hour break to give housekeeping a chance to get into the room and do their thing. I had grand ambitions of getting around Portland and taking pictures of all the cool buildings, but my hands and camera started to be negatively affected by the cold after about a half hour and a couple dozen photos. One problem is that most places are closed on Monday, so there was a serious shortage of art galleries and coffee shops I could dive into and get warm. At least I was able to get a sense of distances to some of the places we want to visit while we are here, so I'm hoping tomorrow will be more productive.

The Telegraph has an article that makes a good follow-up to my rant the other day about science and AGW. Some of the highlights:
Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. "We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand," she says. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."

And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? "Five," says Ms Jorgensen. "The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don't have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it's very Danish.

So from now on when any government ministry or department or agency does something incredibly stupid, we should all say that they've gone Danish.
The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports – or to Sweden – to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers.

Excess CO2 breeds even more excess CO2. Of course we the benighted are supposed to live in trees and die before 30 to make up for it. How very messiah-ish of them. Aren't these some of the very same people that were all worked up over GM execs flying to DC on private jets to beg Congress for money?
And this being Scandinavia, even the prostitutes are doing their bit for the planet. Outraged by a council postcard urging delegates to "be sustainable, don't buy sex," the local sex workers' union – they have unions here – has announced that all its 1,400 members will give free intercourse to anyone with a climate conference delegate's pass. The term "carbon dating" just took on an entirely new meaning.

Um... yea.
Instead of swift and modest reductions in carbon – say, two per cent a year, starting next year – for which they could possibly be held accountable, the politicians will bandy around grandiose targets of 80-per-cent-plus by 2050, by which time few of the leaders at Copenhagen will even be alive, let alone still in office.

Kips Law: All politicians are moral defectives.

And the wrap-up that tries to put a big smiley on this farce:
The hot air this week will be massive, the whole proceedings eminently mockable, but it would be far too early to write off this conference as a failure.

The author could have just stopped at "mockable" and pretty well summed it up. And we are heading out to DiMillo's Floating Restaurant for dinner, so I'll just end this right here.

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