Friday miscellany…

… climate change, robo-calls, dingoes and Oscars edition…

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Sugar bushes in Ontario and Quebec have tapped their trees weeks early this year due to the non-winter that we have been experiencing in this part of the world. Tapping in February hasn’t happened in decades. The sugar bush owners are pretty happy about this, yet I cannot help but wonder about the longer term impacts on our ecosystems.

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The family and I made it onto the Rideau Canal twice this winter. Only 38 days of the longest skating rink in the world this year. I wonder if we won’t see a year sometime soon when the Canal won’t open to skating at all!

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So the EU countries stopped short of condemning tar sand oil as “dirtier” than petroleum from other sources. I don’t know about this decision. A “dirty” label really would have been only symbolic and wouldn’t impact policies as Canada exports very little of its crude to the EU..

BRUSSELS — Years of lobbying over European Union rules that would label fuel from tar sands as more polluting than fuels from other sources reached a stalemate Thursday when a committee of technical experts failed to agree on the draft.

The European Commission, the Union’s executive branch, and many environmentalists say the “dirty” label is necessary to help fuel buyers choose the least carbon-intensive energy forms and help to curb global warming.

Canada, home to vast crude reserves most of which are in the form known as tar sands or oil sands, has challenged the E.U. law, saying it is discriminatory and could damage trade ties.

The vote Thursday at a meeting of technical experts, which was held behind closed doors, failed to reach a qualified majority under the Union’s voting system, which weights voting to reflect the populations of E.U. member states. The European climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, claimed victory in averting a “no” vote. “Now our proposal will go to ministers, and I hope governments will realize that unconventional fuels of course need to account for their considerably higher emissions through separate values,” she said in a statement.

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Robo-call-gate. Will it stick? J’en doute.

This is the Teflon government, don’t forget. And also the government that thinks it is A-OK to get tough on crime. Unless said crime is election fraud. Then it’s soft-as-a-kitten on crime.

Hypocrites.

Yeah, yeah, I know that nothing has been proven yet re: a direct connection to the CPC, but c’mon! How many dots does it take to make a line? Senior staff were likely blissfully unaware of what was happening, but you can bet your patootie that someone in a position of decision-making within the party did know the scoop. And approved it!

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No! Not the dingoes again!

CANBERRA — An inquest started hearing new evidence on Friday into the 1980 death of baby Azaria Chamberlain. It’s a case that has haunted Australia for decades, drawing international attention after her parents said she had been killed by a dingo, or wild dog.

The inquest into baby Azaria’s death in the Australian outback of baby Azaria, the fourth such inquest since the infant disappeared, began in Darwin Magistrates Court in the Northern Territory in response to new information provided by the baby’s parents.

The evidence concerns several dingo attacks on infants and young children since Azaria’s death. Her parents expect the court to declare officially that Azaria was killed by a dingo, rather than by her mother, a lawyer representing parents Lindy and Michael Chamberlain said.

No word on whether Meryl Streep will be asked to do a sequel.

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And it looks like dingoes of the two-legged variety are squaring off big-time Downunder. The prize? The office of President! When it comes to political infighting, we Canucks have nothing to match this battle royale!

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Oscars? Meh. You know what I think about award shows. I saw Moneyball. Good flick.

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The Noravirus has been making its rounds in O-Town. I think that is what my eldest had the other day. Brutal little bug.  Ottawa Public Health recommends the following:

At this time of year, increased cases of Noravirus circulate in the community and can affect schools, hospitals, day care centres and long term care facilities, and anywhere groups of people gather. To avoid infection with Norovirus, we recommend the following:

If you think you have Norovirus, the following will help you and help prevent others from getting sick with Norovirus:

Good advice.

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Duh-o! Winter is coming!

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