Extreme weather disasters are not “one-time” events anymore

by

Today, the government of Canada posted a deficit of $13.2 billion. The Department of Finance reports that these data are “skewed” because they include $2.8 billion in “one-time” relief sent to Alberta for the flooding during the summer of 2013. This is somewhat dishonest accounting.

Let’s assume that I’ve made the appropriate caveat that it’s impossible to attribute any one particular weather event to climate change. Let’s also ignore the climate change sceptics, and get to the real issue: Extreme weather events are more common because of climate change [here’s some sources], and our accounting should reflect that.

The billions of dollars that we’re spending on relief for extreme weather events should be filed under “costs of the production and use of petroleum,” not under “miscellaneous” or “one-time costs.” It would only be a one-time cost if it were the sort of thing that we didn’t expect to happen again, and soon, and with greater frequency, and the best science that we have says that’s exactly what to expect.

In 2013 alone, Calgary flooded, Toronto flooded, and there is currently a big ice storm that is impacting wide swaths of the country, putting hundreds of thousands out of power. Climate scientists have been predicting things like “heavy-precipitation events” [2011 Nov 18], and saying that they could cost “billions a year by 2020” [2011 Sep 29], and here we are in 2013, already paying billions a year to mitigate their destruction.

So, when I read that oil industry externalities like climate change-related disaster relief are being filed in the category for “Gosh, what a weird thing to have happened, and it probably won’t ever happen again” by calling it a “one-time event,” my eyes rolled so hard that I may have permanent vision damage. We know these things are more common because of climate change. We know climate change happens because of petroleum production and use. It would be refreshingly honest to see the costs of disaster relief reflected in the debate on oil pipelines, tar sands development, etc., rather than being dismissed as “one time” events.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2013-3899,
    title = {Extreme weather disasters are not “one-time” events anymore},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2013-12-23,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/12/23/extreme-weather-disasters-are-not-one-time-events-anymore/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Extreme weather disasters are not “one-time” events anymore" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 23 Dec 2013. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/12/23/extreme-weather-disasters-are-not-one-time-events-anymore/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2013, Dec 23). Extreme weather disasters are not “one-time” events anymore [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/12/23/extreme-weather-disasters-are-not-one-time-events-anymore/


Science with the air conditioner

by

Science with the air conditioner

Figure 1: Science with the air conditioner

Up until this past weekend, we were trying to go as long as we could without using the air conditioner. Then on Sunday, our spirits broke, and we started closing all our windows, turning lights off and running the A/C in the office.

Our air conditioner is not a window-mounted one, but rather it is a portable one on wheels that connects to a window via a plastic pleated tube. It has a little humidity bladder inside it, where all the water that comes out of the air is kept, until Alain and I come around and empty it, which we have been in the habit of doing every day or so. Every time we emptied it, we got about 500 mL of gross air conditioner water.

This time, we decided to do an experiment.

We placed the air conditioner on top of a table in the office, so that the drain for the humidity bladder points outward, toward a red bucket. We removed the plug for the drain, and started the air conditioner for an hour. For our initial experiment, we used a 1 L graduated Pyrex cylinder, so that we could measure the rate at which it removed water from the air.

After an hour and four minutes at the gym, we returned to find the Pyrex graduated cylinder nearly full (950 mL). That’s about 15 mL per minute, or nearly 1 L per hour.

We did the experiment last night, but decided after the Science to leave it running the way it is, with the red bucket to catch the water, rather than putting the plug back in and setting it on the ground, as we normally do. We figured that the humidity bladder inside was getting full, and that’s why we never got more than 500 mL out of it. I feel like it’s much less humid inside now, which is better for working. I’m just hoping that we get those thunderstorms that Environment Canada is promising for tonight, so we can turn the thing off.

For those who are interested, we use the water from the red bucket to water our garden, since we don’t want to drink it ourselves, and we feel bad about just pouring it down the drain.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2013-3685,
    title = {Science with the air conditioner},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2013-07-17,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/07/17/science-with-the-air-conditioner/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Science with the air conditioner" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 17 Jul 2013. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/07/17/science-with-the-air-conditioner/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2013, Jul 17). Science with the air conditioner [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/07/17/science-with-the-air-conditioner/


New house

by

Sesame Street Colour Collection

Sesame Street Colour Collection

In December of 2012, Alain and I became home-owners for the first time ever. The building that we bought is a duplex. We now live with my little sister in the lower unit and rent out the upper unit to help out with the mortgage.

The house has everything we wanted, and even a few things we didn’t know that we would want. It has a garage, which is great for snowy Montréal winters. It also has a big beautiful back yard with gardens all around. The house is 4 minutes by foot from the métro, and it’s sort of near the Olympic Stadium.

There are two things that we really plan to change about the house: The tile floors in the front hallway and the kitchen need to go, and we’d like to renovate the bathroom. It’s fine, but it isn’t beautiful. Also, the bathtub is kinda shallow.

Cookie Monster paint colours

Cookie Monster paint colours

The previous owner of the house had made some questionable decorating choices, and so when we moved in, painting was in order. When we went to the hardware store to find books of paint samples, one in particular caught our eye: The Sesame Street Colour Collection (see the first image attached to this post). My little sister wanted her room to be coloured “Cookie Monster,” so we painted her room a nice calm light blue with a cream-coloured stripe along the middle. She has darker blue curtains for her window, and we plan to find some pots to paint dark blue and put googly eyes on.

Ernie and Bert paint colours

Ernie and Bert paint colours

As for me and Alain, we really didn’t have a choice when we saw that there was a “Bert and Ernie” theme. This turned out to be a lot of work, although the official story is that the whole paint-job took 20 minutes. When it was half-way done, I was a little worried about how it would look when it was finished, but then by the end, it  turned out much better than I had anticipated. The doors to the bedroom have orange translucent glass panels in them, which happened to work with the orange lines in the paint—not by design, but purely by accident. You can see in the video below the way that the paint looked when the green masking tape was still on the walls.

 

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2013-3213,
    title = {New house},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2013-01-13,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/01/13/new-house/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "New house" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 13 Jan 2013. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/01/13/new-house/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2013, Jan 13). New house [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/01/13/new-house/


It snowed in Stratford Ontario this weekend

by

While I was in Ontario, I thought I might drop by my parents’ for lunch. I remember saying on the way to Stratford that it was in a part of Ontario known as the “snow belt.” Boy was I right.

It snowed. In April.

Not just a little bit either. There were big fluffy white flakes. I have video evidence.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1659,
    title = {It snowed in Stratford Ontario this weekend},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-04-20,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/04/20/it-snowed-in-stratford-ontario-this-weekend/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "It snowed in Stratford Ontario this weekend" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 20 Apr 2011. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/04/20/it-snowed-in-stratford-ontario-this-weekend/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Apr 20). It snowed in Stratford Ontario this weekend [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/04/20/it-snowed-in-stratford-ontario-this-weekend/


I found a marble

by

I found a marble

I found a marble

I can tell that spring is here: When the snow melts, all the stuff that was lost in it slowly appears on the sidewalk.

I would have preferred to find lots of money, but finding a marble is at least a step up from the dog poop that I mostly find thawing out of snow banks near my house!

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1483,
    title = {I found a marble},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-03-31,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/03/31/i-found-a-marble/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "I found a marble" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 31 Mar 2011. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/03/31/i-found-a-marble/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Mar 31). I found a marble [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/03/31/i-found-a-marble/


Harvest time for the snow ploughman

by

I don’t know if I’d go so far as to describe this as “snowmageddon,” but this evening around 19h10 at Jean-Talon and Décarie, I saw about a million snow ploughs go by. Just when you think that’s gonna be the last one, whoosh, there’s another.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1165,
    title = {Harvest time for the snow ploughman},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-02-2,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/02/harvest-time-for-the-snow-ploughman/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Harvest time for the snow ploughman" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 02 Feb 2011. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/02/harvest-time-for-the-snow-ploughman/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Feb 02). Harvest time for the snow ploughman [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/02/02/harvest-time-for-the-snow-ploughman/


A nice thing about living in a big apartment building

by

Someone else shovels the snow for me.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-1036,
    title = {A nice thing about living in a big apartment building},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-12-7,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/07/a-nice-thing-about-living-in-a-big-apartment-building/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "A nice thing about living in a big apartment building" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 07 Dec 2010. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/07/a-nice-thing-about-living-in-a-big-apartment-building/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Dec 07). A nice thing about living in a big apartment building [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/07/a-nice-thing-about-living-in-a-big-apartment-building/


Rainy days

by

Rainy days are perfect for studying. I don’t want to leave my apartment at all.

I’ve had a relatively productive day. I’ve cleaned up a bit, studied some genetics, moved one step closer to getting my OSAP loan, and I assembled all the documents I need to make sure that my OHIP health insurance doesn’t expire this September. Once it stops raining, I’ll go outside and put them all in the post.

You’ll notice that I’ve done a bit of a refresh on the blog. I’m still not 100% fussed on the colour scheme, but I wanted to go live anyway. The old theme was very dark, and hard-to-read, and I think this one is better by those criteria anyway. :)

Update: I just got an invoice for tuition for this year. :| School is expensive. I hope that OSAP is generous to me this year! I also changed the colour scheme on this theme a bit. I got rid of the blue highlights. It’s got a kind of “coffee” thing going on now. I think I’ll leave it like this for a while and see how I like it in a few days.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-811,
    title = {Rainy days},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-08-4,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/04/rainy-days/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Rainy days" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 04 Aug 2010. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/04/rainy-days/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Aug 04). Rainy days [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/04/rainy-days/


There’s a lot of snow now.

by

Look how much snow there is!

Look how much snow there is!

So it’s been snowing for the past few days, and it’s been fun to watch, but now there’s a lot of it. I took a photograph of the entrance to my apartment building, and I would like you to compare it with the photo that I took at the end of July.

Crazy.

The courtyard for our apartment

The courtyard for our apartment

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-512,
    title = {There’s a lot of snow now.},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-12,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/12/theres-a-lot-of-snow-now/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "There’s a lot of snow now." Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 12 Dec 2009. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/12/theres-a-lot-of-snow-now/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 12). There’s a lot of snow now. [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/12/theres-a-lot-of-snow-now/


Snowy day

by

Working on my essay on a snowy day in December

Working on my essay on a snowy day in December

It’s snowy today. Snow is one of the few pleasures reserved for non-drivers.

There’s something reassuring about looking out the window, and seeing mostly white from the falling snow.

I don’t have to go anywhere today, if i don’t want to. My Bioethics Theory essay isn’t due until tomorrow, and I have a very good start on it. (And yes, I will post the graph of my progress when I am finished.)

Today I can stay inside, wearing my big blue hooded house-coat, do my schoolwork and stay warm next to my fake fireplace. And yes, my apartment has a fake fireplace in it.

Update: it is nearly 17h, and it is dark outside and still snowing. I can see about a half-dozen people from my front window, and they are all shovelling snow off their driveways or cars. I am still inside. I still haven’t put real clothes on yet today, and I am watching them and laughing at their expense.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-500,
    title = {Snowy day},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-9,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/09/snowy-day/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Snowy day" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 09 Dec 2009. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/09/snowy-day/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 09). Snowy day [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/09/snowy-day/


Search

A word from our sponsors

Tag bag

Recent comments

Old posts

All content © Benjamin Carlisle