Climate researchers need the freedom to question widely accepted views but most find that theory isn't enough to inoculate them against the madness of millions shouting in unison - what they need is a simple, concrete, fact or illustration capable of producing a reaction sufficiently analogous to a child's response to the emperor's lack of clothes to free them to act on the facts.
(First written Dec 2011, edited several times since.)
September 2011 featured a leadership race in the Alberta Conservative party - with the winner, Alison Redford, inheriting a legislative majority and thus the premier's job. All six of the candidates faced a continual barrage of complaints about the health care system and all six promised to find the money and policies needed to fix it - with four offering magical handwaves; one promising to break federal law to bring in private money; and Ms. Redford committing to increased public spending on nursing care.
March 19, 2020
There is no publicly known rational basis for continuing the current national response to the Wuhan virus beyond this weekend, so either government knows something we don't, or it's all politics, panic, and stupidity from here.
Alberta safe speed zones
(Written in 2010, revised in 2016)
Nearly everybody drives, and nearly everybody has an opinion on both traffic law and traffic law enforcement, but as a society we don't know what works, or what doesn't, because the answers aren't obvious; because police, journalists, and government all line up to favor more enforcement; and because access to the data needed to understand what's happening is largely restricted to those representing regulatory and enforcement agencies with regulatory and enforcement agendas.