Geez, It's Gorgeous

What a good looking day! And not stuck up like all those other days!

Friday Afternoon Kitty: Big Cat, Little Cat

Here are a couple of vids my fellow prairie doggers sent me this week. First, there's this from Carle Steel, freelancer, heroine and infrequent (though sometimes) Dog Blog contributor.

Makes me want to run out and get a huge white cat to go with my huge black cat. Next up, there's this from Alex, our designer. It's cute. Not just cute, but "squeeeeeeeeee!!!".

Yep. Squeeeee!

James Hoggan on Climate Change Denial Industry

The CRU e-mail scandal broke while I was working on that climate change article in the latest issue. It kind of ended up hijacking everything I was writing. Not necessarily a bad thing. It's a complete gong show, sure, which the media has -- as usual -- completely bungled. But, the hacked e-mails are a perfect example of the ridiculous extremes to which the denier crowd is willing to go to discredit climate science. It became a nice little case study in how the denial industry works.

Unfortunately, though, I wound up not using nearly as much interview material as I would've liked. For instance, my interview with James Hoggan was awesome but I only ended up taking a couple quotes from it. So, here for all to read, is a transcript of my interview with him. It's very good (because of Jim's answers, not my questions). Here's a sample....
prairie dog: Your book gives a good overview of the state of climate denial in Canada. But I came away feeling like Canada is a real hotbed for denial. Are we really the centre of the denial industry?
James Hoggan: No. The Americans are by far. They’re the ones who set up the echo chambers. In the States, you see it working much better than it does in Canada where you have more of a loose connection. But in the United States, you have this powerful combination of the extreme right religious movement, the libertarians, basically just contrarians, vested interests, then you have this extreme right-wing media, and en masse you have massive numbers of Glen Becks and Fox News and the list just goes on and on. Those are the extreme right-wing guys, then you have these libertarians who are in the media as well. So the echo chamber down there is really very impressive. And for some reason, a lot of these libertarians and extreme right-wing groups have joined forces with the anti-science interests that are working for business. And I think it’s because they’re just anti-government. We have those kind of people in Canada but not in the organized way they do in the States.
James Hoggan, by the way, is the author of Climate Cover-Up, which details how the fossil fuel industry supports a massive, decentralized climate-change denial industry. It's a scary but important book. By day, Hoggan is a public relations consultant and he is also one of the founders of DeSmog Blog, an essential source for those who want to track the misdeeds of the deniers.

Read the full James Hoggan interview.

Open House on Nuclear Waste

We'll have more on this in our Dec. 17 print issue, but on Dec. 7 from 2-9 p.m. the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is hosting an open house at the Delta Hotel in Regina to review a protocol that's been created to facilitate any "informed and willing community" that wishes to host "a deep geological repository for the safe containment and isolation of Canada's used nuclear fuel."

If you recall, one of the recommendations that the Uranium Development Partnership made in its March 2009 report was that the provincial government support any community that expressed a willingness to be the site of such a repository. The NWMO is an industry-based association, so expect them to put forward a best-case scenario for the idea of burying radioactive waste in the Canadian Shield. Critics not only reject the idea that this material, which will remain toxic for tens of thousands of years, can be safely stored for any significant length of time, they are also alarmed at the danger posed by the transport via truck or rail through heavily populated areas of radioactive waste from nuclear facilities (that stretch as far east as New Brunswick) to the dump site. As well, once established, would the American government, which has failed repeatedly in its attempts to establish its own storage site, pressure Canada to accept its nuclear waste?
For more info on the NWMO position, visit their website at http://www.nwmo.ca/

Other open houses will be held Dec. 8 at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert from 2-9 p.m. and at the Delta Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon Dec. 9 from 2-9 p.m.

New Dog!

The new prairie dog is out as of yesterday and it's my favourite issue of 2009. On the eve of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, we have a huuuge feature written by Paul Dechene, Stephen LaRose, Greg Beatty and special guest-activist Jeh Custer on the debate around climate change. Of course, there isn't any real debate on climate change--there's just a massive, decentralized effort by vested interests, egomaniacs, ideologues andlunatics to derail climate negotiations. Meanwhile the planet keeps heating up. We're sick of the crap. This is prairie dog's pissed off, tell it like it is manifesto.

We've also got a good piece by Carle Steel on coyotes and their poor little paws, a fire and brimstone effort by John Conway (and it's sure nice having him back) and maybe the best band interview we've ever run--Chris Morin's conversation with Gwar's Oderus Urungous.

Plus News Quirks, Dining (The Hotel Sask brunch), Queen City Confidential, Top 6s galore, David Suzuki, News Briefs, street Wear, a film review, CD reviews and more. Good issue, pick it up! It's worth going out for.

Six In The Morning

IT'S COLD OUTSIDE Minus-19, -28 with the wind chill. But you know, it sure is pretty eh? (Environment Canada)

CLAC ATTACK In October, a controversial union that's new to Saskatchewan asked the Province's minimum wage board to lower the wages of young adult workers. The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour's Larry Hubich gave media outlets a copy of the CLAC brief and talks about it in this Leader-Post story. Prairie dog will dig into this in our December 17 issue, because it looks to us like there's a bigger problem with that brief. hang tight, only 13 more sleeps!

SPENDING OR REVENUE Here we go. The government is in fiscal crisis and the official buzz phrase is "spending problem". Murray Mandryk's got a story here that's worth reading (StarPhoenix). Prairie dog is getting caught up in this narrative too. Well, yes, Saskatchewan's gov't does have a bugeting problem but as anyone thinking for more than five seconds will rememnber, government provides needed and important services. Things like health care, income assistance, infrastructure maintenence, sports, arts and cultureal funding. It's not easy to cut billions of dollars. Let's not whip out an axe recklessly, okay? And in addition to the comparisons to the Devine Tories, lets also remember that when all governments ever do with taxes is cut them, they leave our economy vulnerable to resource revenue goofiness.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS Canada has 7000 more. (CBC)

SARAH PALIN IS BOTH WRONG AND DANGEROUS She thinks it's legitimate to question the President's citizenship? But he's a documented U.S. citizen. So what's she trying to do--get him assasinated by a right-wing birther loon? Looks like it to me. (Salon)

SOMALIA HORROR An Islamic suicide bomber detonates himself at a medical college's graduation ceremony. Among the 19 dead are doctors, students and journalists. Awful awful awful awful. (CNN)

The End Is Neigh!

Giddy up.

Since we at prairie dog would never, ever look a gift horse in the mouth, a big hat tip goes to Miranda Hanus for this video.

Pick of the Day: GWAR

You can learn more about this veteran Richmond, Virginia thrash metal outfit which storms Riddell Centre tonight for an all-ages gig by reading Chris Morin's interview with "front monster" Oderous Urungus in our Dec. 3 print issue. I myself first heard of Gwar in the mid '90s when a video clip of theirs screened on an episode of Beavis & Butt-Head. Those two reprobates were big fans, if I recall.

I know dick about on-line video games, but if I had to describe Gwar, I'd say they resemble a motley group of X-rated World of Warcraft characters. They're not to everyone's taste, obviously. But for those who don't mind a little blood, saliva and other bodily fluids with their hardcore rock, they probably qualify as a must-see. To get your own juices flowing for the gig, which features support acts Job for a Cowboy and the Red Chord, here's the video for "Meat Sandwich" off Gwar's 1995 album Ragnarok (YouTube)

And if you like your rock 'n' roll a little less messy, Shadow in the Mirror and Lungbutter (yes, they're back together for this gig anyway) are at the Exchange, while Royal Red Brigade play O'Hanlon's Pub.