A Mainstream Media Revelation in Mickey Dee’s

As I sat under the Golden Arches eating my McMuffin and drinking as good a cup of coffee as you can buy anywhere, at any price (I’m not into logos), I opened up a copy of the Vancouver Sun and thought I heard the faint sound of trumpets and horse’s hooves. I don’t usually read the Sun, or any mainstream newspaper but I had neglected to bring a book and needed something to go with the caffein and shift my brain into gear.

With all my usual sense of scorn for the corporate-owned-news, I scanned the headline – POLITICIAN SEEKS MASS CULL OF SNOW GEESE. Naturally, my immediate and gut reaction was that a mass cull of politicians would do far more good and cause less negative reaction, demonstrations and arrests. Better to save all the time and effort for more important issues. As I read on about the Richmond councillor’s reasoning, his statistical back-up became far too familiar – 1972, 20,000 snow geese, 10 years ago, 80,000, last year year 100,000, this year maybe 120,000 – OMG they’re multiplying like humans, maybe they DO need a drastic approach to population control.

My final conclusion on whether or not to goose the geese came from this line – “. . . the birds have become almost domesticated and are used to feeding inland. Walk into a flock of thousands of geese feeding in a field, he said, and they’ll open a pathway that will close in behind.” The possibility of a simple solution presented itself. If they want to be domesticated, make it so. Assuming that properly set cannon nets could trap a large number of the birds at one time with little risk of injury, they could then be transported to a licenced abattoir and become a sustainable part of local food production. Better than injuring many of them with pellets and alienating people who would otherwise benefit from some reasonably priced protein in their diet.

Next on the page was a story about a construction worker in Terrace who had won a $25,000,000 lottery and was giving it away to friends, neighbours, charities, whoever it gave him pleasure to share with; a personal Jubilee – Excellent!! I made a mental note to campaign for the exclusion of construction workers from any future mass cullings.

A smaller headline proclaimed “FOREIGN WORKERS POUR IN DESPITE PERSISTENT YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT”. This story would get me riled I figured, no matter which side of the argument the writer was touting. He wound up pretty much arguing for both sides, sometimes being Canadian is a pain in the ass, so it did pmo . . . twice (no, not Prime Minister’s Office).

Turn the page. The NDP have picked a dark horse candidate for the Vancouver-False Creek riding who describes himself as a “moderate, business-minded candidate.” Good, they’re still turning right and leaving the left for my friends to take ownership of. At the risk of sounding like a romantic – our day will come. OK, that may be a smidge obscure – “Our Day Will Come” was a #1 hit for Ruby and the Romantics in 1963. The candidate is also a math whiz and bemoans the decline in the high-tech industry in BC, in particular digital gaming. He says, “If you’re starting to export all your young people with good ideas, you’re heading for a fall.” Hold that thought to put into the context of the story below.

Skip the sports and go to Science. Headline: “GAME MODELS EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE” – woohoo, a story on one of the current unmentionable topics only 4 pages back from the front. I told you, “Our Day . . . ” – never mind. This is it, REVELATION (cue the trumpets and horse’s hooves), this is the story that pulls my whole brain-awakening together for this day. A UBC Prof. has developed a video game which he calls Future Delta which allows the gamer(s) to make municipal management decisions and see the future consequences taking into account the best available scientific data on Climate Change. Unfortunately, for The District Municipality of Delta ‘consequences’ will almost always mean resembling the mythical City of Atlantis.

But seriously, here is an idea which could truly change the world, or even lessen the need for world change if all those “. . . young people with good ideas” were to latch on and run with it. Not only could they use it as a learning/teaching/recreational tool, they could also expand it to work for any location and include up-dated best available data (from approved sources only) for current climate and future projections. I sincerely hope that this model is released as open-source to allow it to be worked on by the armies of open-source ‘hackers’ around the world who could make it into ‘The Next Big Thing’. In this case, corporate backing would obviously kill the usefulness of yet another valuable tool.

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