Saturday, August 28, 2010

Everything Is Still Crazy After All These Years.

SEATTLE A human foot has washed up on another West Coast beach, but this time in Washington state. The right foot was found by a tourist on Whidbey Island, about 50 kilometres north of Seattle, on Friday morning. Seven feet have been found on B.C. shores since August 2007. RCMP have said all of the feet separated from the bodies naturally in the water and foul play is not suspected in any of the cases.

OTTAWA -Khurram Syed Sher, the third suspect arrested as part of Project Samosa, made a brief court appearance this morning. Dr. Sher looked nothing like the cocky, confident joker that he was when he auditioned for Canadian Idol in 2008. Rather, he appeared nervous and his eyes darted around the room as he made his first court appearance.

VANCOUVER -As fishermen haul in massive loads of sockeye salmon, the official estimate of this summer’s near-record bounty has been upped to 30 million, the second increase in four days, deepening one of Canada’s great scientific mysteries. It is the most sockeye that have returned to British Columbia’s Fraser River in almost a century.

ELLESMERE ISLAND - The ice shelves, betwee 3,000 to 5,500 years old, are disintegrating. A century ago, they covered almost 10,000 square kilometres, an area one and half times the size of Prince Edward Island. Today the shelves are a tenth that size and could soon be erased completely from Canadian maps and relegated to a footnote in the history books.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -“Something beyond imagination is happening,” Fox News commentator Glenn Beck told tens of thousands of fans and Tea Party activists gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to embrace the nation’s long tradition of religion as part of its decision-making. “America today begins to turn back to God.”

REYKJAVIK - Yoko Ono has always campaigned for peace and her upcoming Icelandic excursion is no different. Arriving on the island country Oct. 9, Yoko will hand out four LennonOno Grant For Peace awards to recipients deemed to have made a difference. Ono will honor Alice Walker for her stance against racism and sexism as well as for her book Overcoming Speechlessness, which documents a journey of 60 activists from "anti-war" group Code Pink to Gaza to protest Israeli and Egyptian actions against the Palestinian territory.

KELOWNA -A five-year-old boy has now learned when it's appropriate to call 911. The boy dialed the emergency number after he became upset because his six-year-old sister wouldn't let him use the family computer.

BONUS: Another Anti-Zionist Own Goal In The Globe And Mail.


Blogger Graeme said...

Weren't there record lows of sockeye returning to the Fraser last year? Odd.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Record low returns of Fraser sockeye in several recent years, some record highs elsewhere; two years ago the whole B.C. coast almost barren of salmon but it was the highest all-round year for salmon catches in the North Pacific, ever - a biomass equivalent to a million plains buffalo, most of it going into little cans, if you can imagine that as a way to handle the best marine protein on the planet. I've been fielding calls from old chums about this for two days, and I can't bring myself to write anything to add to the clamour.

It's not especially odd, in that everything about Pacific salmon is always odd and wildly unpredictable, even moreso nowadays with record low water levels and record high water temperatures, and the only thing that gives me greater pleasure than the spectacle of this great event is just listening to everyone shout at each other about what it means.

The most lurid line is the clamour for more fishing openings on the argument that we are facing the horrific spectre of "overspawning." This is exactly what the industry was screaming in 2002, when the grandmammies of this year's run headed home. The industry was shouting about an impending ecological disaster then, too, and the 2002 brood came home in 2006 just fine, and their offspring are the fish we're seeing in such numbers this year.

It's hilarious. DFO managers run from industry lynch mobs when there's no fish, and when there's so much fish there's no freezer capacity left anywhere on the whole coast to handle more catch, and the fish are coming home by the gazillions, they're still obliged to hide from screaming industry lynch mobs.

I see little point at the moment in adding yet another "I know what nobody else knows" argument to the noise. If there is a lesson here it's that we should all admit that we all know bugger all, and the best course is to manage the fishery as cautiously as we can, concentrate fishing effort only on known abundances of identifiable surpluses as close to the spawning grounds as possible, conserve every inch of habitat we can, cross our fingers and hope like hell the mistakes we make will owe to erring on the side of caution, rather than recklessness, because you only have to be good at being really reckless once, and a run is gone forever.

The best management science will always be based on how little science can explain, not on how much science can explain.

Humility is the thing.

4:38 PM  

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