What do I read in today's newspaper ? And why am I glad about it ? Let me go back a step to 1997, when amidst great fanfare it was announced that 192 countries had signed the so-called Kyoto Protocol, intending to reduce Greenhouse Emissions (CO2 etc) to 5% below the 1990 standard. Developing Countries, including China and India, were exempted from this requirement, and 3 countries refused to sign, among them the USA. It had been established that China and the USA were and are the biggest contributors of Greenhouse Gases. President Bush refused to sign this Protocol on the grounds that it is based on flawed scientific research, its goals would, given prevailing circumstances, not be achieved by any of the industrial Nations, and would only serve to create, higher fuel prices, rising unemployment, in short, economic downturn of the United States of America. The storm of protest emanating from the EU was loud and clear, descending to the level of kindergarten arguments and insults. Germany claims to have reached the levels proposed by the Kyoto Protocol. Then came the Volkswagen scandal. It was clearly demonstrated that diesel-operated automobiles of this manufacturer were deliberately produced to show low emissions on the test stand, but much higher emissions when the vehicle was in normal use. This con-job cheated not only the Kyoto set goals, but also every buyer of these VWs. Volkswagen now admitted in a U.S. Court that it cheated on over 500,000 such automobiles. The Company further declared itself guilty of a "Conspiracy and the Undermining of US justice *." It was emphatically stated, however, that these crimes were committed by "lower echelon" managers and not by members of the Board of Directors. What a bunch of sad-sack cowards... * Undermining Justice simply means that they lied in court. The fine: 4.3 Billions of U.S. Dollars. Now, that's for half a million vehicles in the U.S.A.! How many vehicles did this "conspiracy" fraudulently put on the market in Europe and elsewhere in the world ? This conspiracy of "lower level managers." Bertstravels
drives a Renault
and hopes that they do not cheat.
This "Blue flag" belongs to the group of "Irises" and grows in some abundance in Algonquin Park, where this intricately woven picture was taken.
I particularly like the green leaves of this flower, which display an almost artistically woven pattern supporting the "Blue Flag."
In Lake Huron, just off Tobermory, at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula,
you may find "Flowerpot Island."
There is a narrow opening in the rocky ground, out of which
a steady warm breeze blows. Summer and Winter.
Therefore, even though the winters there are ferocious,