Monthly Archives: February 2019

Recovering my senses

In the beginning of October 2008, I was just a simple green person, minding his own business, voting for the Flemish green party since my early twenties, believing that there was an agreement between scientists that global warming is bad, that we are responsible and that we should do something about it. That seemed perfectly logical back then. Although I also had the impression that the scientists were exaggerating their case, I was convinced that they were basically right.

The issue of global warming surely interested me, but other things in life had priority and I never had a closer look at it. I felt strengthened by the fact that the scientists claimed that they had it all figured out. Heck, I was at the “right” side of the debate and that was a very comfortable position to be in. There was nothing left for me to do, just to trust.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2009 and I suddenly found myself deeply in the skeptical camp…

That is at the, gulp, “wrong” side of the debate.

How on Earth did someone like me get over there?

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Six candles to blow!

six birthday candles

This blog turns six!

When I started it back then in 2013, I couldn’t imagine that this blog would still be active for so long and that I would write more than 400 posts in the meanwhile.

There certainly was no shortage of inspiration. On the contrary, there were several posts that I started, but were not finished (because of a lack of time or something else came along or the topic became irrelevant in the meanwhile).

I still like the writing process, the researching and the figuring out of how things work, so I will continue doing that.

There are however some limitations that I ran into. Individual posts move out of sight when new ones are published. This can make it difficult to find back individual posts, but also it is easy to loose overview of posts detailing one specific topic. For example, there are many posts dealing with the consensus and they all have one piece of information. It would be nice to group all those thoughts together in one page per paper.

The same is true for the several posts I wrote on the Alice-in-Wonderland paper. Back then, I started to create an interactive version of that paper, in such a way that all issues are visible on one page. I abandoned the project and then forgot about it. This is a project that I might revive again.

This revealed another limitation: I start to miss the possibility of using scripts or the strength of a database. Some things could get presented in a clearer way using for example interactive graphs or other interactive elements like I started to do with the Alice-in-Wonderland project.

Not sure how to tackle all these things. If I can miss scripting/database ability, then I could smarten up my categories and tags or just make an index page. I could also make use of static pages, summarizing one specific topic in some more detail. If I want to make use of scripting and databases, then I could go for a self-hosted WordPress site or just create a webpage with supplementary materials for this blog. So many options.

Something that I also want to do is writing some posts in Dutch (my mother tongue). Not sure how to do that in practice, maybe a new blog dealing specifically with things related to Flanders/Belgium, keeping the more international/general topics to this blog. Or maybe centralize it together with the supplementary materials site. It is currently not very clear, so I think this could be for the (far) future.

When it comes to the closer future, I will walk down memory lane and write some posts on why I changed from believer to skeptic, what changed exactly and what I learned from it. I already started writing one of those posts and have ideas for some others, so these might arrive soon.

I am glad to see an increase in views recently. Including the number of views from Belgium. These were very low until a couple months ago, so apparently more Belgians seem to find their way to this blog.

Finally a very big thank you for those who liked my posts, shared them on social media or wrote comments. I really appreciate it.

Feed the debate with (some) facts (and loads of assumptions)

Belgian scientists wrote an open letter in which they ask for better climate policies. This open letter is a reaction to the several climate marches that were organized in the last weeks by schoolchildren skipping school.

In a newspaper article (Dutch ahead), one of the organizers claimed that they want to feed the “climate debate with facts”. The word “fact” was mentioned six times throughout the article, so she wanted to emphasize that.

A debate based on facts. I surely like the sound of that!

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Belgian offshore wind produces as much as four nuclear plants

Last Monday, our Prime Minister gave a speech on the occasion of the Belgian Diplomatic Days (Dutch ahead). In his speech, he claimed that a lot has been achieved by the current Government and, as an example, he made the remarkable claim that the Belgian wind farms in the North Sea produce the same as four nuclear power plants! He raised four fingers and said “four” twice, so he apparently wanted to make a point with this specific claim.

Screenshot VRT news of January 28, 2019

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