A forum for comments on FASD, sharing, life challenges, politics and other things that bother us. By GrampaBrian, FASD Advocate (AKA Brian Philcox)

Archive for October, 2008

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us*

We are too often quick to find blame for whatever ails us elsewhere. Upon reflection, the commonplace ills of our societies rest largely with us. Pollution is the most critical at the moment in spite of ongoing wars, various incurable diseases and numerous political stupidities… and don’t get me going about religion.

Here’s what I think about global warming (don’t say climate change, that sounds too innocuous):
– Global warming has been the result of too much pollution in the air, right? This includes excessive releases of carbon into the atmosphere as a result of our dependence and widespread use of fossil fuels.
– Related to the excess carbon emissions is the release of methane into the atmosphere from the attempts to find, gather and distribute oil and natural gas (which is 95% methane).
– Methane has formed a simulated blanket around the Earth which keeps the heat from the sun trapped in our atmosphere.
– Are you following me so far? Now think about the population growth over the past 100 years or so and the ability of our natural capacity to absorb the pollution that this growth has created.
– People create methane too. We all know that except we don’t usually call it methane. Whether you tell the kids to refer to “toots” or “passing gas”, they are just plain old farts that, typically, every human passes 7 times a day.
– Guess what, ruminants fart a lot too — that’s cattle and the like.
– So, we have an ever burgeoning population growth that wants more protein in its diet. That means more cattle being raised for meat… especially burgers.
– And, we are seeing more forest being cleared to raise more cattle. That’s a double-whammy: we’re reducing the capacity of the planet to absorb CO2 and produce oxygen and building up more methane-producing herds.
– Let’s learn how to get more of our protein from vegetable combinations and cut back on meat and we’ll all live better and longer.

* Thanks to the late, great Walt Kelly and his spokesperson Pogo.

Canada’s Health Care

I’m sure I’ve touched on the subject of our health care here in Ontario before. I know some people get very annoyed that waiting times can seem endless. However, the experience of my family and me has been very positive. Yes, I have waited in Emerge on occasion for several hours. But I was not bleeding or otherwise requiring instant attention. What I have seen is highly competent triage teams doing exceptional jobs to care for a very demanding group of patients.

After all, I’m old enough to remember when going to the hospital was only for the most drastic of situations. Normally, you would call on the family doctor who would come around to your house at at time that worked for him. Yes, I said ‘him’ as I don’t recall any female family physicians being around until I was an adult. And, of course, we had to pay for each visit the doctor made, whether it was at your place or his.

As seniors, my wife and I have interacted with our health system rather more frequently than we would like of late. However, we are very glad that we live where we do and have the benefit of of one of the more enlightened health systems in the world. Is it perfect? I suppose not. But then what has ever been perfect in our world? What has been exceptional for us has been the consistent warmth and compassion shown to us by every member of the health teams that have served us. Are we somehow special that we have received such caring attention over the years? I rather doubt it. If you are not getting the kind of care you’d like to expect then maybe your attitude towards your health caregivers needs some polishing.

We’ve always found that those who serve us deserve our genuine gratitude and a few kind words and gestures of appreciation go an awfully long way