Some Better-than-Bad news on Climate Change

Climate Change scares the shit out of me. It should scare the shit out of you too. But, sometimes I spot some good news stories that help me keep the hope up.

Let me share some of them:

I created a category for this, as I think I’m going to try to write more about this.

Practical Fatherhood: Early Lessons, Volume II

Disposable for Sanity is OK!

We have grand plans to switch to cloth diapers (we have a drawer full of them!) but I am super happy with our decision to go disposable near the beginning for sanity.

Cloth diapers may be the more environmentally friendly way to go, they are also way more labour intensive. I am so happy we started with disposable to be easy on ourselves. In general, there's all kinds of places where you can spend money for ease, and in my opinion, if that option is open to you, I would encourage you to take it near the beginning. There’s already a million and one things happening, so be kind to yourself.

Physical Health is Important

Keep your own physical health in mind! This is a marathon not a race!

The first weeks one of the things I struggled with most was pain. My feet were killing me. The baby settled best when she was walked around, but this meant I was on my feet all the time. On hard floors, my flat feet were doing me no favours.

One of the best choices I made was to pull out my gym shoes and wear them whenever I was expecting to be on my feet.

Later we discovered that bouncing on a yoga ball was also an effective soother, but this came at the cost of back pain after a bit.

In hindsight, one of the best things I did last year was spent a lot of time at he gym working on my back, in particular my upper back.


Have earplugs you like.

Probably should have just shoved this in the last update under sleep, as you'll need them to make sure you can get enough sleep. Even if you know intellectually your partner is taking care of the baby, you baby screaming will definitely keep you up, or wake you up.

Practical Fatherhood: Early Lessons, Volume I

Man, there's so much you learn on the fly becoming a father. You can take classes, read, and plan, and in the end... there's so much more to it, so much you didn't anticipate, so much more you need to know.

You Don't Know What You're Going to Need

We had a list of things we knew we needed before the baby came. Went out, and got all those things, and thought we were prepared. Hoo-boy, were we wrong. Turns out, you don't know what you're going to need until you need it.

There's a whole shopping list of things we ended up buying after baby was born.

Accept it!


If you're dealing with bottles, at all, save yourself water and energy: Go buy yourself a bottle warmer and a bottle sterilizer.

While you can do things using pots, burners, stoves, you quickly discover that it's an enormous use of water an energy. Using a pot for sterilization means boiling a few litres of water. Using a sterilizer; 100ml.


The first two weeks in particular, you're adapting to the crazy sleep schedule, you're adapting to the demands of a baby. It's so easy to get your nutrition wrong: don't.

We were really prepared for dinners: Andrea cooked a bunch of meals that we froze for eating. What we were unprepared for were snacks.

Make sure you have snacks you can eat in the middle of the night that have protein; don't just down a juicebox or a couple slices of bread.Making smoothies with protein powder, and pepperoni sticks turned into a lifesaver for me.


So it turns out that it's really easy to not get enough sleep with a baby. I would highly, highly recommend that you track how much sleep you're getting.

You can see the crazy polyphasic sleep of parenthood here. This is week four, and so we’ve hit a bit of rhythm as you can see though.

You can see the crazy polyphasic sleep of parenthood here. This is week four, and so we’ve hit a bit of rhythm as you can see though.

I started tracking after two weeks, and it quickly became clear I wasn’t getting enough, and it was very likely neither was Andrea. Just seeing it made it possible to work on it.

I use Sleep Diary, a pretty no frills app that let’s me hit a button when I get into bed, and hit it again when I get out of bed. Good enough!

Cognitive Heatsinks

I finally got around to watching this Clay Shirky talk I had added to Pocket a few months ago (was something to walk around the living room to while calming a fussy baby). 

It’s a short and good watch, but a high level summary is that there is an enormous amount of cognitive energy that we have historically burnt off in the form of passive entertainment (or drinking). He foresaw a future where even a small fraction of that energy could be harnessed for great value; Wikipedia being the most successful version of this. 

The talk is ten years old though, so it’s interesting to look back and see where we went.

It seems like he missed the ways in which participatory systems would themselves be ‘cognitive heatsinks’. Social media, while it has some aspects that are valuable, seem balanced by negative outcomes that we didn’t see from sitcoms. 

Still great talk, and inspiring enough that I bothered to write this very post. 

What Scares Me, What Gives Me Hope

I feel like we don’t always talk honestly about our feelings these days. In particular, I feel like we talk about hopes and dreams and aspirations a lot more than we share our fears.

Allow me to share some fears. These are topics on my mind regularly, things that give me anxiety in my life.

It’s my hope that I’ll look back on this list in ten years and recognize progress. For my own sanity, and because I'm not a total monster, I've appended a list of things that give me hope afterwards.

What Scares Me

This list is haphazard and unorganized, much as you might expect of a barfing of fears.

  • Climate Change
    • Impact
    • Denialism
    • Impotence at change
  • Society
    • Rise of Intolerance
      • Calling people who disagree with you Nazis
      • Actual Nazis
      • Right Wing Extremism
    • Democracy
      • Weakening Institutions
      • Weakening belief in it
      • Money == Political Power
      • Loss of democratic norms
      • Populist Autocrats
    • Attention Spans
      • My own included
  • Internet
    • Surveillance Business Models
    • Engagement as a metric
      • Algorithms seeking to maximize engagement
        • The effect these algorithms are having on the rise of intolerance.
      • Does working on making JS better make the world a better place?
    • Weak Media Literacy
      • Especially as it makes democracy vulnerable to those algorithms pushing engagement.
  • Nuclear Weapons
  • Canada
    • Reduced Cohesiveness
    • Alberta
      • Alberta's Economic Future w.r.t oil, climate change.
  • Personal
    • Gun Violence (My local community has had a large number of shootings lately, my cousin was just shot, and I fear guns every time I travel to the United States)
    • Community Safety
    • Retirement
    • "Doing the Right Thing"
    • My own personal impact on climate change.
    • Skills Stagnation.
Fears - December 2018 Transparent.png

What Gives Me Hope

It definitely frustrates me that the second list is so much shorter than the first.

What gives you hope?