Politics

Cats Contribute to Climate Change?

Or alternatively titled: “Why I Question Science to Begin With”

Hey cat lovers, do you have your high blood pressure medicine near by? Because you’re probably going to need it – get this, scientists NOW claim that CATS, of all things, are causing Global Warming, oops, I mean, Climate Change (I must remember to use the current terminology. After all, it began as Global Cooling, then Global Warming and now it’s Climate Change. Darn that cyclical weather).

Domestic cats, officially considered an invasive species, kill at least a hundred million birds in the US every year—dwarfing the number killed by wind turbines. They’re also responsible for at least 33 avian extinctions worldwide. A recent Smithsonian Institution study found that cats caused 79 percent of deaths of juvenile catbirds in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Bad news, since birds are key to protecting ecosystems from the stresses of climate change—a 2010 study found that they save plants from marauding insects that proliferate as the world warms.

Source

But wait, it gets better. Mother Jones even provides a video to “back” up the claim, complete with a graph! (*gasp* NOT a graph. It MUST be legit then!!!)

Hold on, it gets even better … apparently, not only do cats CAUSE Climate Change but they’re also multiplying BECAUSE OF Climate Change.

Droves of cats and kittens are swarming into animal shelters nationwide, and global warming is to blame, according to one pet adoption group.

Several shelters operated by a national adoption organization called Pets Across America reported a 30 percent increase in intakes of cats and kittens from 2005 to 2006, and other shelters across the nation have reported similar spikes of stray, owned and feral cats.

The cause of this feline flood is an extended cat breeding season thanks to the world’s warming temperatures, according to the group, which is one of the country’s oldest and largest animal welfare organizations.

Source

And just when you thought it couldn’t get even more bizarre, there is this response from a cat activist:

I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or lower my opinion of this country’s intelligence level another point.

Seriously. Seriously??

I suppose, now, to save the planet, we need to kill off all the cats. I wonder what PETA would think of that proposal?

*SIGH*

Once again – Global Warming is Natural – Not Man-Made. We need to definitely work on keeping our pollution to a minimum but to assume that we humans, or even a species, are big enough, or even important enough, to impact our planet is ludicrous.

And “studies” like this? Just prove my point.

Life

Teaching Driver’s Ed – Again

Kevin and I went and picked up Jazz’s car on Wednesday, finally.

It's an '03 Mazda Protégé - 98,000 miles

We bought it on Saturday, but noticed that the horn wasn’t working and there was a bumping noise near the back wheels when we took it for a test drive.

Kevin looked under the car and noticed that the sway bar had come loose and it needed a new attachment and he could fix that himself. But the horn … we weren’t going to buy a car that had a pretty serious safety issue and of course, it wouldn’t pass inspection like that.

So, the car dealer said they would get those items fixed for us. (I’m sort of surprised they even thought it was okay to try and sell the car without a horn. I’m thinking they were betting on the fact that we wouldn’t notice, or that we wouldn’t ask questions about the car when they sold it. I’m only speculating, but it just seems a little odd to me that they wouldn’t fix these things FIRST and then just add the cost to the price of the car, but whatever).

The dealer told us that we could pick it up on Monday.

We called the dealer on Monday, it wasn’t ready, call back and 5:00, he said.

We called back at 5:00, the part hadn’t come in and it still wasn’t ready, call back on Tuesday.

We called back on Tuesday, but the dealer said the garage hadn’t called him back (why he didn’t call the garage is beyond me).

Okay now I’m starting to get suspicious. Kevin had looked up the sway bar part online and noticed that you could buy the part at O’Reilly’s for like $40 bucks and they could have it at the nearest store within an hour. (O’Reilly’s rocks, by the way). So … what exactly was the hold up with the garage? They must have gone through the dealer to get the part which is kind of silly considering that takes twice as long and likely costs twice as much.

I was starting to get the feeling we were being given the run around. I mean, if there’s a problem, then tell me, don’t assume that I’m a person who can be swept under the rug, ESPECIALLY after already spending the money and having nothing to show for it.

That crap doesn’t fly with me.

So on Wednesday, Kevin got a bit firmer with them. When the dealer told us that the garage still hadn’t called him, we got the garage’s number and called ourselves. They told us the horn had been fixed and they would have the sway bar fixed that day (after Kevin told them that we would be by at 4:30 to pick up the car).

We arrived at the garage at the appointed time and the lo and behold, the car was ready.

*Side note: We’re nice people and we give people a lot of leeway, but there comes a point where nice just doesn’t cut it anymore and you need to be a little more firm with people. I’m not saying to be an asshole, but some people just take advantage of overly nice people. Just sayin’.

When we got it home, Kevin showed me what they had done with the horn.

Button for the Horn

Apparently, in order to avoid messing up the airbag in the steering wheel (because replacing air bags is INSANELY EXPENSIVE), they drilled a hole in the dashboard and rerouted the horn through that opening. Now, you have to press a button to make the horn work – it’s not on the steering wheel. Weird, right? But in some ways, it might be better, because in order to make a normal horn work, you need to hit an exact spot on the steering wheel and when it’s an emergency, you don’t exactly have time to feel your way around. Oh well. It passed inspection and it works great now, so …

Protege 2

I’ve taken Jazz out to a large parking lot to practice a few times now and I must admit, the boy is doing pretty well for never having driven before.

His turns, starts and stops are still rough and jerky (which makes me carsick so we sort of have to take breaks so mom can catch her breath – HA!), but we’re making progress. His parking is actually pretty good. He’s a bit crooked, but it’s better than a lot of parking jobs I see out there from seasoned drivers.

I’m hoping we’ll get to a point where he can drive to band camp in a few weeks, but I’m not sure he’ll be ready for that by then. I tend to take these driving lessons pretty slow and want to make sure the boys feel comfortable enough to move on to more advanced roads before actually going there.

Jazz is more enthusiastic about driving than Dude ever was. He likes new challenges – Dude doesn’t like change or challenges – he’s more comfortable settling into routines and he doesn’t like surprises. (He gets that from me). Of course, we’re just getting started so the newness will likely wear off and I’ll have to put on my “mom means business” hat before long.

But here we are … teaching our youngest son how to drive.

My baby is learning to drive. WAH!

P.S. In case anyone is wondering why I’m teaching the boys to drive and not Kevin – it’s because Kevin is one of those drivers.

“Watch out for that car! He’s swerving! Slow down!”

“There’s a squirrel. Don’t hit the squirrel.”

“I think I see a pedistrian one mile away. DON’T HIT HIM!”

And then he proceeds to tell the boys horror stories that get them so shook up, paranoid and freaked out they’re like petrified humans behind the steering wheel when he’s done and they’re afraid to make even simple decisions from that point on. I tend to internalize my freak outs and force myself to remain calm when they make mistakes (or have near misses) because freaking out just makes the situation worse. So, I teach the boys instead of Kevin to avoid scarring them from driving for life.

Kevin will deny he is like this, but I assure you, he is. It’s also gotten worse since his motorcycle accident, which, SURE. He’s entitled to be a bit freaked out when it comes to driving after that horrific experience, but it’s not exactly a stellar attitude to have when teaching impressionable teenage boys how to drive.

ADDED: I just wanted to add, for posterity purposes, that the radio is broken, too. (These are the little details that Kevin and I disagree over in later years. Ha!)