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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Earth Day Thought For 2015

Earth Day 2015 is over. I've turned out the lights for an hour this evening and read all the nice Facebook slogans. It should feel good, but it doesn't. I know in my heart that we are failing the planet, everything that lives on it and everything that will inhabit the world in the future.

We simply aren't doing enough, though we have ample evidence that we are on a rapidly escalating path to destruction.

I'm a normal human being and I don't want to give up all the convenience of our modern world. I like heat, hydro, cars and all the rest of the things that consume fossil fuel. I buy lumber and wood products. In short I use it all and, even if I do my best to keep my consumption and my carbon footprint low, I'm still part of the problem.

But, I also believe that there are clever people out there who know how to make changes that will allow us to keep much of our standard of living and still give the earth the chance to heal. There are amazing inventions that never get to see the light of day and the only reason they aren't being integrated into our world is GREED. Greed of governments (and Canada is a top offender here), that want the corporate taxes and economic growth from the fossil fuel industry and greed of corporations that have no reason for existence except to generate profit. In Canada, we are afraid of our economy collapsing if we move away from exploiting and exporting our natural resources.

We choose to do this in our boreal forest. ~

photo credit Jiri Rezak

This is a tar sands, oil extraction project in Alberta, Canada. It is a complex means of extracting oil from sand that creates enormous lakes of toxins, right in the middle of the boreal forest. That forest is 54% of the world's intact boreal and crucial to migrating birds, water flow to the Arctic Ocean to form ice and cool the atmosphere and it's wetlands store 25 yrs. of man made carbon emissions. Canada has 10,000 kilometers of boreal forest. That's equal to the Amazon forest and just as important to world ecology.

If you are upset at finding out how poorly we are caring for this world resource, I'll give you a hint on how to put pressure on Canadians to treat this forest with the respect it deserves.

We Canadians have a great point of vulnerability; our Achilles heel as it were. We are vain about our public image. That's all you need to know to put pressure on us. We like to be thought of as the good guys, home to moose and beaver, with beautiful lakes and mountains and forests and people who say sorry even when they haven't done anything to be sorry about.

Just imagine how many times we are going to be saying sorry if the world starts exposing us as one of the lowest performers in the OECD on working toward halting climate change.

Send your journalists over here and let them show what a tar sands trailing pond looks like. Let them write about how these ponds are leaking chemicals into a delicate northern ecosystem. ~


You know I like to write about positive things and stories with happy endings. It is painful to me to say bad things about the country that I have always felt blessed to live in. Only my absolute belief that mankind has reached a crisis on environmental issues would induce me to write this post.

It is all connected; all of us and everything in this world. Each thing we do impacts everything else and everyone else around us. It ripples and moves and touches another thing. I want to move away from doing bad things and begin to move toward doing good things.

It's time to truly understand planet Earth. The sand in the hourglass is sifting through to the bottom. Let's support the new thinkers that can help us turn the hourglass around.

I was amazed and delighted to see this video of the research discovery of the symbiotic relationship between species and generations of trees and fungi. It's only 4 minutes long and worth the time to get a good idea of how much we have yet to learn about how things connect in the world.



I know our hearts are in the right place and maybe next year I can post about all the wonderful progress we have made and say,

Happy Earth Day!