Tag Archives: Sustainability

Climate, Jobs, Justice & the Economy – April 26, 2017

slide_224827_946621_freeWhere does one begin when fighting for climate, jobs, and justice. In a search for commonalities, the most obvious is the economy.

Climate and the economy, such obvious archenemies, are a dichotomy leaving us a choice of one or the other. We can have one but must drop the other; it shouldn’t be a tough call. Continue reading Climate, Jobs, Justice & the Economy – April 26, 2017

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An Industrial Evolution – July 26, 2016

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We live in an era of ‘take’, staking claim to what is mine and not yours. This mentality begins in our interpersonal relationships and extends to the biosphere supporting us. Society promotes a whole lotta take with very little to return. Mother Nature seems a little peeved about this exchange and is shutting down the tills. Continue reading An Industrial Evolution – July 26, 2016

Peace Together – July 23, 2016

Peace TogetherThe door is closing. This was a threat from a random guy that wanted me involved in some moneymaking scheme or business opportunity. This was his lure. Truthfully, I merely want a roof over my head in a home with working utilities. I want time to pursue my life’s passion. I want to learn and create. Continue reading Peace Together – July 23, 2016

On Protests: The Steps to Solidarity – May 4, 2014

578287_476713402344646_1199282742_nWhat can I say that hasn’t already been said? These pipelines are a danger to the Nature that we rely on in order to feed an economic system that provides us a miniscule proportion of it benefits. So are we here solely to display our unease, projecting dissatisfaction with the government’s favoring of the oil, gas, and economic sectors rather than improving our wellbeing? Where can we go from here that will increase our influence?

We’re here to raise awareness of the issue. I also believe that everyone here has a good understanding of the pipeline dilemma. If not, ask the person next to you. We come here, also, to deepen our understanding of how these projects impact our wellbeing. We come here for the solidarity, knowing our concerns are not only our own but of the entire community’s.

In those terms, we’re also here for the future. Personally, I want to ensure that an ecology remains for our children, grandchildren, and beyond to flourish in. We are living on the legacy of thousands of years of improvements, and it looks like all of those efforts are starting to go to waste. To end this ravaging, we must expand, reorganize, and become a community that we can be proud of.

Our hope lies in our action. By now we realize that our Conservative government will not be working towards the same goal. Just as likely, the media has drawn a line to how in-depth it can cover the damage from the petroleum industry. They do have advertisers and sponsors to appease, which is more their bread-and-butter than the bare truth.

So we are the bullhorn, we must spread the word because there is nobody else. We can give each other these great speeches, but we must now give them to those who won’t listen. This requires different tactics and most likely a huge voluntary organization to reinforce our actions. This is possible, and I have no doubt that our answers lie in our nest of ideas. We consist of a variety of backgrounds and professions, all with different perspectives of how the problem affects them. If we gather and discern the most sensible direction, we have a strategy for winning.

We must speak to our school systems, our business community, and our spiritual societies to energize the cause. We must provide our support to the other causes as they must support us. After all, while we’re fighting for the environment, the anti-Monsanto movement is fighting for food security, the Cannabis movement for fairer laws, and the anti-poverty movement for a better economy. Combined, that’s a lot of support to back our causes.

A larger group bears a greater impact, so we must expand. Social media is too easy to scan and pass over. The best impression comes from eye-to-eye contact, person-to-person. In a way, we must take on the door-to-door fervor of certain religious organizations and spread the word.

Our greatest strength is having the truth as our backing. Peering through the spin, the web of deception, we must look beyond what we’re shown. Continuous study and discussion are vital to keep a step ahead of the competitor. Only then can we distinguish their motives on which to plan an effective response. Again, government assistance is unlikely so we need massive support.

Our biggest obstacle lies within the economics of the situation. How can we take on that much power and that many lawyers? This is where we test our democratic might, requiring politicians with the resolve to fight for the rights of the citizens. We haven’t yet entered that arena, but an election is coming up in 2015, and we can change all that. We must put someone in power who will work with us toward our goals. On a grander scale, our fight isn’t just against the oil industry, it’s for our democracy.

So why are we here? To rally the troops, to recharge our will, to reclaim our land, and protect our wellbeing. And what can I ask of you? Spend some time talking to a stranger, or the person next to you, about what their greatest concern is. Start a community group, a lecture circuit, a contest. We’re a bright group of people, and we must empower our most creative ideas.

From here, we build up our numbers. We gather support. We create a game plan and decide on our counter-offensive. We must also provide the alternatives. Can we create an economy that will protect and sustain our communities, environment and well-being? This question is too big to cover now, but it should direct our questions to the next step.

We are here to influence our fellow citizens, as our representatives have become accustomed to the status quo, with very little vision of a future that reflects true prosperity. If our goal is clear, our facts unblemished, and our will immoveable, we will prevail.

Charge of the Oil-literate – December 10, 2013

slide_224827_946621_freeWe live in a bountiful province. We have lots of space with a broad range of ecosystems. We have fresh rivers, lakes and glaciers. We have islands and an ocean, and plenty of wildlife. I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty sweet. So why risk losing it to the mining, oil and gas industries? How badly do we need to drive? Sitting here at the onset of winter, I’d definitely give up having a car over giving up the gas hot water heater and furnace. It’s a matter of priorities.

Ten years ago, I was reading about multinational industries moving into developing countries to do their business. Truthfully, it’s not much different from letting the dog out to ‘do its business’. They went there for the cheap labor and lax environmental standards. They came; they exhumed; they departed; leaving the cleanup duty to the citizens. They left scars that will affect generations. It’s cold-hearted, but it’s business.

Skip back to the present, and I’m witnessing the same practices being done in our own backyard. It started out with having the environmental standards being taken out at the knees. Then came the tar sands explosion, leading to total disruption and theft of our water supply to support the disinterring. Then, the scientists were muzzled from speaking to the public about their economy-threatening truths. Soon, those foreign multinationals came knocking on our door, and one of the world’s greatest scarrings began.

Okay, so that was bad, but then the ever-envious BC government got giddy when word had it that we had gas. The liquid natural gas sector has become the backbone of our Premier’s job plan. This proposal requires refrigeration, which in turn requires a lot of power. So, even though BC has more than enough electricity, we now must erect a Site C Dam and destroy the habitat along the Peace River. Are we willing to destroy even more of our backyard for foreign interests to come in and scoop up all of our precious resources, using infrastructure built on the taxpayer’s dollar? Are we really that desperate or are we willing to try the untested waters of sustainable technology?

While on the topic of sustainability, for a constant supply of heat, we could go the biofuel way and harvest it from hemp. It burns cleaner, while, in its growth phase, it breathes at twice the exchange rate of oxygen for CO2 that trees do. Its oil can be processed for heating or for our transportation. Its fibers produce fabric stronger than denim. Its seeds provide a multitude of health benefits. Those are just a few industries that can provide long-term employment, and we wouldn’t have to flood a valley to do it.

I don’t believe we live in a Third World country, nor that we need to rely on foreign dollars to stabilize our economy. I will be the one to live out the consequences of their carelessness, which is especially annoying when we have plenty of other options to sustainably allow the industries to do their business in my home without putting my wellbeing at risk. I love BC. Let’s work to keep it beautiful.

Shotgun Democracy – May 30, 2013

democracy06The world is at an uncertain point. It makes it tough to determine a direction when the economy collapses, democracy crumbles, and the environment strikes back. Our food and medication are killing us, our technology’s a mystery, and we don’t know who to believe anymore. Wow. What a mess.

What’s one to do but stash your money under the cushion, unplug the world, plant a garden and load the shotgun for protection from ‘the others’? That or simply unplug your television, that cretin filling our minds with crime, corruption, disasters and disturbed people. But aside from the news, we watch quasi-reality shows, celebrity gossip and cute pet tricks to engage the mind. This makes for quite the mental diet.

While engaging in this act, we munch on candy bars, salty snacks, sodas, beer and whatever other convenience is tossed our way. With meat and produce making us sick or killing us, there’s always the comfort in knowing that these processed foods are rarely the carriers of illness. Okay, aside from obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The common link here is industrial processing, the art of taking real, live food and squeezing the life out of it. It’s those live qualities that can limit a product’s shelf life, after all. So, our physical diet is a matter of inflating us with chemically-derived nutrients, preservatives and coloring, amongst many others. Great.

Unfortunately, such a lifestyle will be detrimental to our health. Our beliefs and emotions feed on our senses, our mental health on what we ingest and inhale. On this premise, junk food, television and our habits are some of the top suspects murdering our health. We do have the health industry to fall back on, so long as you can sum up your life’s worth of problems in fifteen minutes. Surgery and prescriptions are their typical solution, as profit margins shrink if too much time is needed to one patient’s therapy. So that’s out.

Science has advanced our lifespan. We’ve discovered many lifesaving techniques, helpful pharmaceutical drugs, and taken the ‘dis’ out of disabled. It has also created nuclear weapons, deadly viruses, and horrific destruction. But when will we go too far? What ethics allow us to genetically alter our food and wantonly destroy our ecosystem in the name of progress? What good is a naked Earth to the future generations? Is this bettering us as humans, or that certain top percentage fattening their bank accounts?

Have our values truly sunken down to the least common denominator, being the almighty buck? What would we do without the media, food, agriculture, and technological industries? They appear to have us by the short and curlies, but luckily we have democracy on our side. Surely our government will protect our privacy, food, health, water and safety! Their protection is the reason why we don’t need shotguns to protect our possessions. Right?

These Keepers of the Great Canadian Household seem more interested in playing with their industrial friends that tending to the kids. While playing dice with our tax dollars, hoping to strike it big and provide a lasting legacy, they appear to be losing our lot piece by piece. Their focus on the economy has created a struggling citizenry, as the costs are picked from the pockets of our education, health care and social services. I don’t see how a new set of fighter jets is going to help the struggling Canadian citizen, but I guess everyone needs new toys.

So is the economy as vital as we’re told? After all, it provides us with our electronics, produce, food, petroleum and various other distractions. Our government grants and policies provide industrial relief to continue employing us to tear apart our house. The pharmaceutical industries are making obscene profits by providing us with magic bullets, then others to counter the effects of that magic. It empowers a handful of media giants to determine how we view the world, no matter how ‘truthy’ it is. It empowers six food corporations to run the farm and grocery store. At the center of all this is the bank, weaving the web of power while pulling the economic puppet strings. We are the entranced audience, feeding the web.

How do we get our house in order? It’s not a service we can get delivered. We have to mop up our local environment, sweep out the entrenched politicians, and scour our municipal, provincial and federal policies of industrial favoritism. This is no small feat, and those in power are unlikely to be the ones to do this. Now, this will have an impact on your consumption and lifestyle, but it really is about making the choice of transitioning now, or facing the inevitable impact later. Sorry to be a doomsayer, but the economy is the least sustainable of all. The ripple of the 2008 crash can be a global recurrence, and we should set up some disaster preparedness. If we take back control of the economy, we no longer need be threatened by it.

Economies were borne of a local need. These needs still exist and can continue no matter what size the economy. Our skills and expertise are already solely local provisions, sold at an hourly wage. We have the knowledge and intelligence to exist apart from the surrounding world, which is important if transportation ceases operability when the oil runs out. Time banks, where an hour of my skill is worth an hour of yours, have sustained communities throughout the world. Local currencies and co-op programs, requiring the participation of community retailers, have helped communities plug the leakage of dollars to out-of-town head offices and built up local businesses. There are alternate ways to determine our value.

The basis of our wellbeing is what we ingest, everything else is icing on the cake. Supporting the local food movement may be our first great step to embracing a positive future. The plants help our environment breath, replenish nutrients to the soil, and fulfil our nutritional needs. The backyard, community and rooftop gardens are blossoming as the gardener has regained her connection with the environment, and rewarded with a bounty of healthful food.

Entertainment was once packaged in the form of barbecues, dinners and a game of cards. Local plays and performances primed our imaginations, and local bands brought our community senses together. Our lives were defined by our community more than our fashion sense and television programming. Sadly, local arts and culture are in need of resuscitation after being steamrolled by the commercial empire. It is our community that provides our identity, the industrial detritus homogenizes it.

Once it’s all settled down, our solution appears obvious. Disengage from your cable, wi-fi and cell phone and re-engage with your community. The people around us provide identity, not our possessions. Our abilities determine our worth, not the sliding scale of the economy. Our knowledgeable choices determine our health, not our ability to decipher which advertisement speaks loudest to our psyche. Hope, far from lost, stands front-and-center with each step we take to control our lives. Let’s put away our shotguns and start building our own web.