I got about 40 "Happy 70th Birthday" wishes via Facebook
on Thursday, and I'm "tickled pink" — to use a phrase from my youth.
I've been on the planet a long time, and I've survived it all, even the worst bits. I am very grateful for that.
However, this is not the world into which I was born in British Columbia in 1946. Never mind the obvious differences from the 1940s to the 21st century...like dress styles and cars, radio and the first television...
Today we live on the brink of a global disaster.
Polar ice cap melting, oceans polluted, along with rivers, lakes and streams. (Not to mention war, famine, disease, and shocking political debacles.)
What can we do? I don't know now. I believe we're past the tipping point, as others have also said.
I think of my late father, and his books about the Living Rivers of British Columbia
. He lived long enough to see the beginning of our global melt-down, but I'm actually glad he's not alive today to see how much worse things have become. His living rivers might soon die.
I miss Dad dearly, but I wouldn't have wanted him to see his beloved rivers killed by garbage and other detritus, and in grave danger of a worse disaster—fossil fuels, specifically potentially leaky oil pipelines.
Now, don't get me wrong, I really do understand about people who work in the "oil patch" here in Alberta and elsewhere: of course I know they need jobs in order to feed their families, but I believe the dangers of transporting oil across our land and our oceans will far outweigh the benefits.
Therefore, I believe federal and provincial governments should look at paying displaced oil patch personnel while they train for other jobs...yes, the people who depend upon fossil fuel revenues to feed their families are important.
They are very important, I understand that, but not any more so than other Canadians who depend upon oceans, forests, lakes and rivers for their livelihood, indeed for their very lives.
By paying people as they re-train for jobs such as building solar panels, wind turbines, and other new and exciting technology, we could save our environment: oceans, rivers, forests, lakes and streams, as well as the oil-patch workers.
I do not understand why any country, including Canada, would endanger the environment in exchange for money.
If our country is dead, money will mean nothing.
Our prime minister who, before he was elected, seemed to be opposed to reliance on fossil fuels, has instead approved new two pipelines to be built through my beloved country. I thought it was his beloved country, too, as it was his father's before him, but now I wonder.
There was Justin, on TV a few days ago, talking about money, from the other side of the world, in exchange for Canadian oil, about oil revenues being so great for the country's economy.
But what kind of country will his children and grandchildren inherit
when its oceans, forests, lakes and rivers — even the land itself— are polluted and die after one or more oil disasters?
I voted for Prime Minister Trudeau, thinking "Pierre's kid" had an education that taught him to face, head on, the dangers to Canada.
Look, Justin...and look, fellow Canadians, it can be done, look at what other countries have accomplished:
It's not that Canada doesn't know about these things: on the Government of Canada website we see a discussion about various types of energy, including wind, solar, and ocean energy (who knew?) along with fossil fuels because it is a government website, after all, and can't ignore the energy now being touted by its leader.
However, I am one of those British Columbia-born leftwing pinko radicals who, if I were young and healthy again, would be in Burnaby, BC, protesting the twinning of the Kinder Morgan
pipeline. And, although I'm very glad, even grateful, that Prime Minister Trudeau did not
approve the particularly scary Northern Gateway
pipeline shown here, still he and his cohort, Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr,
did approve enlarging the Enbridge Line 3
pipeline which threatens the province of Manitoba. That one could become Canada's equivalent of Standing Rock
to the south.
I wouldn't want to be suffering the cruel winter weather which has hit the Standing Rock
protestors, but I do wish I could be one of them.
The young me, with a job that allowed me to take unpaid time off pretty much as often as I wanted it, would be spending time with all three groups of protestors.
Plus, that job paid very well and, if I had it now, I could afford to send money to all three protest groups.
However, technology pretty much erased that job...it went the way of all good things. I was a printer and, when I lived in Vancouver, I set type for the city's two daily newspapers, along with 300 other journeyman compositors, most of whom are dead now, just as our International Typographical Union is dead: killed by technological change.
But don't get me started on the much-mourned ITU.
It isn't the world into which I was born in 1946.