Saturday, December 3, 2016

Birthday, yes...but seriously...

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 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:

5 Countries Leading the Way Toward 100% Renewable Energy (2015)

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 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.


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Those are excellent links Kay, all demonstrating positive aspect and how affirmative action brings success, quietly and without protest. The change seen here in Scotland and other developed countries is that the citizens vote with their fingers and select suppliers who provide energy from renewables (my own, for example is Hydro - my choice; I pay a small premium for that service, but pay it gladly). It is this type of affirmative action which has seen a moratorium against fracking put in place here in Scotland (though still to go to full bill)... Beats the pants off going and sitting on the ground chanting and in the hope of not being run over by some heavy plant.

The success in under-developed countries is due to the relative cost-effectiveness of setting up renewables and that they are manageable in remote areas; I have seen the evidence of the benefit of solar panels in India's countryside. The image of mud huts sprouting antennae and running refrigerators turns on its head the concept of 'hovel'!

All hail Nature's Power... YAM xx

Janice Adcock said...

Not only do we share the time of year of our birth, the actual year of our birth but views on the environment and political situation as well. I fear our president elect in the US will roll back so many constraints in the name of $$$$$.

Kay L. Davies said...

Thanks, Yam, I know I can always count on you. Not just to agree with me, but to finish my sentences for me. Hugs from here.

And thanks, Janice Adcock, it's always great to touch base with another member of the early Baby Boomer generation. Oh, what a changing world we lived in, didn't we?

Penelope Puddlisms said...

I agree … how can money/jobs possibly override the environment? If that’s not healthy than everything dies and only the coroner will be rich until his time comes too. I still prefer Justin to what the Conservatives were dishing out last election. He is in tough spots on lots of issues but I hope he’ll get more creative and diligent as time goes on. There are jobs to be had in developing new ways to improve and care for our world.

Jo said...

Thanks for the links, Kay. I'll pop over to them now. Do you remember how we were going to come and work on the oil sands near Alberta? Hugs to you and Lindy. xx

Sherry Blue Sky said...

An awesome post, kiddo, and nice to see you posting. What is mind boggling is that the oil gets shipped to other countries and oil companies get SUBSIDIES from the government to pollute the planet. That money would be much better spent, as you say, in creating jobs by developing clean energy alternatives......sigh. I have been talking about this for 40 years. Today's announcement from STANDING ROCK makes me think people are realizing more clearly.......I read another post about the problems in the Arctic and agree we seem to be past the tipping point. But we have to try the best we can to effect change. Today, a moment of joy. Tomorrow the fight continues.

Phil Slade said...

Hi Kay, Sorry I missed your birthday, but hey "snap" 1946 for me too. Don't get me started on how politicians are destroying the world's resources. You maqy not have seen it too much in remote parts of Scotland but In Englqand the policy seems to be to cover the import millions of immigrants of different cultures and concrete over the and natural environment andscape with roads and infrqstructure so as to accommmodate the extra millions. Not so bad in a country the size of Canada but the UK is a very small isand that is full to capacity. "Green and Pleasant Land" - once but no longer as our wildlife disappears into the black hole of "progress"

Sorry Richard didn't get to Lancashire. Tell him next time.

Best from me and Sue.

Jenn Jilks said...

We December women have to stick together!