Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How Green Was Our Valley...?

This week is Earth Week, and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and Gordon Campbell, the Premier of our Province, chose yesterday as the day to announce yet another multi-billion $$$$ dam in the Peace River Valley region our province. In addition to that, he flew five plane loads of people up there, just to make his ill-timed announcement. Is he stupid, arrogant, or does he really just not care?
The Sierra Club called the Site C decision "misguided." "Instead of investing billions of dollars in a dam whose need is unproven, we should first spend our time and money developing a full provincial framework for future energy development before making a final decision on Site C," said George Heyman, executive director of the organization's B.C. branch. The loss of a huge tract of forest would leave fewer trees to soak up carbon, while flooded farmland would reduce the province's food security, said Heyman.

That concern was echoed by a David Suzuki Foundation spokesman. "They haven't looked at the costs that this dam is going to incur, in terms of the climate," said the foundation's science director, Faisal Moola. Moola said the project has the potential of destroying forest land that provides "a critical carbon sink," that is "sequestering the greenhouse gases the cause climate change." ... Vancouver Sun

Peace River Valley

Why do we need more electricity? So we can make more stuff so people can buy more stuff and get rid of their old stuff? There was a very interesting program on "American Experience" last night, documenting the rise of automobile-worship and the degradation of cities as a result. Coincidentally, the damage caused by automobiles, their miles of highways and the attendant smog, corresponded with the birth of the environmental movement, when scientists, savvy politicians and activitists realized what was happening to the earth, and how just how far we humans had gone towards poisoning ourselves. We are the only animal on earth capable of our own annihilation just by our very existance. But I don't think we have reached the tipping point -- yet. We still have time to stop and to even reverse the damage. Whether one believes in God or evolution, we have been given a planet of immense beauty on which to live. It truly is a Garden of Eden, and it is irresponsible for us to ruin it.

Celebrate Earth Day -- plant a tree. And leave your car at home...


The Bug said...

When I read stories like this it makes me sad that I'm not more green. Sure I have a metal water bottle (that I LOVE) & I use cloth grocery bags - & cloth snack bags. But I live 40 miles from where I work & I don't carpool. And while I recycle all my boxes & cartons, I don't try to reduce how many packaged things I buy. Sigh.

Katy said...

Wow, this is really truely sad. What is worse is that this kind of thing seems to be the norm. People are so arregent in the way we treat the world around us. Why do we make throw away products that will out live us all? Personally, I'm a spiritual person who can never quite get my head around how people can believe that God created the world and then continue to trash it.

The whole thing is truely maddening.

Russell said...

Excellent post. Even more excellent commentary, if that makes sense (otherwise I hope you know what I mean!).

Our resources are limited - much to the surprise and shock of apparently so many. We have to find a balance between various needs and wants the resources available to provide for them.

Take care and, again, wonderful post.

Alissa said...

But don't we have all these new less destructive ways of generating electricity? Surely solar panels and wind turbines couldn't cost any more to install than it would to build a dam and cause who knows what kind of ecological destruction.

Whitney Lee said...

I believe the prevalence of people who think just like you, Jo, will enable us to avoid reaching that tipping point, if only we will fight as voraciously as we complain.

PinkPanthress said...

Being a nature lover myself, I adore this post... :)
I wish more people would open their eyes & see what we have. Instead, the greedy & ugly-minded are so far the winners in this 'game'!

DJan said...

I ride the bus every day to the YMCA where I work out, but when I do any shopping that requires me to carry things, I use the car. I do try to minimize it. I am very opposed to dams, I saw the incredible damage it did in China, and continues to this day.

The real culprit here is not that these things are done, but that there are so many of us. Overpopulation and overcrowding are only going to get worse, until we do reach that tipping point. But what's a person to do? Just do our part, I guess, and hope that something will change our inevitable future.

Meggie said...

Oh Jo, it makes me weep, to see the wanton destruction of so much that is natural.
We have a good local recycle collection, and I try to recycle the food scraps into the garden.
Sometimes I feel like a gnat threatening an elephant...

lakeviewer said...

Our valley was green but we didn't notice. Our valley is turning brown and we choose not to notice. Our valley will be a desert and we will leave for greener pastures. We are hungry and selfish animals.

Brenda said...

I don't drive much at all and neither does my husband. And the area we live in picks up 3 times a week. Once for only yard waste and another for regular trash and one more very large container for recycled material. We have way too many items in the garage right now, because we haven't scheduled dates to take away all the things that have to be properly recycled like electronics and paints. Those places open this month and I can't wait to take them to their proper recycle facilities. I often think about the days when we could throw anything and everything in the regular trash pick up. I think we have come a long way from those days. We could always do better though...

Marguerite said...

Very thought provoking post, Jo! It is maddening to watch big business, continuing to destroy our planet. And we,also, each need to do our own part in the preservation process, and go green, too! No more big trucks and S.U.V's, please!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I really hate politicians who stand for nothing but election.

Yes, our species is a dreadful blight on the planet. We have such enormous capacity for good, and yet we so readily sink to the lowest level out of stupidity, greed and ennui. It is beyond irresponsible to leave such a mess for our children when we could easily prevent it. If we have the technology to create this disaster, we have the means to repair it. To do nothing is simply shameful.

Firefly said...

And down here we are in desperate need of more water and the government just seem to not worry to invest money in a new dam. Eish!

the walking man said...

If there is a need for energy and billions of dollars are available why not go green with it? There are more ways than just wind farms to produce electricity from the ocean and winds movements?

The entire northwest of the continent should not have another tree cut from it except for prudent management purposes.

Funny thing is we are all culpable in our mass suicide but it in the short term only profits them who own companies and stocks. Unless of course self annihilation is a prosperous thing, then it becomes good for all....especially the living breathing earth.

SparkleFarkle said...

People can think, I just wish we'd do it more often. Green has always been my favorite color. I hope and pray everyone decides to make it theirs for the rest of forever, and how about doing it starting on Earth Day? Heck, how about right NOW? Because you're right, "we haven't reached the tipping point" yet. Believe it or not, I just came in from outside, where I was planting three little fir tree saplings that were grocery store gifts-with-purchase in honor of Earth Day. Next up: I am heading out to zing a couple of SUVs parked in front of my house with my potato gun. I don't know what practical good it will do-- maybe just serve as my fanfare into April 22nd? Should I blast one for you, as well? No problem!

Land of shimp said...

Oh dear, what wretched timing he displayed! Talk about compounding the problem.

We try to do what we can to reduce ye olde carbon footprint (a term that drives me ever-so-slightly batty, yet I use it). The more we learn, the more we do. Raising awareness being rather key.

That's exactly what your post does. I won't be driving anywhere today, nor did I yesterday. One really helpful thing I learned how to do was to have an errand day, so that I grouped my errands, and cut my driving down by at least half.

Sometimes it isn't about giving something up, but changing the way we use what we have.

Marcos Vinicius Gomes said...


Well, talking about cars and how to reduce distances, I suppose that we have to improve our comunications (internet, telephone services) as such improve our land carriages and means of transport in our towns. Maybe, Thus, we get a decrease in pollution...

PhilipH said...

Well said, Jo.

And I've recently planted SEVEN trees in the garden: 2 eating apples, 2 Bramley cooking apples, one Victoria plum tree and two pear trees.

Ten years ago I planted a Stella cherry tree (my first lady-love's name) and it has done very well since then.

I have more success with trees than with vegetables, so I've given up on them!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What a truly ironic thing to happen this week...Shocking, actually. It is so tragic when we ignore caring for our world as we ought! You are so right! Very timely post! ~Janine XO

ρομπερτ said...

Over here in Athens, they decided to go on just another strike, for 48 hrs, forcing people to reach their work by anything else but public transport.
I will start to teach my son from today, how to ride a bike though.
Please have a wonderful Thursday.

daily athens

Carol E. said...

It's depressing. We've had 40 years of Earth Days.. and where are we? Still busy ruining the house we live in.

Jo said...

Bug, every little bit helps. I could actually more more green too...! :-)

Katy, it's all about planned obsolesence -- which is just a marketing tool so we will buy newer and newer things, electronics in particular. Remember fountain pens? Now we buy pens that dry up, we throw them away and we buy new ones, instead of refilling the ones we have.

Russell, yes, we will run out of resources, and then the trend will be towards creating things that last. And they will be made out of quality products!

Alissa, yes, we do have less destructive ways of generating electricity. I can't believe these old dinosaur politicians still run things.

Whitney, yes, more people need to speak out. I'm afraid this dam(n) project will go through, because not enough people will object to it.

PinkPanthress, yes, it is literally rape of the land, isn't it? There is no other word for it.

DJan, there was a very good book called "The Population Bomb" by Paul Erlich. Have you read it? He predicted all the of things that are happening now.

Meggie, that is a good analogy -- a gnat threatening an elephant. But you know, every little thing we do makes a difference. I could do more myself!

Lakeviewer, beautiful said...! You are a poet. And yes, what will we do when there is nowhere else to go?

Brenda, oh yes, we have come a long way in our processing of garbage. What we need to do is reduce our garbage. So many old computers, TVs, etc., etc. We should be making things to last forever, not for just a couple of eyars.

Marguerite, oh my goodness yes! Who on earth decided people needed SUVs??? It used to be that was all we saw on the roads, but thank goodness people are not buying them anymore.

Susan, the lucky thing is, our children are aware of the necessity to be "green". They are the generation that will reverse this nonsense. It's the older ones like Gordon Campbell who just don't get it yet.

Firefly, what we need to do is to learn our to make fresh water out of ocean water, and then recycle it in a clean way. The earth is mostly water.

Mark, "The entire northwest of the continent should not have another tree cut from it except for prudent management purposes." I couldn't agree with you more. Some parts of Vancouver Island are just stripped bare.

Sparkle "Next up: I am heading out to zing a couple of SUVs parked in front of my house with my potato gun." You are my hero...!

Alane, I am one of the few people I know who does not own a car. I take public transit or *gasp* walk everywhere. And yet I have found I don't need a car. I think people have become too reliant on cars, because we were told it was what we needed to do.

Marcos, yes, with teleconferences now, people don't need to get on a place and fly somewhere to go to a meeting. That is definitely a step in the right direction!

Philip, seven trees...!!! Good for you. You will definitely reap the benefit of that. Trees are our oxygen. A few years ago the council here tried to chop down five cherry trees, and I made them stop. Later on, they thanked me. :-)

Janine, I could not believe how stupid our Premier was to make the announcement during Earth Week. What was he thinking??? It just shows his ignorance and arrogance.

Robert, yes! Teach your son to ride a bike. We need many, many more people who get around on bikes -- not cars!!! Great idea. :-)

Carol, yes, 40 years of Earth Days, and we are almost no further ahead. A huge amount of progress was lost during the Reagan era. *sigh*

Paula Slade said...

As the founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson put it squarely on all our shoulders when he said, "The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard."

Mia said...

The Sun is going to implode anyway. But before it does the Moon will pull out of orbit. Before that happens a massive meteor will kill us all. Before that happens there will be another Ice Age. Before that our electromagnetic field will dissipate.

I think the corporations that are trying to destroy this planet just want to beat the competition.

Keanda said...

To the cartoonist behind the first picture... Glad to see someone's waking up.

Whatever we believe we all feel the same kind of pain. I wish somehow that we didn't get anaesthetic in the form of things to do and daily life - because often when we read this stuff we're really touched for a moment then we go away and forget...
We forgot, and we forget too much.

~ Keanda