Trashing Stupidity is Ok

Emptying the trashI remember the times growing up when not wearing a seatbelt was pretty common, gravel running with a 2-4 was a Friday night gig, smoking in a vehicle with the windows up or in an office and bar was acceptable, and throwing one’s garbage out the window was a recurring sight. Times have certainly changed, and for the better, in my opinion. People and their health are ‘better’ protected, the environment is being considered, and all around, such changes have left a marked impact on many lives.

All these thoughts are trailing through my mind this morning, as I’m marvelling at the gorgeous Autumn weather being blessed on us as I pole-vault into my daily walk. Sadly, a few minutes in, I stumble across an empty Tim’s cup {with the non-biodegradable plastic lid intact} haphazardly thrown from the window onto the road. And I think, REALLY?

What kind of person still throws their garbage out the window? I am truly mystified. Delinquency indeed comes in all shapes and sizes. Moreover, I think said actions stems from a combination of laziness, self-centred stubbornness and climate change denial. Ignorance about one’s own actions, in this case, is certainly not an excuse. Such careless and disrespectful actions leave me sad and a little bit seething. Just because it’s convenient certainly doesn’t make it right!

I try to think compassionate thoughts, but my no-nonsense environmentalist brain won’t stretch that far today. All I can do is roar an inner growl, pick up the offending rubbish and make a small prayer to Mother Earth for our transgressions. If only our Politicians were as thoughtful and caring in the roles that they fill, cleaning up the garbage and mess that they’re leaving behind instead of stomping all over terra firma and the law-abiding thoughtful citizens of our planet (most of whom are tax-payers supplementing government incomes).

roadstretch-cleanPerhaps if everyone in this world had a daily duty to clean up a mile-long stretch of an Adopt-A-Highway, and/or had the moral obligation to show compassion in some form to Mother Earth, we could literally bag all the offenders and realize that the tiniest of self-imposed actions can all make a difference. The snowball effect would be incredible!

Now if only we could clean up all the political trash, turning the wasteful actions of the delinquent into something positive to help those less fortunate and able.

/rant. Full-stop.

envirothief

Oil Slick Woes

I’ve held back on speaking of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf. My heart is incredibly heavy, thinking about the dire damage to Mother Earth and the delicate ecosystem in our oceans, which WILL eventually filter up through our food and water chain. The desecration of our Ocean and the life contained within is beyond comprehension (at 5000 feet below the surface), especially when it appears that coverups are occurring, lost amidst all the finger pointing and the rising tides of blame. More than a month has passed (40 days to be exact), and the oil continues to spew at alarming rates with no clear solutions in sight. A toxic stew of environmental and political magnitude.

Huffington Post reported that:

A thick, 22-mile plume of oil discovered by researchers off the BP spill site was nearing an underwater canyon, where it could poison the foodchain for sealife in the waters off Florida. With the hopes of breaking up the plume, BP is using 100,000 gallons of dispersants (1/3 of the world’s supply) on the oil, further contaminating the ocean with harmful chemicals.

soiled birdNot enough research has been done on the wide-scale use of such compounds. In fact these chemicals are amplifying an evolving never-experienced-before catastrophe, with no end in sight.

What’s the worst case scenario? Even if they plug the well tomorrow? The present repercussions and tally thus far: dead animals, contaminated wildlife sanctuaries, black beaches, and livelihoods ruined. Add to the mix, the impending hurricane storm season. High winds may distribute the oil over a wider area whilst also mixing the waters of the Golf, dispersing the oil further. Add to that, a hurricane force storm could push all this oil in to the coast where an incredibly fertile estuary exists with abundant life taking place. For example, the Monterey Bay Aquarium cites that the magnificent Atlantic bluefin tuna arrive in the Gulf to spawn in April and May every year, and in waters at the heart of the oil spill. Deep breath. Pray and meditate for all those in the south. They’re in for a bumpy ride. Who knew that the sludge would hit the fan deeper than Katrina’s forces?

With failure comes the opportunity for tremendous learning opportunities and change. If anything, perhaps now is the time that we can do the right thing by our oceans. For example, seeking out and developing alternative energy sources. A big question lies in how quickly is it practical to shift without hurting the economy and outpacing science? By empowering individuals to end their oil dependance through small lifestyle changes, such as: promoting electric vehicles, investing in light rail, creating pedestrian- and bike-friendly communities and exploiting alternatives such as natural gas, we as a society have the capability to assume action now. Take control of what’s possible rather than place ones power with Politicians and the large oil companies who have vested interests in the power of energy.

Walkerton Water Tragedy ~~ a 10 year Anniversary

walkertoncountry muralWalkerton Ontario. Does the name sound familiar? 10 years ago this month, Walkerton was hit with an E. Coli outbreak within the local water supply that devastated this community and rocked our province / country. It also made Walkerton a household name. A first world country with E Coli water contamination, killing people? Impossible! Unfortunately not so. This sleepy little hamlet is only 15 minutes away from where my Father’s farm is (and where we are currently), and for the last 25 years, this has been the home of my Aunt and Uncle. Tonight, we visited Doris and Craig in Walkerton. Currently, this sleepy little town probably has one of the cleanest water systems in Canada (they replaced EVERY water pipe et al after the catastrophe). Not soon thereafter, another outbreak occurred in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Makes one wonder about the officials and Provinces who are allegedly monitoring the quality  of our water source. Don’t even get me started on the Harris Government cutbacks. The source of Walkerton’s bacterial infection occurred from farm runoff into the town’s adjacent well that was known for its vulnerability. Shameful really. And I think back to the YEARS of hassle that my family who lived there at the time (my Grandparents resided in a nursing home where my Brother-in-Law also works) went through. As often as any bathing form was desired, Doris and Craig had to pay for a 11km taxi ride to Hanover in order to accomodate their needs. Shipped in bottled water was used for at least 2-3 years (for cleaning, dishes, drinking, etc).

I debated whether to drink the tap water tonight when Dori and I sat down to play a game of 2-handed Euchre (the boys were intensely focussed on the hockey game between Philadelphia and Bosten). Imagine when the day arrives that safe potable tap water no longer exists? With the ramifications of our declining clean fresh-water supply, how will we cope as a planet, let alone a once unfamiliar hamlet in the middle of South Western Ontario? How does one build up the confidence in our country’s water supply when more and more chemicals, hormones and pharmaceuticals are showing up in OUR tap water! I can’t fully imagine what will happen to the water supply in the Southern US states with the BP oil spill tragedy that doesn’t seem to be coming close to any successful solutions or containment. And the beauty of water …. it travels the WORLD through our eco-system … we are one global climate system, one living and breathing planet. This affects us ALL. Time to ditch the plastics and water bottles (whose sources are just as questionable as our tap water) and come up with solutions. Living in an RV has truly shown me the importance of tapping in to a clean and safe potable source for our water, as we tend to travel with it countrywide within our fresh-water holding tank. Water = precious commodity. Let’s start thinking about what we’re putting in to our water … we are TRULY what we eat AND drink. And any change that you desire must begin with yoU!