Our precious planet?

Political Point of View
Political Point of View

“If a tree falls in the forest, can you hear it?” — Bruce Cockburn

They say an environmentalist is a guy who has a cabin in the woods while a developer is a guy who wants to build a cabin in the woods. There’s the rub. Who has rights? Governments the world over worry about economic growth, citing their mantra: the only evidence of life is growth. Perhaps it’s because each ministry wants to enjoy a bigger budget each year or perhaps it goes back to some Freudian ego concept but whatever the rationale, how much more can we expect the good earth to give?

We in Canada are indeed fortunate to have the beaver as one of our icons, an industrious rodent who, like his human kin, is the only other creature on earth ready, willing and able to shape the landscape to suit. Never mind that in our brave new world the historical publication “The Beaver” decided to change its title to “Canada’s History” instead.

Apparently the hard working, four-legged, swimming chainsaw fronting our five cent piece has acquired more worldly connotations unappreciated by history buffs—something that doesn’t bode well for future subscriptions online, hence the change. And yet it still made it into the Olympic ceremonies. No wonder the 2010 Games were a good party.

Now that oil has settled nicely into that $85 per barrel range and gas prices are about a buck a litre (but they’re going up due to human stuff), let’s count our blessings and say thanks because cheap oil and much more importantly the days of cheap water are soon to be over. Wonder no more why the rich buy summer homes on lakes. Already, water restrictions and metered usage are facts of life. The snow pack is way down, the forest fire hazard will soon go way up and unless that volcano in Iceland keeps on spewing enough grit to keep airline traffic and global temperatures down, it’ll be a long, hot summer.

Of course, the salmon won’t feel the effects. Thanks to the efforts of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Native groups and commercial fishermen, last year’s supposed bumper run didn’t happen at all. Who wants to bet that we’ll see the Adams River run red with spawning sockeye this fall?

On a worldwide scale, a recent convention on trade in endangered species on wild fauna and flora has come up with the staggeringly stupid agreement that to keep the economies of many nations going, we must keep killing off all marine life. The scorecard so far reveals that 95 per cent of larger biomass (five pounders and up) are gone. Average sizes of all species caught are smaller than ever. Canada has unashamedly killed off the Atlantic cod, the Pacific salmon and with its vote at the convention, agreed to kill off all tuna especially the most magnificent, the blue fin. There are apparently 200 jobs in P.E.I. busily eradicating our only national stock of these fish. With spotter planes, GPS technology and high powered rifles in action, I’d say now is a good time for a tuna sandwich, because in a few years, that’ll only be a memory.

We all know how healthy seafood is and delicious too! One would think that humans would have the brains and resources to use and maybe even enhance Neptune’s bounty but no. It seems to be so much more fun to basically machine gun the ocean’s inhabitants, trash freshwater supplies, dump plastic by the billions of tons into the sea and wonder when it all goes to heck, what happened?