Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Every Day Should Be Earth Day

When I was a kid I used to complain to my parents on Mother's or Father's Day that there was no Children's Day. My father would growl to me, his wretchedly ungrateful child, that "Every day is Children's Day."

Well, today is Earth Day. I feel like turning my father's words around and suggesting that "Every day should be Earth Day." One day a year is hardly adequate to honour our beautiful planet.

This morning, over our morning tea, I read aloud to James the chapter from Braiding Sweetgrass titled "Allegiance to Gratitude", about the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. It seemed appropriate. I agree with author Robin Wall Kimmerer that if we began each day with such gratitude, the world would be a better place.

Afterwards, the dogs and I walked through the forest near our house to a place where I could look out over the farmland below and to the Salish Sea beyond that. The mountains of the North Shore loomed on the edge of the horizon. It was a lovely sunny day, and as I looked up into the blue sky, there was an eagle soaring overhead. (I am blessed to live in a place where it's rare NOT to see an eagle overhead.) Perfect, and yes, I gave thanks.

But there is work to do, as always. After I post this I am going to have a to write a letter to Canada's Minister of the Environment, Leona Aglukkaq, and express my dismay that she has decided the humpback whales in B.C.'s northern waters no longer need protecting. Seems that protecting their environment might make things difficult for the oil tankers that our government is keen to launch. This comes after I received a letter from Ms. Aglukkaq in response to my expressed concern about the transport of coal through the Salish Sea. Here is part of her response.
"All the evidence Environment Canada is aware of shows fugitive coal dust
emissions from rail shipments pose a negligible risk to wildlife, and there is
limited evidence of increased risks to water or air quality."
Weasel words, that first line. The reason Environment Canada is not aware of any risk to wildlife or the water and air quality is because they laid off all their scientists! No news is good news, apparently, at least in their books. 

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:52 PM

    You'd think an Inuit federal minister would have some sensitivity towards the environment. The Inuit diet was, before shipments of Southern food, dependent entirely on what they could hunt on the land and the frozen sea and fish from the waters. They knew the importance of a clean environment. But now we have weasel words coming from her. Yes, climate change has a wider effect than we ever suspected. It has even turned a First Nations Canadian into a true politician. How tragic.

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  2. Gee, that's exactly what I say! Every day is Earth Day. Where would we be without it? Extinct. Which still might happen if we can't get it together. I want there to be a healthy world for my grandkids to inherit.

    Good on you for trying to get through to the government on these issues! Not that they are any good at listening to us.

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  3. Oh dear. Canada has gone the way of austerity-Britain! How terrible for you. Yes; remove funding from scientists then there can be no 'evidence' to differ from the politician's pronouncements!

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