Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We can do better... we must do better

Driving me to blog about public issues is passion for my grandchildren to inherit a better world. Unfortunately, the more I learn about the roads we travel, the more pessimistic I become about the future.

Since I'm in the seventh decade, its not my future that concerns, its the nation that will result if we don't keep the natural world whole and if we continue toward ever more extravagant inequality of economic resources. The inevitable destination will be ruination and turmoil for next generations.

This morning, I'm on Salt Spring Island for a lecture by America’s leading environmentalist and educator/author Bill McKibben. Read Voice of Reason, Man of Action in the UTNE Reader.

Looking at the morning inbox, I came across this piece. The ending in particular seems worth repeating.

We Screwed Up - A Letter of Apology to My Granddaughter
By Chip Ward, TomDispatch.com
"...I know a better world is possible. We create that better world by reaching out to one another, listening, learning, and speaking from our hearts, face to face, neighbor to neighbor, one community after another, openly, inclusively, bravely. Democracy is not a gift to be practiced only when permitted. We empower ourselves. Our salvation is found in each other, together.

"Across America this morning and all around the world, our better angels call to us, imploring us to rise up and be as resilient as our beloved, beautiful children and grandchildren, whose future we make today. We can do better. I promise."
I'll be writing more about Bill McKibben's talk at the Gulf Islands Secondary School to about 800 students and community members. It was an impressive event, involving young and old of this activist community. Of course, these are the people that elected Green Party leader Ellizabeth May to Parliament and she sent a message to today's meeting mentioning the all-party climate change caucus meeting that engages her this week in Ottawa.

Gwen and I are staying at Blackberry Glen Bed & Breakfast and this is our third visit with hosts Jason and John. If you visit Salt Spring Island, I recommend this wonderful place. A measure of its quality is demonstrated by traveller reviews at Tripadvisor.com. Forty-eight reviews are posted; every single one scores this a 5-star experience. I took this photo in the coffee room adjacent to our suite. Guys my age will experience a powerful beat of nostalgia just looking at the titles.


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4 comments:

  1. Your blog comments are testament to your passion....they give those of us that are more pessimistic than you the motivation to continue raising awareness amongst our friends and co-workers. Lord knows our professional "journalists" do not. Not sure about the "angel" part, but you for sure implore us to rise up! I want my nieces to have a photo of me on their mantle.... one standing beside a waterfall in the rainforest...not one beside the steel penstock in its place...with a cheque in my hand.

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  2. We need to open up a new conversation Norm. If we use up proportionately more resources due to our Western lifestyle, we need to ask ourselves when is it enough? People running around working decades upon decades because it never seems to be enough. Why own only one house? Get two or three, one in Mexico. Make sure to keep investing in those stock markets to get at least 500K to 1Million in savings for retirement. You wouldn't want to run out now. Of course, flying all over the world travelling to keep us entertained costs an awful lot of resources too. Every gadget under the sun lives in most houses along with just 'stuff' bursting out of closets everywhere. Being respectful of the environment needs to go alongside being respectful of one another.
    If we had a different attitude towards one another and didn't have to worry about the future....if only we would know that a community would take care of us in times of trouble, maybe we wouldn't need to feed this urge to accumulate so much money, assets and stuff. Socialism is not a dirty word, and the NDP is onto something when they defend our precious programs that take care of us when needed. Why are fewer people listening? The NDP party just elected a new leader and he will work really hard to try and bring some balance back into the argument. I sincerely hope that more Canadians will choose to care and vote for the NDP and start some momentum into building better communities across this country. As far as I'm concerned this is our best chance.

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    Replies
    1. I'll be writing more later but Bill McKibben noted today that weather patterns in 2010 resulted in severe droughts (China, Russia) and unbelievable floods (Indus river basin in Pakistan) and victimized innocents who contributed almost nothing to causing climate change.

      He reminded us that the fossil fuel industry is so powerful that it controls governments or large elements of government. In the USA this week, Democrats are trying to reduce taxpayer subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and of course the Republicans are likely to block the effort. (Under the no new tax pledge, withdrawal of subsidies to business is called new taxation.)

      In Canada, we see how the Harper Government dances to the needs and wants of the oil industry. They will sacrifice protection of fish and oceans, wilderness habitats and boreal forests to extract Northern Alberta's carbon and ensure it is added to the atmosphere, even if that sacrifices the chance for this planet to survive for more than another 100 years.

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  3. Norm says "Driving me to blog about public issues is passion for my grandchildren to inherit a better world".
    I couldn't agree with you more Norman!
    I've reached a stage in Life, where I am quite simply tired of "the fight". I personally don't care anymore in my own Life.
    Yet I will fight until I drop, for our children , and their children.
    I/we can, and I/we MUST!
    And your Blog inspires me more than you will ever know..............

    Cheers.
    Gary L.

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