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Friday, July 30, 2010

Canadians for a Liberal Democracy

If you're on facebook, please check out this page, particularly if you are also Canadian, planning to live in Canada or wanting to understand Canadian Politics.

If you're not on facebook, you can still take the poll and help us understand the best way to get rid of the Harper government in Canada.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Humans and nature

Barge landing and log sorting pier on Kootenay Lake, unused for decades (click to enlarge)

Mooring posts from another era

Recently abandoned property on the lake - home for 60 years of a school teacher and family...

The book, The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman takes a look at what would happen on our planet if human beings just disappeared. It's not a speculation on how or why that might happen, it simply looks at a range of interesting topics and explores them (through science, interviews and really interesting stories.)

What would happen to New York City (think collapsing subways as rivers take over underground)? What would happen to cats and dogs (think feral dogs winning the day)? What would be our 'ancient ruins' in the future (think plastic)?

I've given several copies away because it was fun, interesting... and of course, a little bleak. The bottom line however, is that the world would evolve along quite nicely without us, thanks! The songbirds won't miss you (or me) - not a single songs worth of us.

We are an integral part of the evolving nature of matter and life. We don't own or rule. We don't even really have much more going on than other creatures do. And of course, as with all matter, I will someday become the basic elements I am built from. (99% of the mass of the human body is made up of the six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.)

So what? More compassion for our own naked and sometimes sad species wouldn't hurt. More humility wouldn't hurt. Less separation from other species and inanimate objects wouldn't hurt. More enjoyment of all of it as one system, not divided into arbitrary ghettos wouldn't hurt.

I offer the photos above, taken on a recent paddle on the lake - human and nature - or just nature.? Beauty/ugly? Or just what it is?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Paddling, summer living...and thinking

These little wonders are emptying our feeder every 2 or 3 days.

From working in the north. This is one of Hazelton's 'suburbs' - and the 2-milers really are special...

Kootenay Lake in the summer...calm mornings (3 photos).

Summer is fully here in the interior of BC. Hot days, cool nights, eagles, ospreys, bears, deer and hummingbirds. Cold beer and Strongbow cider...meals on the patio. Novels.

Okay, I'm working a bit too, and I have this nagging feeling that while I enjoy all this, our Prime Minister and Conservative government are quietly dismantling the social democracy and caring country that I live in.

- Cutting environmental regulations.
- Scrapping the long census form.
- Building more prisons to get tough on crime (as it reaches the lowest rates in 30 years).
- Ignoring (indeed blocking) global action on climate change.
- Ramping up the tar sand development and allowing deep well exploration on the Beaufort Sea.
- Ignoring the court order to do something about child soldier Omar Khadr (languishing for 6 years in Guantanamo Bay illegal prison)
- Refusing to sign the International Convention on the Rights of Indigenous People
- Holding back funds for international maternal health (if abortion is included in the work)
- Getting cozier with Israel while ignoring the human rights of the Palestinians

Oh Jeez, this is making me want to do two things very clearly:

1. Grab my novel (Nikolski), my towel and a beer and wander down the yard to the beach.
2. Inspire all Canadians to vote for anyone but a Conservative in the next election.

Enjoy summer! (Unless you're in Australia or South Africa, then enjoy winter...)

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