Curiosity is terminal

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Resources and The Gifts of The Magi (picture heavy)

Here in Atmon, we are surrounded by a wonderful abundance of wilderness. There are lakes and forests all around, and it can be beautiful indeed. I was depressed most of the summer because it felt as though I was alone in my alarm about the massive growth of resource depletion around me. I spent a lot of the summer looking at the world like this:

I had the opportunity to go to Terrace and Kitimat for work. I had never been. It was really beautiful and I fell in love with the Coast Mountains. This is the Douglas Channel. Note the islands:

 I spent some time on horseback in Jasper, looking down from a ridge on Pyramid mountain:

I went on a wildlife tour and  I watched this bear and her baby browse on buffalo berries for at least a half hour. There were tourists from Germany, Israel and Brazil in our group and they were enchanted by their first sighting of a live bear. I live in the forest and while bears are not an everyday sight, they are by no means a novelty to me, but I was no less thrilled than our multicultural guests:


On the way to Jasper we stopped at the Ancient Forest. It's 102 km east of Prince George, with a small parking area just off the highway. The trail is a loop and both ends are right at the parking area. It's quite wonderful. You walk for a few minutes and everything looks like this:

 And then the path heads up and around and it looks like this:


Which maybe looks just like any tree in a photograph like that, but when you see a little context...

There is a meadow with ferns as tall as me. I'm not tall, but still. 

I also went on a small trip with my baby goat before she went off to the other side of the country to continue her pursuit of a cool future, and I was in Salmon Arm and Revelstoke for the first time in my life too. There was a pretty sunset and small drizzle that we enjoyed from the pier on Shuswap lake when we got into town.

 We went to the Meadows in the Sky parkway in Revelstoke for a walk and Revelstoke looks like this from the mountain:

I spend a lot of time with a couple of groups who are working to make sure that the Northern Gateway pipeline doesn't happen. When I was in Kitimat and Terrace, the locals told me they don't want the pipeline or the tanker traffic.  I am on the periphery of a group that is trying to make sure that the Site C dam in The Peace doesn't happen. (damming the Peace River for a massive hydroelectric dam which will flood the Peace Valley, which happens to be significant farm land.) I have petitioned against the Fish Lake mine in the Quesnel/Williams Lake area which will dump toxic tailings either into Fish Lake or upstream of the lake. (They have offered to build an artificial lake to compensate.) In Revelstoke, I went to the Farmer's Market and met young people fighting to stop a mine in their area which will also dump tailings into a sensitive eco-system. I have been following, with increasingly sinking heart the nonsense of the Timber Harvest circus, in which they are now threatening to log old growth forests. No one on that committee appears to have heard that trees take CO2 out of the air and return oxygen.

I am reminded of the O. Henry Story the Gifts of The Magi. You know, the one where the young wife sells her beautiful hair to buy her husband a fob for his treasured pocketwatch, and he sells the pocketwatch to buy combs for her hair?

Here in BC we shall have JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! and prosperity (for someone. You and me? Perhaps not.) but we will have no clean water, air or farmland on which to grow our food. To say nothing of habitat for bears. Tragic.

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