Category: Mike Bell

COMOX VALLEY CLIMATE CHANGE CHRONICLES (5): About Our Relationship with Earth

The foundation for a community climate change culture begins with an awareness of our relationship with Earth.  We must rediscover our “earthiness”—what it means to be earthlings. When I first went to Baffin Island in the high Arctic to take up my job in the Northwest Territories Department of Social Services I knew it was essential for me to learn more about Inuit culture and how it differed from my culture.  I was not totally clueless. I knew that when the Inuit talked about their relationship to the land they were not talking about real estate. But I wasn’t...

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COMOX VALLEY CLIMATE CHANGE CHRONICLES (4): About a Community Vision

In my last chronicle I told the story about growing up as a small child in the World War 2 war culture in Toronto.  That culture, like all viable cultures, had a vision.   If I had been older in those years, say a teenager, and went knocking on doors in our neighbourhood asking people what they really wanted, I’m sure I would have heard various versions of “We want Peace in the World.” Peace in the world was a vision, and like all good visions it had the essential characteristics.   It provided a real alternative to the...

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COMOX VALLEY CLIMATE CHANGE CHRONICLES (3) – About A Community Climate Change Culture

When I read the very scary reports of scientists about climate change and hear some of the predictions of a possible Sixth Great Extinction I’m reminded of a favourite New Yorker cartoon. It shows the Grim Reaper with his spooky hoodie, black gown and sickle over his shoulder knocking on an apartment door.  The man who opens the door has this terrified look on his face.  The Grim Reaper is handing him a note and saying to him, “Now don’t freak out.  This is just a save-the-date notice.” I’m not a “doomer” and I suspect you aren’t either. But...

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COMOX VALLEY CLIMATE CHANGE CHRONICLES (2) – A Climate Change Context

We need a new context to deal with climate change. The dictionary says: a context is the setting for an event, statement, or idea and in terms of which it can be fully understood. A bit too abstract. I prefer to define a context as the way we see the world and give it meaning. More specifically it is the way we structure reality in our minds and in our actions. Meaning gives rise to the action. Different people see the world and construct it in different ways. When it comes to climate change some folks deny it exists. Other folks believe it...

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THE COMOX VALLEY CLIMATE CHANGE CHRONICLES (1) – About the Chronicles

When we get up in the morning and look outside we think we are seeing the same world we saw the night before. But we aren’t. We are seeing a different world.  Scientists are telling us that we are destroying species, poisoning the oceans, polluting the air we breathe, destroying topsoil, “chemicalizing” the land,  blowing a larger hole in the ozone layer that protects us,  destroying the Arctic and Antarctic ice fields that help stabilize our climate. So why don’t we do something about it? For three reasons.  First, we don’t know how to respond.  We have never dealt...

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