Category: Mike Bell

Ruth Masters-A Personal Memoir

Ruth Masters and I were not close friends but our lives would come together numerous times over the years and each coming together was, for me at least, memorable.
A dozen years ago after my wife and I came to live in the valley we decided to get involved in a number of environmental issues. We began working with a few others to organize a group. An acquaintance said to me, “You should get Ruth Masters involved with you.” I said, “Who is Ruth Masters?” He rolled his eyes and said, “Boy, have you got a lot to learn. Ruth has been involved in every environmental struggle in this valley over the last fifty years.” So I gave Ruth a call.

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I first came across the term “Anthropocene” in an article I read four or five years ago.   The prefix “Anthro” means “human”: and “cene” indicates a geological period.  This is the first human-created era.  The Anthropocene replaces the Holocene Era that began eleven thousand years ago when the ice fields receded. Its dominant characteristic is climate change.

I was happy that the scientists found a new term for our current age but it didn’t mean much to me at the time.  

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Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, is known as “The Green Patriarch” because of his concern for the environment.  He once said,

“It is a long journey from the head to the heart; and it is an even longer journey from the heart to the hands.”

Many of us often feel badly about what climate change is doing to our world.  We may even make the journey from head to heart.  But then we often seem to get stuck. We have difficulty making the journey from our feelings about climate change to doing something about it.

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COMOX VALLEY CLIMATE CHANGE CHRONICLES: Sally, the Cultural Climatologist.

A while back, on a fine spring day, my wife was working on the front lawn. Passing on the street in front of her was a mother with a baby in a stroller and a small child about three years old walking alongside. At that moment a row of swans was flying overhead, honking loudly. The child, we’ll call her Sally, looked up and yelled, ”Hello, Trumpeter Swans!”

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