Columnists

BC Report: Intractable Practical Questions

BC has changed governments, but the main problems and the environmental concerns that previous governments generated remain unchanged. Over the past seven months the NDP/Green coalition has moved to address concerns with the grizzly trophy hunt, and they have begun discussions towards a re-assessment of the “professional reliance” model. The larger questions, which are tied to the economic model and the future of the province’s energy needs regarding Site C and the Kinder Morgan pipeline, continue to be unresolved. They are part of a larger emerging global problem associated with climate change, and the growing concern with the impact of fossil fuels on the sustainability of the biosphere.

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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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Balm for the Heart

I can understand those who see the plot and characters in the—now playing at the Rialto—movie Wonder as being so sentimentally superficial that it makes a good bed time story for children and little else. I could have made that assessment, but sometimes what we see is more about who we are than any objective reality in the world we behold. And, who we are sometimes changes. Thursday night when went to the Rialto with a friend to see Wonder, I wasn’t looking for a hard hitting, intellectually satisfying narrative about the complex world around us. I was, unbeknownst to me, looking for exactly what Wonder delivers—a simple-though credible enough, emotionally moving story suggesting there is, yet, something endearing, something—dare I say—noble about human life.

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Dear Former Readers of Shades of Green

If you have been wondering what happened to Shades of Green, my efforts to raise awareness about our environmental challenges have just taken a different form. During the last year and a half, I have been editing, enlarging, updating and footnoting a selection of the more durable Shades of Green pieces that I wrote over the many previous years. These have been compiled and published in a three-volume book-set called The EcoTrilogy, comprised of Ecologos, Ecopathy and Ecocide.

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AWOL from B.C.’s opioid crisis

t’s a story all too common in British Columbia. Here’s how CTV News reported it: “Police believe a drug overdose is the cause of death for two men, apparently in their fifties, who were found lifeless in a car parked at a gas station on Friday morning.”

It didn’t happen in B.C., though. It happened in Montreal on August 25 and the real story is what happened next. In less than six weeks Montreal police had conducted six raids, arresting 13 drug dealers linked to the two deaths. They seized $19,000 in cash, along with fentanyl, about 500 grams of heroin, meth and other drugs.

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It’s going to take more than a leap

Clearly something has gone horribly wrong over a broad spectrum of issues. This summer the decade long trend of record-breaking temperatures lead to record breaking fires ravaging BC and California claiming lives and destroying property. This fall saw a hurricane season unprecedented for its intensity and duration; almost half the world’s wealth is in “off-shore” accounts evading taxes that are supposed to support just, and sustaining economies; our oceans are becoming seas of plastic and pollution; the idea of clean water and a warm place to live becomes ever more elusive to much of humanity; even peace as the foundation of a decent, just and safe world seems to have been abandoned in the mad rush to implement the neo-liberal agenda of enriching the few and entrenching corporate interests over democratic values.

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