Do the religious organizations have a role to play in the climate change challenge? If so, what is it?
(My experience is with mainline Christian churches. They have aging populations and fewer young people joining. For increasing numbers of people the churches seem irrelevant—unable to deal with the modern world’s challenges.)
One reason for this decline is undoubtedly the churches’ problem with science. It is an old problem.
When the political landscape changes, it changes fast.
On July 27, the B.C. Liberal party was one case of a bad flu away from trying to regain power.
But in less than 24 hours, former Premier Christy Clark was gone, both as leader and as MLA.
Within five weeks the race was on to find a successor, but there was one more tectonic shift to come.
There is an old saying that is often applied to climate change: “We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge” It means that scientists are drowning us with facts and figures about climate change but not providing us with enough knowledge about how to deal with it.
When I hear that saying I always focus on the word “drowning”. Twice in my life I came very closed to drowning. The word popped into my mind as I was thinking about climate change and our western democratic forms of government. They seem unable to deal with climate change. They are drowning and not realizing it. So what to do?
As we have noted in these chronicles, we are moving from one era to another. We are leaving the Holocene Era that began 11,000 years ago with the disappearance of the ice fields. We are migrating into the Anthropocene climate changing era. As its name indicates, this is the first man-made era and it began in the middle of the last century. With this new era come fundamental changes to our planet.
So you’d like to borrow $10.7 billion?
Yes sir. It’s for a hydro-electric dam.
Well that’s a lot of green for green energy. How exactly did you arrive at that cost?
Happy to report we went to the same team that came up with the $1.5 billion estimate for the Port Mann bridge. They were so close to the mark with that $3.6 billion project we had to go back to them again.
Do you have a business plan at all that I could share with my superiors?
There is an old Taoist story about a farmer in a poor community with a horse he used for plowing and transportation. He was considered well-to-do because he was the only farmer who owned a horse.
One day his horse ran away. His neighbours felt very sad for him. But a couple of days later the horse returned with two other horses. His neighbours were happy for him.
I went out for a walk today, New Year’s day—along the river, through Ruth Masters Greenway, along the powerline, by the river. Broken soft white clouds dotted the balmy blue sky. The warm sun reflected off a crunchy few centimeters of snow as white and fresh as the clouds. People smiled in passing and even the dogs seemed friendly. But I was brooding.
Solving our environmental problems is proving complicated, not only because we don’t know what to do, but because our journey to solutions requires that we confront huge technological challenges as well as our individual and collective human character. This complexity becomes obvious when reading The EcoTrilogy. As a weekly environmental columnist, having written more than 750 pieces over 16 years, Ray Grigg has developed a sense of perspective on a situation that will tax humanity’s intelligence and resolve.
The decisions we make reflect our values and our priorities. The release of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Agency’s (NOAA) annual “Report Card on the Arctic” last week has tremendous bearing on where our society’s ethos is taking us. And that has even more bearing on what the greed and the incompetence of the BC Liberals under Christy Clark, and what the lies and fecklessness of the NDP over the Site C decision will mean for future generations of British Columbians – if we make it beyond 2100. Personally speaking – that is increasingly doubtful, because we increasingly seem to elect the most shady and morally bankrupt individuals into office. And I also think that the time for gentility is fleeting – it just leads to exploitation and abuse, as experience and now scholarly research shows.
Who could possibly have imagined what 2017 had in store for British Columbia twelve months ago?
We were all eye witnesses to a future political science seminar that left 87 MLAs sitting in the B.C. legislature where they didn’t quite expect to be sitting 12 months ago.
As it is every year at this time, a few New Year’s resolutions for B.C.’s political class to consider putting in their mix for 2018.