a The Learning Garden: June 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

National Aboriginal Day

Today is National Aboriginal Day. For many Aboriginal people, myself included, this is a significant if somewhat conflicted day. If you can try to take some time today to learn a little bit more about the diverse aboriginal cultures in Canada

Here is a link to an promo video produced by the government to get you started.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Silent Spring, Forgotten Summer

It has been a slightly wetter than usual spring, prompting Okanagites to complain that Summer will never come. While people I know demand to know what I am going to do to save the world or simply think the whole climate change is a load of bunk they still unilaterally complain about the weather. We went from severe water restrictions in Vernon in anticipation of drought conditions one one end of the valley to a dam bursting because of over saturation on the other...
Its either The Sky is Falling or - Nothing is Happening. Today on the CBC they had two 'experts' talking about peak oil, one who said that we all need to start hoarding food, the other saying the end will never come. In all of these debates no one is ever willing to be a moderate, as if trying to take a middle path between the two alternatives is the only option we never want to discuss.

If we are ever going to have any meaningful discussion/movement on the issues of climate change individuals and society need to stop this kind of "all or nothing" discourse. This type of debate simply distracts from any meaningful discussion that would actually require real meaningful commitment.

What have I done to save the world today? Nothing - one person cannot change the world, only themselves and their relationship to the world. It is through the process of our relationships with others and the world that people can effect any meaningful change, but in the meantime we can watch the revolution on Fox news.

To return to my original analogy, we all talk about how dry the valley is and how water is becoming a scarce resource, but when it comes in normal abundance, it causes disasters like catastrophic flooding. Our whole society is built upon the edge, about pushing the edge, and yet the only way it seems to work is by denying this truth. We are unprepared for drought, but we are even less prepared for rain.
At the end of he day it is not the water, how much or how little, but ourselves and or lack of foresight. (Tofino suffers from severe water restrictions and yet it is in the midst of a rain forest...because we have forgotten to invest in the infrastructure of our society.)

We have let our wells become full of silt, and rather than dig the silt up we complain that nature has forsaken us. Perhaps we need to look to our own reflections for the issues. But how can we...when there is no deep pool to ensnare us with our own reflections?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Word Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is now officially recognized by the UN Secretary General as June 8th each year.

The concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and it has been unofficially celebrated every year since then.

June 8th honours our world oceans and our personal connections to the sea.

CBC Radio Quirks & Quarks: Oceans of Trouble
Seafood Watch - Ethical Seafood Catch
Gulf Oil Spill

The Lorax