My rant on the boondoggle of repeating the same behaviour of not caring for, then trying to correct environmental damage…

Climatechange

We need to stop using sentences like “Climate change is real.”

It isn’t unreal.

We as a society have been stuck in key words around this issue like “climate change” and “green house gas emissions” and “renewable resources.”  This conversation has been going on for more than twenty or thirty years- why haven’t the verbs changed?  If values change over time, why not the accompanying words?  Or actions?

Oceans are becoming more acidic, bleaching coral reefs. Climatic regions once associated with milder, more temperate climates are experiencing heat waves. Sea levels are rising, displacing millions.  Wild fires are creating refugees and homelessness. Droughts in developed areas are occurring on a yearly basis. El Ñino and La Ñina are prime examples of this – warmer ocean currents wreaking havoc on our weather systems, and in turn, creating stronger, more devastating storms.  Polar bears are drowning because they have never before had to swim so far for their food.  Why are they swimming should be the question on your mind.  If it isn’t, take a look at the melting ice caps in the Arctic.  The Inuit had to invent a word for “Robin” because northern climes have warmed up so much that Robins now fly that far north.  The “Great White North” will eventually become the Northern Tropics if we are not prudent.

How many more people have to die or become displaced for people to understand that this “climate change thing” is real??   Jump on the bandwagons people – the mother ship has left you and it ain’t comin’ back!

It’s time to change the conversation and ask the real questions of why does it cost Northern, Developed nations so much to use solar power, when most of the entire CONTINENT of Africa has is making efficient use of it?  If someone can pay the (almost) equivalent amount of one dollar to have his/her mobile phone charged in Kenya, using solar cells to generate electric recharging, then why can’t Canada and the U.S and the U.K and other developed nations figure it out?  Let’s start asking our companies why an effective and economical solution can’t be found.  Let’s start asking who put the  “Nay-Sayers” and “climate change critics” in charge?  It’s time for the pundits to stop saying “agree to disagree.” Perhaps it’s time to stop talking and plant a few trees!

Let’s ask the experts how many kick backs they get from their associated businesses. Let’s take a real look at the auto industry.  Who was it that really “killed the electric car?”   Who benefits the most from coal/oil/gas deals?  Why did it take so long for low-emission light bulbs to become the industry norm? Why won’t certain countries enact said light bulbs into industry code? Why won’t certain countries recycle their paper waste?  Why won’t certain governments stop drilling in the Arctic?  Money is not a renewable resource either.  Deforestation is devastating vast areas of our beautiful globe.  The lack of trees is displacing wildlife, and causing droughts and in some cases, serious floods.  The Amazon basin is suffering.  We need trees to filter the carbon dioxide we create.  Oxygen is a requirement for human life.  Did anyone forget about the hole in the Ozone layer?  We still have that you know…

We have our priorities wrong.  If there were real political will behind this issue, then it wouldn’t have taken 195 countries until 2015 to sign a deal like the Paris Agreement.  It wouldn’t have taken a historic meeting of the “Three Amigos” until 2016 to shine yet another light on this urgent issue.

This matters because if a poor, under developed country like Kenya, and most states within Africa, can figure out how to use Solar power to their benefit, especially for people living on less than $20.00 a day, then why the heck can’t we?  I don’t understand this. Don’t tell me we don’t have enough sun or that we don’t have the technology for storage or that storage is expensive.  Go back to the top of this page and read everything again.

This matters because there are too many countries in which charcoal is burned openly on the roadsides, deforestation resulting from the homeless/displaced burning wood for cooking fuel, land fills the size of small mountains are being burnt because there are no other viable solutions.  There are too many countries drilling in precious ocean environments, and far too much research/development being done on fracking. Far too many companies are pumping far too many noxious chemicals into the atmosphere.

We have known for some time that coal, oil and gas are not renewable resources.  We have known that invariably, they will undoubtedly run out.  We have passed that point.  We’ve gone passed the point at which we need to build cars that run on vegetables, or some weird variation thereof.  We need to take the brilliant energy of the sun, of the wind, of the oceans and use it to our benefit, without leaving the poor and the middle class behind.  And we need to do this without emptying the oceans of the precious life contained therein.  We need to sit with our Aboriginal Peoples and take a lesson in caring for the earth.  Why are we not harvesting rain water so that when drought occurs we are not in dire straits?   More of us need to have meatless Mondays and  Tofu Tuesdays.  Turn off your televisions and your computer screens for two hours every week.  And for God’s sake, participate in Earth Hour every year!

Let’s put money into research and development so our students and our environmental engineers can figure out how best to create storage solutions for tidal/solar/wind power.  Let’s enact, and then follow through on considerably tougher legislation that punishes corporations for oil spills and environmental damage.  If money is so important, let’s pass some laws that inflict punitive damage in the form of hefty sums from the companies willfully neglecting the surrounding environment.  Let’s create such a strength in Environmental Law that companies and corporations will think thrice before attempting to bury leaky barrels of hazardous waste near groundwater. Or not inspect drilling sites prior to drilling underwater.

 

There does not ever need to be a compromise between saving our planet and building a healthy and productive economy.

And yes, while it is true that “Nature repairs her ravages,” (George Elliot) this is not a situation which has been created by mother nature. We did this.  We silly, selfish, consumerist, materially obsessed people did this.  And we need to fix this.  Now. Right Now.

Let’s not wait for another major conference to “get it.”  Change the verbiage.  This is no longer about climate change.  It’s about the successful survival of life on Planet Earth.

 

 

 

 

To the most amazing creatures on the planet, I wish you all a very Happy  International Women’s Day!

To all the family members, friends, teachers, mentors, motivators, business partners, strangers and angels who have walked beside me and blessed me with their presence, I thank you.

I honour you.  I celebrate you.

Happy Women’s Day!

I truly wanted to wait until I had heard all the facts established in a fair trial, in a court of law, until speaking my piece. However, I simply cannot stay silent because staying silent is no longer a choice.

 

It speaks volumes about a nation when women are afraid to come forward for fear of retribution.

It speaks volumes when people in positions of authority behave inappropriately. They know no one will come forward because they are “protected” by that silent wall of closed-eye/closed-mind complicity– the statement “s/he will never change.”

If never called to account, how could that person possibly change?  Repeating the same behaviour will always yield the same results.  Whether observer or aggressor.

It speaks volumes that such behaviour is tolerated because we don’t want to face the consequences of passive – aggressive – retaliation – bullying manifested in homes and workplaces all over this nation.

It speaks volumes when women have that heart-wrenching debate about whether or not to come forward because they know irrespective of what happened, they will be questioned as to demeanour and appearance. Moreover, to be hunted and “trolled” online for reporting abusive behaviour is atrocious and cowardly at its very core; the trolls and commentators hide behind yet another silent wall– one that George Strombolopolous aptly called “a silent wall of aggression.”

I am sickened by trolls and social media pariahs who think they have the right to attack just because they are fans.  A celebrity does not necessarily a moral person make.  To call someone a hero because he/she has won a few awards and is invited to all the best parties and restaurants is insulting to the real heroes/heroines who everyday risk their lives.

It sickens me that society has reached such a point of dissolution of absolute intellect, that we prosecute in the court of public opinion, the victims and accusers and make celebrities out of the accused. (Case in point: OJ Simpson)

It sickens me that trolls are getting away with social bullying and harassment because Canadian law can’t seem to keep up with social media.

I am sickened by the number of women, married to members of law enforcement, surviving through the worst abuse imaginable, who feel the only freedom they will have is when their partners actually kill them.  And many do.

It speaks volumes that sexually confident women are shamed when they are the victims of violence.  Yet when men are sexually confident, their behaviours, ethical or not, are lauded.

It speaks volumes when men will shoot an unarmed young girl in the head because she speaks of every child having the right to education in even the worst of circumstances.

It speaks volumes when women and girls are kidnapped and sold into slavery and forced into inconvenient marriages. Let’s call this what it is: unjustified endorsed rape.

I’m sickened that people living rough on the streets are the targets for violent commentary and behaviours.  Instead of hurling insults when people are genuinely seeking food, remember this: people don’t go hungry because they are homeless – they go hungry because we let them.

I am sickened that it took hundreds of people being killed by stalkers for law enforcement to actually see stalking as the psychological and physical torment that it is.

It sickens me that a woman was blinded because her husband did not want her to be educated. It sickens me that he was not held to account for his actions until the international outcry was so loud that his government “simply had to do something.”

It sickens me that women are gang raped just because they are in the wrong place at the right time. I hate that rape is a weapon of war. It sickens me that young women in India are raped because they do not have access to indoor toilets.

It sickens me that people who think educating women is sinful are heavily armed and in positions of shocking and threatening power.

I am sickened by women who tell their sons and grandsons it’s okay to treat other women like nonentities.  I am sickened by sex-selective abortions, female infanticide, female genital mutilation and the killings and disappearance of millions of women all over the world. I am sickened by “son preference.”  I am sickened that we’ve been having this conversation for decades and decades and decades and the progress we have to show for it is maintaining the status quo??

It sickens me that teenagers are taking their own lives because of hostile and heinous bullying via social media. it sickens me that the “silent wall of aggression” has become so powerful that we easily let people hide behind it.  I miss the days of accountability.

Conversely, it sickens me that what goes on consensually in the privacy of bedrooms becomes fodder for international news outlets. It is none of our business what people do in their bedrooms unless people are being physically hurt, threatened or abused.

I am sickened that we have to have a debate about who should be allowed to visit loved ones in a hospital because s/he doesn’t fit the “traditional heterosexual” marriage/family paradigm.

It sickens me that battered wife syndrome, even though proven in courts of law, is still only defended at face value.

It sickens me that we live in a culture of fear which precludes change and enables collusion.

It sickens me that media organisations stop at nothing to find “as much dirt,” as possible about both accused and accuser. What the HELL happened to journalistic integrity? What makes national news these days is disparagingly distressing. Quite frankly I don’t care about Justin Bieber’s new hairstyle or where Miley Cyrus has put her tongue.

What I care about are people dying because they have the audacity to disagree with their governments. What I care about is victims having to think twice about naming their accusers because we make them relive their abuse over and over and over again. And we do it all at lightning speed thanks to Twitter.

It sickens me that it has taken a scandal involving a public figure such as Jian Ghomeshi to break open the conversation surrounding sexual violence and harassment both in public and private.

It should not have taken this long for the conversation to become this significant. Violence against anyone is violence against all of us.  Complicity surrounding inappropriate behaviour is enabling behaviour. The conversation needs to shift towards non-complicity.  Indeed, towards respect and consideration overall.

We are in the midst of an incredibly rapid de-evolution of respect and decency.  This has to change, especially when the message has consistently been “you will not be believed because you are woman.”

Women have so much power in North America that if all of us stopped working for even four days, stopped driving and paying outrageous amounts for petrol, stopped grocery shopping, it would cripple the economy.  Think about that the next time your employer says to you “be more malleable.”
My name is Woman. Hear me Roar.