Suzuki Reveals Shifting Sands of Alberta Fight

an editorial by John Fefchak

As I watched one of David Suzuki's TV programs,"The Nature of Things," I became very upset at what was taking place in northern Alberta with the Tar Sands and what was happening to the land, the animals, the fish, the environment and the people who make their home there. It seemed, surely this can't be taking place in Canada. This has got to be a spoof from a horror film. But it wasn't a spoof. This was and is reality.  

 It has motivated me to submit this letter, for I also believe we must change our ways and take much better care of our one and only planet that we live on.

I do not agree that people are promoting fear mongering agendas about climate change, nor are they dismissing the huge price increases of food, fuel and other necessities of life, when they voice their concerns about the way we are treating our planet.

       I believe each and every one of us has been given the option of making choices. However, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the vast agri-farming operations and the demands of the oil and gas industry, too many considerations for our wonders of creation have been brushed aside for the benefit of only growth and profit. 

So you see, the choice is ours. We either pay up now,or later, at a much greater cost; and not just to us, but also the generations of the future. The warning signs are being posted. Are we going to dismiss the perils of "not paying attention" and continue on our relentless pace of what we refer to as "progress and economic development?"

Repeatedly, we have been warned that, as humans, we are on a dangerous path. We subordinate ecological concerns to the demand of the economy, political and personal ambitions. The planet can no longer sustain such a relationship and needs to heal.

We can see that life is a cycling phenomenon which forms within a single system. Nothing stands alone - no individual, species or community - for in a cycle each thing and each event in one way or another is connected with everything else. All of us are but strands in the web of life and what we do to the web, we ultimately do to ourselves. This was very evident in the TV program, when the First Nations people spoke out as to what was taking place in their communities and how things had changed. And the changes were not good.

Once we accept this simple understanding and dedicate a commitment to improve our ways; there is always the hope that mankind will survive. Otherwise, if we choose to continue on our present collision path with nature,we will perish in the holocaust that we, as humans, have created. The operations of the tar sands is an excellent example of destruction initiated by humans.

Economic development needs to take into consideration the integrity and rhythm of nature,because natural resources are limited and finite. And all economic activity that uses natural resources must also include the costs of safeguarding the environment into the calculations of the overall costs of its activity.  

 This would be an excellent time to redefine the word, "progress" and contemplate the consequences of future actions in a sober and respectful manner.

John Fefchak.  
Virden, MB


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