Silver Fingers of Kim Chi in the Ecosystem
Give Yourself the Finger, Pal
If you ever wanted to give someone the finger, was it David Suzuki?
This was written in silver ink on a green garbage can lid on the corner of Homer and Robson. I was on my to Pete and Deanna Chattaway's place in downtown Vancouver and I came across the remnants of a demonstration at the Vancouver Art Gallery. From what I could gather, the demonstrators had been demanding immediate cuts to the carbon emissions and for Stephen Harper to seek out alternatives to fossil fuels. My guess is that Dr. Suzuki was one of the speakers at the demonstration.
What does it say about us as a species when we can so loath the people who want to help preserve us as a species? I know libertarians will rant alleging that Suzuki obfuscates the truth about climate change: that he's a neo-Luddite playing fast and loose with the facts. I saw Suzuki speak in August 1989 and he was talking about climate change. Suzuki had given us 10 years to turn things around before we caused large scale, irreparable damage.
He talked about the misunderstanding that people had about the "Greenhouse Effect". People had assumed it would just mean that temperatures would increase cloud cover, which would make the world warmer and more humid. From there we were told the Ice Caps would melt and the world would be a much smaller place. What Global Warming really means is that we will see much wilder shifts in our weather patterns. We will see an increase in drought conditions and we would see more severe flooding. These will have consequences in terms of land usage and food production. Sounding familiar? Sounding like a UN report on the effects of climate change?
Of course, Suzuki wasn't the first person I had heard this from. As far back as 1980 I can remember my Dad going on about climate change and how the "Greenhouse Effect" would never be like what people were commonly assuming it would be at the time. People thought my Dad was a crackpot back then and a few hold-outs still think that. But it seems that the Old Man was right as was Suzuki, who's around seven years older than my Dad.
Even if human beings and our related industries aren't a contributing factor to climate change - who can argue that the emissions produced by burning fossil fuels and the tonnes of waste and by-products produced as the result of our endeavours aren't harmful? Only the willfully ignorant. If you are willing to argue, please suck on your tail pipe for a while and tell me how you feel. It takes an incredible will to stay unfocused and unaware of the side effects of pollution on the ecosystem. It takes dogged determination to not look our world as it is in the face and see what is happening all around us.
See this article from the New York Times, dated 02.02.07.
I am back at work after a four day absence. I won't say it was a relaxing four days as it was filled with misunderstanding, cancellations and a leftover double helping of stress. I was asked by a casual acquaintance if I would rather be back in South Burnaby dealing with addicts, shoplifters and the homeless? To be honest, during final exams at any rate, the answer is yes.
It is quiet today, almost calm. One woman who works here just returned from China and has brought me kim chi flavoured chips. There was also rib-eye steak flavoured chips, but someone else claimed those. And I bet that if this post does get comments, it'll be about the chips. (or crisps for our friends in the UK)