Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Greenie

  As one who grew up in a town that lived because of mines and logging, I never considered myself  a Greenie. I understood, we ate, and stayed warm, because of natural resources. I had jobs, growing up, because miners were boring holes in a mountain to extract what the world needed. The difference, perhaps, was, that this mine was an hours drive away from town. I worked at that mine, surrounding the larger mine, were countless claims, small mines dotted the whole area. We had Tailings ponds, we had glory holes, we had abandoned mines, with enormous bunkhouses, and remnants of beautiful gardens. All of this, set in the most incredible sites, places that would take your breath away with their beauty. I spent many hours amongst these old mines, because I was able to get out into the back roads, tiny little roads with switchback after switchback, all gravel, and certainly not accessible to the average traveler. I never found it offensive, I found it fascinating , to imagine a whole village, plopped in the most out of the way spot, booming, and then just as suddenly, busting. In time, all the buildings would disappear, maybe a hiker might step on an old piece of wood, or come across a foundation in the middle of tall Fireweeds, but...scream Green? Never!! That, was the reminder of the beginning of wealth in the province of B.C., and most definitely the reminder of the hay days my home town experienced.
  I came to our present home with Oil and Gas. Yes, yet another natural resource. Times had changed, regulations were set in place, and companies followed them to the T. I sat in meetings, and I was the "bad guy" listening to others bemoan the fact that they didn't want their town to change. They wanted it left quiet, and wanted to spend their retirement in a town that stayed back in the 60's. These same people were largely those who had worked on the "big" dam. They made their tiny fortunes, and felt they had the right to close the door to anything else. They did NOT want outsiders.
  Well, today, oil and gas is certainly all about, far beyond anything I imagined, and...companies change almost daily, selling off massive rights, and in comes someone else with a different set of standards, and things get better, or..more often, things start to slip a bit, rules are tweaked, and the bottom dollar is in charge. Hey, chances are, someone will buy the rights next year, so, let's try and make it look appealing. There are a million more regulations set, but, everything moves so fast, no one is watching, and...now I am unsure I am comfortable with the escalation of all of this, I feel there is far too much, far too quickly, and that is when mistakes happen.
  However, those folks who screamed and hollered when we arrived, those folks who sat comfortably, with the pensions and savings they managed, when building a project that destroyed homes and forests, and left a footprint that was bigger than anything previous, now are faced with a repeat. Some of them still think they will get some more money, this time around, but, most suddenly understand, they are now faced with the fact that this repeat is going to destroy their worlds far more than oil and gas.
  Right now, where I live, we are inundated with footprints. The rest of the world is walking all over us, and, the ones with the giant feet, are our own people. I admit, growing up, footprints were not something I thought about, except in the muck or the snow. Today I understand a little about them, and I feel that the land can survive small ones, scattered about, hidden away down back roads, and far from habitation. However, the feet are becoming far too large, and they are not even looking where they step, in fact they don't care where! Goliath is poised to slam his foot down. His big print will be surrounded by tiny prints, and, of course the biggest one he left a generation before. The thing is, I understand, there are not a whole whack of folks living in his pathway, however, it is not a back road, it is not far from habitation, it is right in the middle of where people live.
  To see the footsteps, one is not going to have to head down the road less traveled, instead, they will only have to look out their window.
  So, because I don't think footsteps should be placed in my backyard, I have apparently become a Greenie. I am seen as one against progress, one against use of natural resources, one who does not want job opportunities. I am viewed as a hypocrite, because I have ate, and survived for my lifetime, because of industry, and now I want to stop others from surviving. Not so!!
  I firmly support the use of natural resources. I am one of those who actually is not opposed to "clear cutting". Yep...Oh, I understand it is not pretty, but, guess what, someday,in the future, those trees will grow back, the cut will start with berry bushes, and the moose will eat, then deciduous trees will pop up, and over time, the coniferous trees will return. There is a cycle. Mining, hey, government regulations state sites must be returned to nature, and it is possible to make a pretty decent attempt to cover enough to allow Mother Nature a chance to move back. Same with oil and gas, unless it runs rampant, and, this is what appears to be happening..however, even with this, the footprints could possibly be smudged.
  However, the giant footprint, the one I am hollering about, will be filled with water. It will be pretty impossible to erase. It is not something once it is done, people will see it was a mistake, and try to take it back. No one will wander through Fireweeds and bang their toe against a rotten old board, or trip into a hole. Once this is set in place, there is no going back, there is no "Oops, didn't see that possibility.Let's fix it". When calculations are off almost 1 billion dollars after assurances everything has been checked and re-checked, one has to wonder what else is off. One has to wonder why the folks who have been allowed to investigate everything else, suddenly are not allowed to have a look at this. The bells have been ringing and the noise is deafening, but, no one is listening. Does no one care? Is it only us lonely Greenies?