For a long time, I’ve struggled with the idea of how humans attempt to control the world around them. With a rapidly increasing population, I could never articulate in words how I truly felt about an over populated world consuming so many resources with an increasingly growing foot print around the obsession of possession. With each new invention and product as technology progresses, we want and buy and discard the old.
The food industry alone is amazing considering the shear volume being pushed through the system and shipped around the world daily. The way we treat livestock and wildlife and our efforts to control the populations of species when nobody is controlling our own. We share this planet with everything nature has to offer but yet we claim a self-appointed authority position. With an end goal of more wealth, when does the human population out number the demand and supply of everything we have grown to depend on?
Humankind as a Geological Force
Two weeks ago on November 16th, Dr. David Suzuki took the stage here in Charlottetown with a very passionate presentation (watch it here), and addressed concerns from a global level to an acknowledgement of the local Plan B controversy hitting many of the points on which I’ve struggled to express myself in any meaningful way.
David talks about priorities and defines all the things that really matter in our lives. We need air. We need water. And although we know that without them, we would die, and if either are polluted, we would be sick, David continues to ask what intelligent animal would use such valuable resources as a toxic dump? How can we be turning our back on what got us here in the first place? We must learn to live within the constraints of nature and stop shoehorning nature into our agendas. Nature is the source of our well-being.
70% of our economy depends on the consumption of stuff. All of that stuff comes out of the earth to ultimately be thrown back into the earth as waste. We elevate the economy above the very things that keep us alive. Humans have become a powerful force – 7 billion strong – and what we do in the coming years will determine whether we as a species can survive. The full presentation can be re-watched in all it’s glory here on the Confederation Centre of the Arts website.
Today’s Image – Montgomery trust secures shoreline
The coastal land known as the L.M. Montgomery Seashore from Cape Tryon to the New London Bay.
I’ve hesitated writing about Plan B for a long time wanting to stay well clear of a political statement but as the heavy machinery begin to push their way through the hills and trees of Bonshaw, this very controversial project continues to be daily news since it originally surfaced almost a year ago. Plan B is the name labeled to the questionable 6km realignment of the TransCanada highway at the expense of home owners being expropriated, 15-20 million in tax dollars and the destruction of trees, ravines and streams that will require 140,000 truckloads of shale to fill. The media coverage and protest signs to Stop Plan B appear to be everywhere, and rightfully so.
On Saturday, October 13th 2012, the 5th annual worldwide photo walk will take place around the world in over 1000 locations. The concept is simple. A group of 50 people from as many cities as possible, create images during a 2 hour period.
The first walk was back in 2008 where I participated in downtown Vancouver but since then, I added and kept PEI on the map as the volunteer leader for the past 3 summers. We have walked the streets of Charlottetown, the trails and beaches of Cavendish, and on one occasion, had the Fathers of Confederation join us for some added fun — but I’ve run out of new ideas. It has been a very busy year for me and although I made the decision to pass on a fourth term of leadership, it was not before making sure I had a replacement to ensure PEI would still be represented for this 5th year.
Whether you’re local to PEI or not, find a location and participate.
Today’s Image – A Past Group Photo
Thanks to Sandra for taking this photo of the 2010 group at Province House before we paraded down Great George St where 3 more Fathers of Confederation Players joined us.
Show your support by turning off your lights tonight March 31st from 8:30 to 9:30. The Big Picture always has a great series of images of big city support but it begs the question – Why do we need to light up the outside of buildings at night or keep office lights on all night long? Images from 2011, 2010 and 2009 (click on photos for before and after)
I need to be careful or this blog could easily turn into a save the lighthouse campaign. Last week I made a post about the upcoming deadline when several island lighthouses will be shut down. I followed that up with a post about Saving of the Brighton Beach Range Light. At that time, it was very unclear to me which ones and how many of these structures were in danger.
With the permission of Carol Livingstone (President of the PEI Lighthouse Society (1)), I am making available The Guiding Light Newsletter (PDF). This semiannual publication that is available only to members provides a full list of updates and the current status of our 63 lighthouses and ranges. If you refer to page 20, you’ll see the list of lighthouses currently not being petitioned.
“Any lighthouses not claimed by community groups or municipalities by May 31 will either be put up for sale to the public or torn down.” CBC
Today’s Image – Cape Tryon Lighthouse
With access only through private property, this light is located on the north shore west of Cavendish in the French River and Park Corner area. The still active Cape Tryon Lighthouse is a bit of a staple in Island marketing and an often photographed location. I had a chance to visit early this morning under some very chilly conditions. The regular high coastal winds did not help. The Cape Tryon Lighthouse is located on land currently trying to be protected from development by the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust.
This lighthouse is one of the many listed on page 20. What will be it’s fate on June 1st 2012?
…or should I say without lighthouses because that could be a very real possibility after May 31st. This deadline is the day the federal government will stop maintaining the majority of the lighthouses that currently surround our coast. We were reminded again this week that communities must step up to support the maintenance if we wish for these buildings to remain standing. Some very prominent and iconic lighthouses are on the demolition chopping block.
The Lighthouse map issued by the Prince Edward Island Lighthouse Society has 63 listed in total making it the highest concentration of lighthouses in any province or state in North America. 21 are already decommissioned, 13 are listed as private and only 3 not accessible by car. 9 are opened to the public.
Today’s Image – St. Peter’s Harbour Lighthouse
With upwards of 60 lighthouses and ranges around our small coastline – not all of them are still in great shape. Particularly the one just west of Greenwich. It has for sure seen better days. Nested in the dunes, this lighthouse is accessible by an unpaved road or a long walk on the beach.
2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the National Park System on Prince Edward Island and park officials are preparing for a year of celebrations. I believe the actual anniversary is in April so keep an eye on Parks and People for updates and events as we get closer to summer.
Parks Canada has also has recently announced that entrance fees will remain the same. However, a summer never goes by where locals do not complain about paying for beach access. (Possibly the same people who believe the Confederation Bridge should be free). While I don’t know how the money is spent or what the operating costs are compared to a provincial park – this “fortune” that we’re always complaining about is only a $20 annual pass.
Today’s Image – A Frozen Bowley Pond
Bowley Pond is in Greenwich and became part of the National Park in 1998.