Wednesday, July 15, 2009

water .... what is it good for ?

they need our canadian water, these arizonans, though they probably don't know it.

they're the reason the evil bc liberals are looking to dam all of british columbia's beautiful wild rivers - further colonizing indigenous peoples' unceded territory and destroying natural habitat - for power export.

there are former enron employees working inside bc hydro, that's what i've heard, moving it towards privatization. like so many other publically built and own enterprises, there are plans to steal it from us and turn it into a big money making machine. big money for a few, environmental devastation for the rest of us. as a public resource it's been efficient, effective, affordable, accountable. we are on the brink of losing all of that. nafta, that nasty trade agreement brian mulroney shoved down our throats, contains a provision that we provide energy to our southern neighbours even before we meet our own needs.

the majority of canadians need to wake up before life as we know it is a distant memory and we're left freezing in our igloos.

i'm currently in pheonix, a huge city in the hot, dry desert. we left las vegas yesterdy morning and saw nothing but dry .... lovely, in its own way with joshua trees and saguarro cacti, but definitely dry. and hot. ice collected at a reststop was melted within minutes on our un-airconditioned old schoolbus. i wrapped my hands around my braided hair, and it felt hot. our bodies were sticking to the plastic seats, or leaving puddles on the futons. it was 117 according to a signpost in pheonix at dinnertime.

we were a bit late arriving in pheonix last night and, after waiting a half hour or so for our hosts to meet us at the rendezvous site, we were transported to a bahai centre where we were witness to the beautiful, and loud, drumming and dance mexica azteca. as with all other indigenous traditions i've witnessed including, no doubt, those i haven't (being buried under layers of colonization as they are in other parts of the world), these dances honour and respect the natural cycles. they connect us to the earth. they show reverence for the rain which gives us life, for the sun that enables growth, for the sustenance this magnificent planet provides. we were invited to the dance, a very rigorous awakening for our hot and tired and hungry bodies. afterwards, we feasted.

i consumed rice and beans, no doubt there'll be a lot more of that in the next few weeks, salad, and watermelon for dessert. others ate food with los productos animales. i couldn't help but think of the vast amount of resources, especially water, needed for that particular 'food' industry. thankfully, after all that honouring of the earth and her systems, i was able to consume my food from the $1 plastic piggie plate i bought during last year's journey after leaving my tupperware at a hosts's home, rather than having to use a paper plate. there's no telling how many paper and styrofoam cups are kept out of the landfills when people carry their own mugs, too. a part of me was confused -- what was all that dancing and honouring of earth really about? isn't it more significant if our dances and our lifestyle choices are more philosophically aligned?

but who am i to judge. i'm just a foreigner, a gringo, a fanatical environmentalist.

unfortunately, me and my obsession with using washable dishes, avoiding the creation of 'garbage' at every opportunity, and my love of rain, are an anomaly. it's difficult for me to ponder the lives of people here in the desert, driving their air conditioned cars and living in their air conditioned homes, purchasing consumer products with excessive packaging at walmart, swimming in their pools, golfing on their manicured courses, as if there's no such thing as global climate change. as if the endless consumption of the earth can continue forever. of course this sort of lifestyle choice is happening all over this nation and mine, and indeed all over the earth. but here in the desert it becomes very apparent just how unsustainable it all really is.

unless, of course, those bc private profiteers can fuel their independent power projects by channelling all our wild water into this vast desert ........

New Video: Huge Crowds Turn Out in Kootenays to Protect Wild Rivers!

Save Our Rivers Society presents a new 5-min video by Damien Gillis, documenting a big week in the battle against private river power in BC. See highlights from the recent Kaslo meeting where 1,100 spirited citizens showed up to rally and speak out for their wild rivers. At issue was Montreal-based Axor Group's plan to divert 5 rivers in the Purcell Wilderness, northeast of Kootenay Lake, for a 125-megawatt private power project - the largest such proposal in the region. The people of the Kootenays join British Columbians who have come out en masse to oppose projects on the Ashlu River, Upper Pitt River, in Bute Inlet, and elsewhere - showing citizens around BC how to mobilize to protect our rivers and public energy system.


Requests for a meeting in the region's biggest city, Nelson, were denied by the company and government, leading to the huge turnout in Kaslo. But the public will get a chance to discuss the proposal in Nelson after all - local Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall will host a public meeting there on July 15 at 7pm at the Prestige Inn, 1301 Front St. Click here for more info.

Also read Rafe Mair's Tyee article on the Kaslo meeting.