April 22 was Earth Day and we still have no idea


Let us open our eyes to the gifts the Creator has blessed us with, and give our thanks and gratitude for the abundance of his generosity.

We can no longer take nature for granted. We can no longer continue to exploit our finite resources as we see fit to fulfill the gluttonous greed of economic development and dump our waste into the environment. The consequences are far too grim.

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In so many situations, we are ignorant of the biological and physical world, yet we cling to the belief that we know what we’re doing.

The truth is, we have no idea. Everybody chases short term wealth, even at the cost of destroying their long term future in the process.

We must begin to live, grow and prosper as a partner with nature.

We have to keep reminding ourselves that the Sacred Balance with Mother Earth is vital to our very existence. And we must continue to do our part to secure the lives and promise of those yet unborn.

With the compliments of our government, federal and provincial environmental assessment laws that were originally put in place to protect our waters and environment have been gutted and stripped, so as not to hinder the progress of industry. These are the workings and influence of "corporate-first politics."

And any protection that still exists does not receive enforcement to ensure its wellbeing.

Is it any wonder that our planet is in trouble?

Indeed, man is a complex being, he makes deserts bloom - and lakes die.

I will mention two critical situations in Canada. The first is Lake Winnipeg. Eutrophication (excessive nutrients) has put the world’s tenth biggest lake on death’s doorstep. David Schindler, one of the world’s top water authorities, says it is in worse shape than the notorious Lake Erie pollution, and ecologist Eva Pip, formerly of the University of Winnipeg, believes it may be too late to recover.

The second is the Alberta Oil Tar Sands. Here the land is being relentlessly stripped away on literally thousands upon thousands of square miles in a massive operation of retrieving bitumen. Bitumen is a black, oily, viscous mixture of hydrocarbons, also known as asphalt. It is processed to make oil. And with over 54,000 square miles of known underlies, it is not difficult to envision the devastation that this area already has suffered and will continue to suffer.

As stated by Bishop Luc Bouchard, “This short sighted development of oil sands can’t be morally justified”.

Excerpted from Tar Sands, Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent by Andrew Nikiforuk:

"Industry in the tar sands uses as much water every year as a city of two million people. Ninety percent of this water ends up in the world’s largest impoundments of toxic waste: the tailings ponds. Industrial waste monitoring on the Athabasca River is a fraud. Canada has no national water policy and one of the worst records of pollution enforcement of any industrial nation.”

Is it any wonder that this ravaging pollution, waste and degradation deserves the title of a "man-made Holocaust”?

Writes Wendall Berry: "Our present ‘leaders’ - the people of wealth and power - do not know what it means to take a place seriously: to think it worthy, for its own sake, of love and study and careful work. They cannot take any place seriously because they must be ready at any moment, by the terms of power and wealth in the modern world, to destroy any place.”

Noah looked up and said, “You mean you’re not going to destroy the earth, again?"

“No,” said the Lord, "The governments are doing it for me."

Submitted by John Fefchak of Virden, Manitoba

© Virden Empire-Advance