Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rob Ford is Climate Change

One is the mayor of Toronto.  The other is a man-made condition that is changing the Earth's atmosphere in ways not thought to have existed for at least 800,000 years.

And yet to me, Rob Ford is climate change.  

To put this in perspective, Humans, or Homo sapiens, did not reach their full anatomical state until about 200,000 years ago and their modern behavioural state until about 50,000 years ago.

On May 13th, 2013, scientists who have been recording the level of carbon in the earth's atmosphere since 1958 reported that we have passed the 400ppm benchmark that signifies a higher level of CO2 in the atmosphere than there has been in 800,000 years.  What this means exactly for the environment from what I've gathered is rising sea levels, more extreme storms, more intense rainfall and droughts and new diseases, to name a few.

So what is the link I'm drawing between Rob Ford and climate change?

They are utterly and fundamentally connected in the sense of how people collectively respond.


It is so much easier to distort facts to maintain the status quo.  The human species has evolved to equip each individual with the power of choice and denial, amongst other things.  

Educated and powerful people still claim that climate change does not exist.  Or if they acknowledge that it does, they do nothing.  

Rob Ford, despite being arrested in 1999 for DUI and marijuana possession, in 2006 was thrown out of  a hockey game for being drunk and belligerent, in 2008 was charged with assault against his wife, with charges eventually dropped, Christmas Day 2011 his mother-in-law called police because Mr. Ford had been drinking and threatening to kidnap his children, shall I go on?  Here is 20 Things Worth Knowing About Rob Ford by NY Magazine....and still many believe he is an honest man with no substance abuse issues.  

And today the Globe and Mail has broken as story about the brother Doug Ford having been a hashish dealer and other family involvement in the drug trade.

Still a lot of people support Rob Ford and don't believe that the video of him smoking crack is real.  They accuse the media of being morally bankrupt and sensationalist. 

Climate change.

Do I need to make a similar compilation of facts about climate change?  It reads the same.  A chain of events so obvious in truth and meaning, and yet routinely overlooked and denied.  Did you know that scientists noticed changes in climate and made predictions as far back as the early 19th century?   Now in the 21st century, no headlines are needed to notice extreme weather and changing climate patterns.  And yet, there are still deniers, oddly who also blame the left-wing media for being sensationalist and communist.

How many people actively try to consume less, drive less, travel on airplanes less, eat less meat and demand action from governments and corporations to adhere to existing environmental policy?  Not enough, and sadly when they do, they are branded and put outside of the blinkered mainstream.  

To have 1/3 of the city of Toronto vote against the mayor is not enough.  To have 1/3 of the population take action against climate change is not enough.

And so what is my message here?  One of doom and gloom?  One of accusation and reprehension?  Frustration?

The world is so beautiful, was so perfect.  It is changing and we must change with it or die.  We must adapt.  Evolve.  

To evolve means we cannot continue this pattern of self-destruction.  We cannot allow members of our community and society get away with rampant greed and corruption.    

If we are to survive as a species, we need to work together.  Distribute wealth more evenly.  Otherwise, we will be left with a world full of pain and suffering.

Maybe we are all like Rob Ford and make promises to ourselves and others that we cannot keep.  We wash away the fear and the pain through consuming too much (although really, Rob Ford does go to the extreme).  We love too much our freedom of travel that is so highly toxic.  If we believe hard enough that we don't have to change, that we're not drug-addicts, then maybe it won't be real.  Especially if everyone around you believes that too.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring So Far

A summary of spring so far:

Easter arrived early, but none too soon.  It has been a long winter and being able to shed snow pants, mitts, boots, hats and scarves does feel akin to morphing into a beautiful butterfly.

This spring has been a time of nurturing.  Watching our first bulbs push through the soil and bloom into cheerful daffodils was fun for Henry and I to monitor.

So excited are we for spring, that we've been taking him to the beach (Ashbridge's Bay is just a 5 min. bus ride down the street) and to the local parks, even though a winter jacket is required.  Except, throwing rocks into the water while wearing fingerless mittens is quite a challenge for anyone, let alone a 2 year old.

The cooler weather has allowed for extra days of learning the first signs of spring.  Henry can now identify daffodils, snow drops, tulips, forsythia, robin-red-breasts (the bird, not a flower,) and dandelions.

Trips home from daycare have been less and less on public transit and more and more riding on mommy or daddy's shoulders.  This is great time-wise and upper-body-wise.  But not so hot for the back.  So we got the little boy a scooter.  He is not self-propelling yet and needs to be pulled (thanks daddy), but it will come.  

As the temperature increased, Henry became more and more interested in playing out in the backyard.  So I put him to work, helping me to wash down the patio furniture and his outdoor toys.  He now must always use the hose to put out the fires on the flowers, wagons and deck.  

We've had lots of outings of late:  birthday parties, brunch with friends, the beach, the park, visiting our friend in the hospital, meeting up with grandpa at the museum...

And then there was the time we tried to introduce Henry to a friend's motorcycle, given how much he's wanted to ride one....hmm...maybe some things are better left to the imagination.

On a personal note, recent highlights have been singing in the church choir and getting to meet Eve Ensler in the flesh at the Toronto Reference Library, where she introduced her new work In the Body of the World.  She has been my invisible guide since 2002.  I can't shake her.  Blessed woman.