The climate crisis is already affecting us
A sense of nihilism is settling into virtually every age group. In the first half of this year, planet Earth made it clear that we’re slipping into an existential crisis. This seems to have created another dead zone -- here in Aylmer. Are we all resigning ourselves to an early, collective grave?
There’s a sense that ‘nothing much matters’, and this is clear in Aylmer’s reaction (or lack of) to several important news items – from the Phoenix pay system to the mysterious library reconstruction over-spending. Neither are related to climate, but the lack of engagement shown by many visitors to the Bulletin might tell us there’s something big and heavy hanging over us all. Opening the conversation a little, we find that people are overwhelmed by crisis -- lack of clean-water on reserves, the massive garbage islands in the world’s oceans, melting polar ice and glaciers, you name it.
June added a harder hit with the news of the deaths of so many North Atlantic Right Whales. With half the world’s population of these mighty mammals found within Quebec waters, part of every year, and with only a total world population of about 400, there is an urgency to ensure these whales aren’t all killed off. Those hopeful that federal government action would reduce their death rate are stunned to learn the opposite is happening. The death toll in June alone for this one species of whales was five.
The federal government quickly cut the allowable speed for ships in the Gulf of St Lawrence. This is proactive, and while the effect on commerce is a problem, the real fear is that more whales are likely to die shortly.
The issue chipping away at the “joie de vivre” of Canadians isn’t just that whales are dying. It is the unspoken fear that even though this whale population is dying on our watch – right now, in July of 2019 – it is entirely possible that no actions will reverse the damage, even with stronger government action.
Governments are big machines which turn slowly and with much impact. These large machines have their big and small plans to counter the crisis but the reality of dead whales is even ‘more true’. That we humans seem unable to share this planet with beings as magnificent as these whales, no wonder today’s demoralized reality. All the recycling campaigns young Canadians have embraced in the last two decades have come back to us in those stinking shipping containers from Asia. We’re building a “nothing matters” coffin, and climbing right in!
Elections Canada is making an effort to inspire all Canadians to vote this fall. Voter turn-out rates are declining thanks to this growing lack of inspiration about the future. The true ring of apathy will sound like a deadening thump, a whale-against-the-bulkhead thump.
Bulletin readers, how does an entire planet change the course of its future?