alright, so this entry is going back to the same theme as my original blog entries. that is: climate change, consumption, and all that jazz.Before I get into all the shit that i'm going to be shitting about, I'll first give you an update on my time since my last blog entry (or in other words, since the end of the ski season). Every summer for the past 6 years I go treeplanting in the bush of Canada from May till October. It's a good way to get money and get a garenteed layoff for the EI ski team in the winter. This year my planting has started around the town of Prince George in central B.C. I don't really like this town at all, actually it's one of the few places in this amazing province that I don't like. You can't see any mountains anywhere, and the forest is all dead. In the past I have seen the devistation of logging across our country, but around P.G. its a totally different kind of devistation. As far as Canadians go (or at least western Canadians) I'm sure you are all well aware of the Pine Beetle infestation that has taken over the central interior of the province. for the past month and a half (and for the next month and a half) I have been in the heart of the destruction. The forest in the interior has a variety of trees growing here, but the bulk of the forest is made up of pine and spruce. The pine beetle showed up on our radar a couple decades ago and back in the 70's or 80's. What the beetle does is use the pine trees to lay their eggs. They burrow into the tree and lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch they block the tubes in the trunk of the tree that allow water and nutrients to travel up and down the trunk - so when the eggs hatch it's basicly strangling the tree to death. Once the tree is dying, the beetles move on to another living pine tree. For the beetle to naturally die or at least stay tolerable to the health of the forest we need at least two weeks of -40C weather... the last time that happened here in the winter was, well, it doesn't happen anymore. That leaves us with a unstoppable threat on the forest of BC (and if they beetle gets over the Rocky Mountains to Alberta and the Boreal Forest (which makes up over half of our country)... the impact will be global. Us being humans (and not being able to control the weather (yet)) all we can really do is cut down the trees and try and create buffer zones to stop the beetle... Back in the late 70's or so they cut down the largest clear cut ever (and I mean ever) to try and stop the spread of the beetle. If you are curious you can find the clear cut southeast of Prince George just north of the Bowron Lakes, it looks like a giant star cut in the forest. Well, it didn't work... The beetle only goes after mature trees, so the next step was to get rid of the infected trees, and cut down the mature pine that was still healthy while replanting pine hoping that by the time the the planted trees reach maturity (30 years and up) the infestation would be taken care of. Unfotrunatly that didn't work. You see we are basicly planting super trees that grow faster than natural trees, and now if you drive around the bush in the interior you will find blocks planted with 100% pine that are around 15 years old, and it's a dead square of trees on the side of the mountain. We are now on the last resort, which is to cut it all down. Up here in Prince George all the blocks I am on don't have a forest of the boarder of the block, it's just more cut blocks... off on the horizon you can sometimes see an "untouched" forest, but when you look closer - all the trees are dead. There is no longer any green wood comming out of the central interior of BC, it's all dead pine beetle kill. the town of mackenzie (pop: 4500) had three mills shut down in the past year leaving almost 1000 people unemployed - the town is currently turning into a ghost town. That is the theme up here. The fucked up part is that we are STILL planting pine out there. I asked the forester why we are still planting pine and his answer was "well, we hope we can get the infestation under control by the time these trees mature"... but wait - that's what they said when they did that massive clearcut southeast of town 40 years ago. hmmmm.......So that's the forestry industry in Canada: dead and dying trees, cutting down trees that are useless, hemp is not being utilized, and we are hardly recycling nearly enough of our waste. Walk around PG and try to find a public recycling bin, they arn't there. this brings me to the overall topic of this entry.The industrial revolution changed the way humans operate on a global and local level 10 fold. without it I could not be sitting here on my laptop writting to all of you people across the globe, skiing wouldn't be what it is today, fuck - nothing would be the way it is. Way back in the revolution days they model was based on an unlimited supply of resorces and infinite expansion... over the last decade or two we (as a society) have slowly come under the understanding that we can't expand exponancially, but the way our system is set up, the 'industry' and the politics that are supposed to be policing them aren't changing. In this months issue of Canadian Geographic there is an article about the oil sands in Fort McMurray in Alberta and the article is retarted. The 'industry' is saying they want change, but they are blaming the govt for not forcing change upon them. the govt is only concerned about saying in office and is handing out permits like candy (which the industry is more than willing to accept). So the indusrty is being extremely hypocritical while the govt doesn't seam to give a shit about anything other than being popular. To put into perspective as to what's going on up there. In the forestry industry a 400 hectare clearcut is huge in todays standards. I have only seen one, and I'm not sure how many of them actually exist out there, but there's not many. The oil industry in Alberta just got the approval to clear 40 000 hectares of land for open pit mining. That's not just logging patches while leaving corridors for wildlife to survive, that's stripping everything and digging a massive hole in the earths surface. huge. It takes 5 barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil, and the left over water is put in tailing piles that are massive (one is slightly bigger than downtown vancouver), and it will take decades for the clay in the water to settle, so for the next couple decades (or centuries) there is massive (MASSIVE) amounts of water that is out of circulation. They are pulling 100% of their water from the Athabasca River which is one of the biggest in Canada, not to mention glacier fed... So there you have it. two of the most important industries in the world today (wood and oil), Canada being one of the major players in the global economy for exporting and holding both... neither of them are even close to being sustainable. Next time you fill up your tank and get pissed off at the 1.40/L price tag on gas or throw away or burn anything that could be recycled think about what that means for us. The way i see it, we have to completely change the way our political system gets voted in. Look at the Conservative Government that is in office in Canada right now. As soon as they won the election, all they have been putting their effort towards is making sure they win a majority govt, and stay in office after the next election. Is that really the most important thing for our leaders to be putting their effort towards in these times of needed change? We the people should have more control over who gets the right to run for prime minister, and what they do while in office. There's the saying "I'm not trying to save the world, I'm just here to clean up the neighbourhood" but shit dude, it's like hobbits in the shire. No matter how much you try and ignore the rest of the worlds problems, they will eventually come knocking at your door. There are enough people between the ages of 18 and 25 in Canada to overthrow the government if we all took action and VOTED! imagine what we could accomplish if we actually tried to fight for what we believe is right.The industral revolution (coupled with the whole suburbanising of North America in the 50's) has created a consuming monster out of all of us, and the way the world is set up right now, there is no way in hell it can be stopped. Industry is in it for the buck, polititians are in it for the popularity, and we are in it for the ride. now keep your arms and legs inside at all times while the car is in motion and enjoy the ride, it's going to be a short one."Majority rules doesn't work in a mental institution" Nofx


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