The time to act is now

Bert De Vink explores the idea of the current generation taking care of problems

There is a Buddhist story about a monk who was resting beside a stream.  He thought it would be nice to have a refreshing dip in the stream, so he took off his robe and put a parcel containing some food on top of his robe.  When he came back after his refreshing dip his food was gone.  He said to himself “oh, well somebody must have needed it more than I.  He rested for a while and went for another dip.  When he came back his robe was gone and again he told himself somebody else must have needed it more than I and went on his way.  Although I am not a Buddhist, there are aspects of Buddhism that I like, but I  have never understood the type of thinking behind the Buddhist story I just mentioned.  What it did to me was it reminded me of the Canadian population.  It is okay to take our water, our energy, give away our B.C. Rail, move Canadian factories overseas, privatize our ferries and let private companies dam our rivers to sell power to B.C. Hydro and sell raw logs to those who need jobs more than we do.  On top of it we have to pay more and more for our electric bills and taxes to support unscrupulous governments who do that to us.  Oh well, it must be that governments and big corporations need the money more than we do.  Our children can fend for themselves, we had to, so why can’t they.  It is not our fault that the earth is warming, that healthy food sources are dwindling, drinking water is getting scarce,  the oceans, lakes and rivers are polluted and more and more city suburbs are being built on fertile land. While the oceans are rising, glaciers and polar ice are disappearing, heavy storms are increasing in velocity, but we still can sell real estate on fertile land that in time will be under water.  Our children can take care of that later, after all, money is money.  Or is it because money is involved and most of us have some so we are still reluctant to change the current state of affairs?  The old attitude of, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, works too, if only for a while, but waiting for a-have-to-fix-it-now leaves us mostly unprepared and unable to deal with it.  I am starting to wonder how much it will take before the general population will stand up and say it is enough.  The difference between minimum wage and average wage is getting pretty small and the middle class is disappearing.  This should be a pretty good indicator that the status quo is changing and, as stated by many economists, the gap between rich and poor is widening.  Canada with its resources squandered on obsolete get-rich-quick energy schemes and having a polluted country side, will soon be high on the list of places not to be.



Bert de Vink is a regular Observer contributor.