Today Health Canada has formerly approved the Pfizer vaccine and we will get 2 shipments one from Belgium and one from their lab in the USA. Inoculations will start next week and this means the end for Covid 19 and a better year for all of us. When the news was announced today around noon time, this song popped into my mind. Such a relief and the best Christmas gift.
So far 2020 has been one long disaster and everything is so strange that it is difficult to just go on since nothing is normal and the future is very uncertain.
There is a lot of fear in the air, people do not think in a rational manner, the irrational is the norm, nothing is logical nor reasonable.
While it appears that in Canada and in the Maritimes we have past the worst of this pandemic and it is now behind us, this is not so for the rest of the world. However here in Charlottetown and elsewhere with no tourist season, for us in PEI this means grave consequences come the Fall and Winter, there is going to be real poverty and want.
Coupled with this pandemic, weird events happen, this morning at 06:30 am a man ran through the gate of Rideau Hall with his truck. This is the Official Residence of the Governor General and in another house on the Estate the Prime Minister has his residence. This guy was armed to the teeth and it turns out he is a member of the Armed Forces. Luckily neither the Governor General nor the Prime Minister where present. This guy was upset and wanted to talk to the PM.
Last week we had the BLM march and the Native Live matter march, everyone wants change and want it now. Many strange statements have been made, opinion pieces appear in the media. Not much is articulated properly, it is just a grab bag of agendas and demands, most come from various groups who present themselves as victims. One demand is to get rid of Canadian history as a whole and come up with a new politically correct history that would force the dead to confess to wrong doing committed 100 plus years ago. There is no point in stating that the past is gone and dead and you cannot change it, no one is listening.
For those people, Canada is the worst place on Earth to live. I wonder where would they be happy. There have been other events since January to disturb the normal course of life and coupled with this Pandemic it all becomes surreal and difficult to cope.
The bridge is re-opening in just about 45 minutes to allow us to cross to the mainland and vice-versa, however the procedure to do so is similar to that of going across an International border and requires prior registration online. I can see long lines of cars and several hour of delays simply to enter or exit the Island.
We were also warned today by the Chief Medical Officer of PEI that in all likelyhood we will see new cases of Covid19 on the Island in the coming weeks and months. At the moment no one is paying attention because it is Summer.
The future if we can call it that, is very uncertain and it is difficult to live with so much uncertainty. Maybe there is no future, maybe the world as we knew it ended in 2019.
This week CBC radio host Paul Kennedy retires from Ideas after many a years. Ideas as the title indicates is about discussing topics about our world, it is well done with many scholars, writers, philosophers who present their views based often on books or research they have done for years on a topic which affects how our human society functions and evolves. Paul Kennedy has a relaxing, pleasant mature voice, easy to listen to.
Today the topic was Climate Change and was part of his acting as moderator of the Muskoka conference in Ontario. The question was: Are we doomed?
Currently, if several polls are to be believed, some 84% of Canadians are very concerned about Climate Change and what is happening all around us. Here in PEI in the last 12 months we have seen changes with rapid erosion of the soft coast line, projection show that in 50 years the City of Charlottetown and surroundings will have disappeared under water. The Island at most stands about 30 feet above the sea level in some areas and as little as 3 feet in others. The Winter started early in November and ended late towards end April, the Spring Fishing Season was delayed 2 weeks due to storms and the planting Season for agriculture was also delayed to mid-June. The Summer so far has been cool and rainy. This has an impact on fishers, farmers and the tourism industry. The Chamber of Commerce says that tourism is down 50% this year due to poor weather. I believe it, it is abnormally quiet.
All around the world, if you care to read, it’s one big heat wave and huge storms, more unusual than the next. Nature is dying all around us, it is much more than melting ice caps or rising water levels. Entire species have disappeared, over fishing has depleted the oceans, plastic pollution everywhere. The statistics are frightening and still politicians and the public dither.
Despite all this, most people pretend it is not happening or simply cannot cope with the magnitude of the crisis. Some experts in the field believe it is too late to save ourselves. There is no Planet B.
On Ideas, some of the speakers said that if extreme measures are taken we could slow down the process or reverse it, an example the town of Sudbury in Ontario, pop 164,000 where 100 years of nickel mining had by 1960 transformed the entire area into a moon scape with a strong odour of sulphur, people still lived there. However in the last 40 years an aggressive program of cleaning and reforesting involving intensive action by several groups with the support of the local authorities have turned the tide and now despite having some 50,000 hectares still to be rehabilitated, Sudbury has been transformed for the better. The City has 300 lakes over 25 acres within city limits, natural beauty which is being brought back.
But is is not the case everywhere, in most places there is resistance to doing anything at all. Here in PEI constant resistance against electric cars, the City of Charlottetown turned down the opportunity to develop a bike path through the city core, bought diesel buses instead of electric, allows cancer causing pesticides to be spread to keep lawns green, City Councillors cannot see the importance of saving bees, are putting an asphalt plant in a semi rural residential area, etc.. The easy justification is jobs, it seems that jobs trump every other concern, obtuse thinking rule.
How do you educate a population who refuses to listen, should we just let the crisis take over, it seems human nature learns better when a catastrophe strikes.
Last Thursday the Legislature of the Province passed a bill to reduce CO2 emissions by 1.2 megatonnes by 2030, instead of the Paris Accord agreement of 1.4 megatonnes. Still 6 conservative members of the government refused to go along, they collectively simply do not believe in climate change, it’s a hoax. The majority in this case got its way, now we have to figure out how to achieve this target, won’t be easy. How do you bring on-board towns and settlements when our politicians don’t understand the gravity of the problem.
As it was pointed out on Ideas, you can build infrastructure to stop flooding and erosion, you cannot save nature when irreversible trends are happening, this we do not control. So maybe we will avert the worse but there is no guarantees and I am not hopeful.
At my age this is not really a concern because if I have 20 years to live, I will be dead and gone by the time the crisis is irreversible. What is sad is for children or anyone under 40 they will live through it.
Photo; Alberta Tar Sand exploitation and the environmental disaster it creates. Yet some people see nothing wrong with this picture. A picture of death near Edmonton.