Yes, No, Maybe

September 1, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

There are a lot of well-intentioned, very brave people out there.

Listening to a doctor with DWB in Pakistan on the CBC talk about how they are trying to help an unbelievable situation, with one third of the country under water, this was his attempt to give listeners even a hint of the catastrophe and the massive struggle to rescue, feed and care for the 33 million people affected by the flooding.

His voice staggered with fatigue and sadness from which he was clearly suffering as one man in a team of several endeavouring to cope, actually and emotionally, with the unbeatable waters and the predictions of worse to come.

The versions of destructive flooding we have seen even here in Canada barely convey the kind of wholesale devastation that is happening in Pakistan. Five thousand acres of the finest rice completely destroyed; whole towns and villages wiped out while helicopter rescue missions try to lift people out of danger; more than a thousand people dead and the toll climbing rapidly as we shy away from imagining how they died.

The fault for this flooding, misery and death is blamed entirely on the climate crisis this globe’s inhabitants are facing. This is a self-inflicted crisis which, for the past 50 years, has been known and understood and ignored and for which Pakistan’s people are now suffering.

Humanity has been overwhelmed by the flood of this villainy ruling the world’s decline. Here is the really bad news: we have gone along with it, allowed ourselves to be drowned even once we knew better.

That this climate crisis is a fact and is no longer an issue for debate and those who would love to keep the whether/if debate alive – they know better too but that same greedy villainy lives in their hearts and pays for their luxurious lives.

They well know who will suffer the worst under the punishment that is coming as a result of their villainy and somehow, they tell themselves that their own children will be alright, that somehow the floods will never reach the houses they build on high ground they presume to be safe. Unless it is not.

Villages in the mountainous regions of Pakistan are under flood waters and it is to those destinations the helicopters are flying in the hopes of hauling people free. As Pakistan is learning, the number of safe places can disappear and water is hard to contain when there is no dry land.

How utterly insane and villainous in this historic time of Mother Earth is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Exactly when every government’s attention must rush to contain, reduce and eliminate harm to the planet, the monsters of Russia push agendas that are not only war crimes against the people of Ukraine but the whole world. They inflict the burden of war on the lands and every living creature within the realms of the attacks.

This is an aspect of war that is rarely mentioned: the effects of the devastation on wildlife and the environment.

Now, Russia at a “plant, near the border with Finland, is burning an estimated $10 million worth of gas every day,” according to the BBC. The news item goes to say that scientists are concerned about the large volumes of carbon dioxide and soot the burn is creating, which could exacerbate the melting of Arctic ice. Some 4.34 million cubic metres of gas are being burned daily by the flare, releasing about 9,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent every day, causing “significant issues.” Black carbon is the sooty particles that are produced by incomplete burning of fuels like natural gas, from where it can be deposited on snow and ice [in the Arctic,] and significantly accelerate melting,” said Prof Matthew Johnson, from Carleton University in Canada. As alternatives to importing Russian gas and oil in Europe, there is talk of re-opening coal mines. In other news, the UK is considering allowing the introduction of GMO crops, which is known to deleteriously affect the food we are eating. It is not about whether we run the water while we are brushing our teeth; it is about the extent to which corporations have the freedom to run their businesses as they have been doing all this harmful time; it is about governments subsidizing fossil fuel companies and the need to decide to do something else with the pipeline the Canadian government purchased (2018) instead of pumping oil through it. Farmers are looking for alternative ways to raise their cattle and grow their crops; transportation companies are looking for every type of travel to be accommodated differently, safer to the environment. Yet the Amazon forests are more than 70% destroyed and here in Canada we are still logging the Arboreal Forest to supply luxurious toilet paper. We are wise with our plans for saving the planet and we are crazy with our indulgences.

It is not a matter of giving things up; it is a matter of what and how we want.

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