We are everyday people going to jobs, drinking coffee and tea, trying to find the balance between connecting with other people, ourselves, and our world. It’s stressful out there and there’s way too much going on. Then there is the part of us that wants to shut it down – to go home, hide out, turn on the TV or Netflix and binge watch, or surf the internet until it’s way past bedtime. It gets too tiring to think about the environment, wars, and natural disasters.
I don’t know about you, but even at times when I find myself indulgently clicking the link bait of animal videos or taking another personality test, my mind smiles and sighs, while another part of me thinks “Stop this. Go do something else and be a part of something else. Go make your life count for something or at the very least, go to sleep so that you can wake up fresh tomorrow.” I fight complacency. I fight potato chips and Nutella cravings.
So today, I thought that I’d tell you about something that matters and perhaps make a small difference. Today I read a headline in the CBC about a pregnant killer whale named Rhapsody that washed up on Bates Beach near Courtenay B.C, she was carrying a fetus.
I have only ever seen an orca at the Vancouver Aquarium, but I know that they are an endangered species. According to Peter Ross of the Vancouver Aquarium, killer whales are endangered because of the threat of pollution, noise, and lack of food.
The story gave me chicken skin. I had seen something like this recently, only it wasn’t real.
On Nov 10th, I went to the Inukshuk in Vancouver to visit my friend Dre. He and his team at Rethink Canada, partnered up with Dogwood Initiative to bring awareness to the fact that Kinder Morgan (a Texas-based energy company) is planning to load a million barrels of oil every day into tankers in the Vancouver harbour.
Using a pair of coin operated tourist binoculars, and an oculus rift, they created a virtual reality to show its potential impact on Vancouver. What I saw through the binoculars was pretty dismal. The water was on fire and barrels of oil were washed onto the shore. The most startling sight to me was the killer whale washed up on the shore. I know that whales don’t usually come all the way into English Bay, but there was a pod spotted in June of 2013 and in 2010 at False Creek – likely looking for food.
Already without the tankers, the orcas are dying. Add a million barrels of oil moving through the harbour and what are the chances that everything is going to go right every time? Let’s not go there.
Here’s the video that Rethink put together.
This is me tiptoeing to see the scene, and what I was looking at.
But What Can l Do? I’m Just a Nobody.
I get it. I feel like a nobody too. The extent of which you’ll act is personal but here are things that you can do.
- You can learn all you can about it.
- You can go to Dogwood Initiative to sign the petition.
- You can write to the Ministry of Industry via www. wildernesscommitee.org.
- You can read more about the Trans Mountain Pipeline at Raincoast.org.
- You can look at the Salish Sea Spill Map to check out the drift card project and write to your local MP.
- You can email Prime Minister Steven Harper, and even Justin Trudeau (if you’re gonna vote for him in Oct 2015). Express that they have to act responsibly. It’s true that these emails get read by their staff and not by them directly however, if their staff know, then it bubbles up to them if they get enough email about it.
So maybe you act this time, and someone else does too. There is strength in numbers. I say go do something first, then indulge in your addictive internet behaviour afterwards. There is space for caring and doing something small about big things like this, along with clicking on cat videos.
I said that I’d give you an update on Baby Boy Butters in my ‘Whats In a Name?‘ blog post.
The baby? His name is Charlie, and he’s pretty cool.
Go sign the petition will ya? If not for yourself, do it for Charlie.