Friday, January 26, 2007


Following our unbelievable encounter with that cretin, NDP MLA Shane Simpson, "Environment" Critic, biologist Terri Martin, and myself began to discuss the impending horrors of social and ecological breakdown that inevitably face us because politicians won't take the mildest remedial action. I told her that people around London Ontario were even talking about bunkers and provisioning them with food and munitions to ward off marauding millions from Toronto starving from lack of food and freezing from lack of gas. Terri said that she too was not worried so much about refugees from the third world as about refugees from Vancouver and Victoria and Nanaimo coming up here and stripping us of everything. We are really only weeks from disaster. If the ferry doesn't sail for want of oil we're out of food within two weeks and cars don't run. My new generator won't help me because I need diesel fuel deliveries for that. Right now furnace oil is being stolen on the island and last summer someone drove a truck down my driveway and carried away my firewood. That was in good times. Imagine if things got desperate. We all have wells but we need power from hydro or generators to pump it and almost no one has a water tank of any good size. A lot of us have postage-stamp gardens--not me--but they won't get you far. Fewer have acreages with livestock. We are not self-sufficient on this island. Community spirit and cooperation is great, but everyone would need to put their own children first. Social breakdown is a more likely scenario. During the war, my parents had a farm in the Fraser Valley 40 miles from Vancouver, reachable by a tortuous road. City people were hungry and desperate enough to come out and beg for eggs and some resorted to theft. One day my parents came home and found ladders up against every tree in the orchard with baskets of fruit left at the bottom. Vancouverites had attempted to raid the orchard but were suprised at the last minute. Other farms in the Valley were invaded all the time during rationing. But the diet and conditions endured by Canadians during the Second World War may be nothing in comparison to the tribulations to come soon. Mentioning bunkers and munitions to people now, especially to politicians, seems so fantastic as to be beyond the realm of rational discourse. But for a biologist on the ground, close to what's actually happening to the planet, or to anyone who's probed the issues of peak oil or NG depletion or the myriad other problems facing us, it doesn't seem so fantastic.
It is obvious to me now, after talking to these politicians, that government will not do want it needs to do to deal with this crisis. They will not close the borders. They will not stabilize population levels and try to roll them back. Reducing energy consumption in this cold climate--I will believe it when I see it. Other sacred cows will have to go to. Mobility rights. Just as some Provincial Parks are no off limits to people without reservations, more and more ecologically sensitive parks will need to be sealed off. More and more towns will need to set population caps. There will even come a day when the provision in the Charter guaranteeing freedom of mobility will be extirpated or over-riddened. Mobility between nations, regions and cities will be a luxury that the biosphere can't afford. And of course, guns laws will have to be repealed or ignored. After all, I should be able to defend my homestead and my family.

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