Praying for Australia


I recently read a news story with the headline about the apathy toward the horrific bush fires and loss of life in Australia. I don’t know who wrote the story (my apologies to the writer, but I’ve been reading so many stories about the fires there and I simply do not recall) but it has not been my experience. On my social media every third or fourth post concerns that country and the people posting are filled with concern and compassion. The story focused on the outrage displayed throughout 2019 toward the climate crisis and the lack of political will to do something to address it. The author wondered why there was not more news coverage in media outside Australia, with the climate crisis in mind. So, of course I had to google it and to my dismay the author was absolutely right. I scrolled for a few minutes but found nothing on the ongoing battle to contain the blazes, nor anything addressing the climate crisis. That was yesterday (or was it the day before?).

 However, I don’t think people are apathetic. At least, if social media means anything, there is an outpouring of caring and praying for the island nation. Having been forced to flee forest fires here in my city of Fort McMurray my heart goes out to the people of Australia and the national disaster they are facing. It is heart-breaking to see the devastation and loss of life these bush fires have wreaked. Naturally people do not have to have had experience with fleeing forest fires to feel empathy for the Australians, or for that matter any nation dealing with a natural disaster. I am praying for the people of Australia and I hope you will join me.

I took this shot as we were driving out of town on May 3, 2016 as the forest fire caused the evacuation of the entire city of Fort McMurray, AB, Canada. It would be a full month before we were allowed to return. As I see photos of the horrendous fires in Australia I cannot help but remember the terror of trying to escape the flames that encircled the city. May the people of Australia receive all they need, now and afterwards so they can pick the pieces and rebuild their lives. My heart goes out to you.

A fine mess we’ve gotten our world into (on the climate crisis and the blame game)


I’ve been reading stories about climate change and following Greta Thunberg’s progress as she addresses the powers that be concerning the climate crisis. I don’t think it helps to throw young people under the bus for voicing their concerns (and ours as well). I read a very acrimonious response to this young woman’s impassioned plea that was filled with adjectives that shamed and blamed young people calling them “entitled” among other things.

We’ve all heard the barrage of messages on both sides. On one hand baby boomers and their parents are blamed for the present sorry situation we find ourselves in: tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other weather bombs that have left cities and often whole nations in ruins. On the other hand, people are quick to point out the dependence on cell phones and high-tech toys that are updated frequently, which also has an impact on climate change. It’s all very disheartening. And none of it productive.

Attacking one another achieves nothing but a simmering resentment and blinds us all to the matter at hand. We cannot make a difference as long as our energies are focused on the blame game instead of holding big business and governments accountable and taking personal responsibility for our own actions that contribute to the problems – like buying things we do not need and sending stuff to landfill instead of recycling or re purposing items. In Canada we are in the midst of trying to make a decision on who to vote for in the upcoming federal election – climate change is high on the agenda. Thousands are gathering in every major city across the country to participate in the global climate strike even as I write. We cannot afford to continue burying our heads in the sand. I just pray for divine guidance when it comes to this global crisis that affects all life on earth, and also for wisdom and insight as we mark our ballots

Water, water everywhere


Maybe you’ve seen the photo I posted not long after moving here, but if you haven’t here it is again (bear with me, there’s a reason for this).

A view from the balcony, early August

That was taken a little over 2 weeks ago, but we’ve been experiencing a much cooler summer this year, with a lot of rain. Today it’s been pouring and here is a drastically different view:

Wetlands, after all the rain – at least the water fowl will be happy

I was shocked to see that green space awash in water when I got home from work today. It’s amazing what nature can do. The winds are also high today and we’ve received a weather alert with a forecast of heavy rains.

I think I will go read a good book and “weather out the storm”. Nothing like a rainy day and a good book. Also, I am still recovering from the move. So rest and relaxation will be the order of the day.

How’s the weather where you live? Are you enjoying a warm, sunny day?

On global warming


I have lived in Fort McMurray for nearly four years and every summer we are faced with smoke from forest fires from across Alberta, British Columbia, the prairies and Ontario, as well as the North West Territories. This summer has been no different. Last week the smoke was so dense we could smell it. It stings your eyes and throat and for people with health issues it becomes a situation where they are house bound.

Last year we had hoped to travel to B.C. but due to smoke and warnings from the health department we were forced to change our plans. My husband does have several health issues and I am sure we were not the only ones forced to alter vacation plans. So, what is my point, you may ask. My point is that besides the environmental costs caused by global warming there are many and varied economic costs as well. The cost to the tourism industry for one.

Of course, there is the huge costs to taxpayers as governments everywhere are faced with ever growing financial challenges from fighting forest fires to cleaning up after severe flooding and other so called ‘natural disasters’.

We take clean air for granted as well as clean, potable water. There is far too much we continue to take for granted. It is disappointing, to say the least, to see our provincial governments fighting against any real efforts to curb global warming, such as a carbon tax. At the same time, they are lagging in taking initiatives to deal with the fall out.

While partisan politics uses every instrument of technology such as mining data to help them shape their promises and their platforms and spend much of their time fighting one another the issues and challenges caused by global warming rage on.

I don’t have any answers except perhaps to say it is more important than ever to exercise your right to vote, in every single election, whether municipal, provincial or federal. Our future and the future of our young people and our very planet may depend on it.