Pipelines, a pandemic and more

I didn’t even have time to digest all the hype around the pipelines protests.

Pipelines, a pandemic and more

Isn’t it something? No sooner did we deal with forest fires, rain, flooding, mud and rock slides, hurricanes, eruptions, avalanches, and something or someone else decides to organize a protest against or for pipelines, climate issues, etc. And all this happened in such a short time; it boggles my mind.

I didn’t even have time to digest all the hype around the pipelines protests. Not being a politician or environmentalist I had some trouble understanding their issues. Was the protest organized to voice concerns for possible spillages on indigenous land? Or was it because the indigenous people were not invited to discuss the possibility of these pipelines crossing their land? Or was it a matter of not wanting to negotiate?

Seems to me, that nobody wins if we protest about something without coming to the table with possible solutions. That would make us all part of the problem. I couldn’t help noticing on TV and in the newspaper that the majority of protesters wore modern clothing made of artificial fibers (an oil product), rather than the grass, cedar bark or pelt garments worn by the traditional people.

I also couldn’t help noticing the heavy duty vehicles many of them drove instead of the horse or dog sleds. Those vehicles use petrol or diesel, while many of their parts are made of and/or painted with oil based products. And what about the fires lit in drums that were once used to store oil?

So I’m not convinced that these protesters are so dead set against the oil pipelines! And yet here they are barricading highways, railways and others, disrupting the fragile economy in Canada, rather than bringing solutions to increase this. Preventing anybody from getting to work, including those indigenous people working off the reserve, is counterproductive, as they lose their income. Who’s going to assist them financially? I saw the appeals to support the protesters; who’s supporting those prevented from going to work?

All this confuses me; wouldn’t it make more sense to negotiate a peaceful solution for the pipelines; to receive compensation for allowing these to be built so that we can all benefit from the sale of the oil or at least have a cheaper source for our own use rather than depending on imported foreign oil? It seems to me that we can become less dependent on a foreign market as we do have the resources and the knowledge to safely access these. We will all benefit from a healthier economy. Perhaps I see this too simplisticly and yet the day may come that we have no choice but to negotiate a solution, unless we are willing to turn the clock back.

And just when I stopped worrying, Africa was hit by a locust plague, and we had just time to catch our breath when out of left field an invisible danger sneaked in like miasma on a moor. Still unstoppable, it spreads across the globe; ignoring social, racial and religious borders! People, businesses, governments are stunned by the ferociousness of this danger. Most of the world is in “lock down” mode, while the medical world is struggling to find a solution for this disease, puting their own lives on the lines, and while others believe to be invincible. Panic caused people to hoard and steal much needed medical supplies from hospitals were people are quarantined.

But in spite of ugliness, there are beautiful things happening too.

Support systems are quickly set up to assist those in need, the elderly and those with chronic health problems. News of people enjoying clear skies and hardly any air pollution brings a smile to my face; when terrorists are told to stay away from large cities; how we all came together as a world with the same set of rules for safely negotiating this virus.

Could it be that we needed a reminder so we will find a better solution to run our world? Have respect and compassion for each other?

Judy van der Boom

Mill Bay


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