Thursday, August 16, 2018

What to DO about our smoky skies

Edmonton this afternoon...
With so many wildfires in British Columbia (and other places) this summer, Western North America is under a pall of smoke. I live less than five kilometers from our downtown skyscrapers, and it's not easy to see them through the haze.

"This sucks!" "It's so gross out there!" "I feel like I'm suffocating!" are all comments I've heard in the past 24 hours. But the big question is:

What are we going to DO about it?

We need to get past the complaining and see how the way we live is contributing to the problem. Human beings are the most influential species in our planet's web of life. I know there are people who don't believe in climate change, but to them I say, "Look at the skies. It's here. And what are we going to DO about it?"

"There's nothing I can do," is a cop out, especially when we get into the car to drive somewhere for a cup of coffee. Couldn't we reduce our impact on the environment by choosing to
cut down our use of fossil fuels,
conserve resources,
reduce, reuse, recycle, and
sacrifice a few comforts and pleasures for the sake of being able to breathe?

My neighbour with asthma certainly hopes so.

For the past 8 years, almost, I've been moodling here occasionally about Simple Suggestions that we can follow to increase our own health and community well-being. I was delighted when Pope Francis came out with Laudato Si, his letter to the world about how we are to care for our only home and the poor (who are most affected by climate change). And now these smoky skies are telling us, in no uncertain terms, that we need to get serious about changing our lifestyles and cutting greenhouse gases, pollution, and waste of the earth's resources, just like Pope Francis and many other wise people say.

Maybe it's time to stop dissing our environmentalists and start listening to them.

Today I offer, once again, a few resources to help us think about what we can DO about our smoky skies. Check these out to
The thing is, we have to go on living. But we have the power to DO things better than we have been. So let's stop complaining, and start making a difference!

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