Project 366 – Post No. 178 – Autumnal equinox

What is Project 366? Read more here!

The world is changed; I can feel it in the water, I can feel it in the earth, I can smell it in the air

Lady Galadriel’s prologue in the Fellowship of the Ring

It does not just feel like fall anymore. As of today, the fall is here. As the seasons are changing and nature is readying itself for another winter there are larger and more sinister changes at work. The climate of the entire planet is undergoing massive changes at a scale never seen before. Global emissions are reaching record levels every year and show not sign of relenting. The last four years have been the hottest on record, winter temperatures in the Arctic are rising at an unprecedented rate and extreme weather events are increasingly more extreme and more common. The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having real consequences on human life. This week the UN Climate Action Summit is taking place and there is a sense of urgency never before seen, particularly among youth that are participating in the summit demanding immediate and forceful action from the leaders of the world. While we all have the possibility to do our share in reducing our impact on the natural world it is easy to feel helpless and insignificant in the large scope of things. What difference will it make if limit my driving when Alberta alone emits close to 300 megatonnes of carbon dioxide annually, the province with the highest greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and rising? Obviously, in light of this, for the individual person, it is not about making a dent in the emissions, but to take a stand and to show that enough is enough. For anyone to take a stand the requirement is that one has the basic knowledge of the impact humans have on the planet and the role we play in the changing climate. One would think that this would be the easy part, educating people and spreading awareness, but alas it appears that this is the biggest hurdle of them all. Misinformation, denialism and good old stupidity is preventing us to make any headway towards stopping and solving the degradation of our environment. For every little step of progress humanity seems to take two steps back. Just a few local example, we are still talking about building oil pipelines and we are still talking about extracting billion of barrels of oil from the oil sands. It is difficult to watch this rhetoric unfold and turn a blind eye, particularly if you do have a voice. I might not be world leader, an activist or a celebrity but I am a parent and a teacher which means I do have a voice and I do have an opportunity to contribute to educating the next generation of leaders and decision-makers.

Common Goldeneyes (Bucephalus clangula) at Heritage Wetlands Park. September 21, 2019. Nikon P1000, 134mm @ 35mm, 1/200, f/4, ISO 100

May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.