watershed : 2016 Wrap Up

Bet you can guess what my new years resolution is. 

A part of posting news I find relating to water is the discovery of both completely new issues as well as issues and groups that have been around for a while. And then you come across content that is a bit of both. 

In 1962, Dryden Pulp and Paper company released a butt load of mercury (an estimated 9,000kg) in the local river system, until the time that the poisoning of fish and water was discovered in 1970. In the early 1980s, money and settlements traded hands between the Canadian federal government and a number of the communities although where this money went and how accessible it actually was to the communities is something that is constantly debated, even on this issue's Wikipedia page.  Ultimately, there was not and has not been enough to done deal with both the effects of the ingested mercury by community members or the current health of the water to sustain the affected communities. There is a lot of history here, including when the story got some international coverage in 2015 and ended up in papers again this past summer, in time with Thirsty for Justice which is an effective tool to begin to understand the long history behind what has been happening in Northern Ontario.

The most recent news I could find on what is happening to Grassy Narrows, Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nations, and Whitedog, Wabasseemoong Independent Nations, is a CBC audio clip of the study of the impacts of mercury on community members by doctors from Japan. Reading about the history of this topic is incredibly heartbreaking. What has been termed environmental racism is hard to begin to imagine and makes me think of Peggy Shepard's Ted talk and her conception of "sacrifice zones." It also brings me back to the bluedot movement I mentioned in my last post and its' angle in this fight through policy change, one municipality at a time. Gaining awareness of what's going on around you is important regardless of what you do during your time on this planet. 

Hitting on other things that were missed at the end of 2016, I suppose we should include the American presidential debates completely forgetting about the environment as a topic. Like, at all. And my too late learning of Planet in Focus an environmental film festival that has existed for 17 years. Luckily, their listings are still online for the films screened, so you can attempt to track them down. Looking at the list I didn't see Disobedience, a short film released last April. Take a look: 

Of course we can't forget Justin deciding to pass the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which you can't help but remind you of the most recently sworn in American President green-lighting the Keystone XL pipeline. Sometimes I find it hard to talk about oil because I know I'm not an expert, and it seems like there are a lot out there. Environmentalists, politicians, business owners, etc, all have an opinion on oil and all speak with the confidence that they know what is best based on their particular window on the situation. As a regular person who is attempting to do their best at just living, these are my current thoughts.

The damage of (drilling and transporting) oil has been confirmed through...actual damage.  

Also, from what I understand, crude oil is finite.

Also, from what I understand, there are thousands of jobs in renewable energy. 

With that information alone, I don't understand why we aren't firstly, using renewable energy as much as possible where we can, and two, why we are building more infrastructure for a resource that is not going to last forever. Boggles me mind. Typically, when I don't understand something I feel as if there is a part of the argument that I'm missing. Please educate me (with a side of sarcasm) if you'd like.