Friday, May 25, 2018

The beginning of the end

Before the 21st century had time to grow old, the planet Earth turned cold. At the same time, volcanic eruptions and ferocious, swirling storms tripled and quadrupled in frequency.

The moon, half covered with the detritus of Man's overwhelming population, could no longer be fully seen from Earth.

Most of the world's population starved, as oceans filled with plastic and could no longer support life, any more than could countless miles of trash-covered tracts which had once been profitable farms.

Sending garbage to the moon had been the brainchild of a man ruling a large, powerful country. His poorly-paid labourers gathered waste and packed it into huge rockets built for one-way travel. Overpaid scientists then sent the garbage rockets on their way.

The disposable space ships were timed to self-destruct on the face of the moon, thus spewing their garbage, all of which would then orbit the earth along with skeletons of satellites from the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Space — living space — residential space — was still at a premium on Earth. Millions of starving people crowded into tenements, shacks, and tent cities, while the wealthy sat in air-and-water-purified mansions, eating food cultivated for them (and them only) in huge greenhouses.

Somewhat frivolous fiction written for Fiona's

Sky Watch Friday 

—in hopes we'll always see the sky!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Aussies co-authoring garbage

My old friend Professor Robin Jeffrey and his friend, anthropologist Dr. Assa Doron, have written a new book called Waste of a Nation published by Harvard University Press.

The book is about garbage and India, or India and garbage, whichever you prefer, but does not send the same message as do articles or books about pollution that have been published elsewhere in the world.

In this new book, their take on the subject of garbage is as different from mine as is India from British Columbia where Robin and I grew up, and is also as different from anywhere in Canada as is Australia where he and Doron both live.
Robin Jeffrey, left; Assa Doron, right: Book Talk (photo from Wikipedia)
In reading about this book, I have found that North Americans and others in this world deal with garbage in a far different way than do the people of India.

Map via Wikipedia
I was surprised, as I think you will be, that the big problem isn't pollution of the waters surrounding India to the west, south, and east, but rather the way in which waste has been handled for centuries compared with the impact of new technology on the people who once took care of their country's garbage.

Large-scale waste management as we now know it...with Sweden being today's model and other countries thus inspired...might become a serious problem in India rather than a solution.

The management of waste in India was handled by its specialists for centuries with no interference from scientists and their ilk. Of course, waste itself is a problem everywhere, as we all know, but solving today's pollution problem with technology might not be the end game for India.

I haven't read Waste of a Nation because it hasn't yet arrived by mail from Australia, but I have been apprised of its content by one of its authors — not only apprised but also surprised, because I have always been used to the view that so much of the world has on the subject.

We sit in our houses or apartments or condos, and we travel in our cars or trucks or camper vans or motorhomes, spewing waste gases into the atmosphere and dropping bottles, cans, papers, wrappers, and other detritus into bins or, heaven forbid, onto the roadside, some of which will be picked up by vast garbage trucks every day or week, depending on the location, and the rest of which will be left to moulder by the wayside or be eaten by animals who cannot digest it properly. Yet so many people in 'civilized' countries see ourselves as superior beings, or at least see our systems, as superior.

We've probably all been raised to believe that in waste as in everything, our way is the right way, and have only recently started to realize we could be wrong. (For recently, think 21st Century.)

It never occurs to North Americans, for instance, that a much, much older civilization might have been dealing with waste in its own way for centuries.

I look forward to reading this book by Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey in order to learn more about those ancient practices, and how they compare with waste management in 'our world'!



Friday, May 18, 2018

Random sky shots north and south

Attack of the frigate bird, Galapagos Islands. (No one was hurt in the making of this blog post.)

South (above) 
...and North (below)

Dick riding an Icelandic, of course, Iceland!

I didn't ride a horse, but I hugged (yes, hugged!) many of them.
Icelandic horses love cuddling.

And then south again...

Dick and our sister-in-law Maria in Cancun, Mexico.

My brother Clint Davies, right, 
his wife Maria, lower left
my husband Richard Schear,
bottom right

 Dick many photo ops, so little time!



Monday, May 14, 2018

Canada yesterday, today and tomorrow?

The endangered white Kermode Bear, Wikipedia photo
Great Bear Rainforest, 
British Columbia, Canada

Haida houses and totems, Skidegate, British Columbia
(pronounced approximately 'skid-uh-git' —emphasis on 'skid')
1878 photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Above: Haida Gwaii, formerly 'Queen Charlotte Islands'

I'm back!

Here I am: that annoying (some might even say fear-mongering) Canadian: an anti-pollution British Columbian now living in southeastern Alberta.

So...we think death by garbage can't happen to just about every country in the world? And we think it can't kill the planet while it's at it? We are very wrong.

First, something to think about: our very own Fiona, who hosts Our World Tuesday, lives in Sweden, a country fighting every day against death by garbage...

and winning! 

Yes, Sweden is winning the garbage war!

We now know the fight is not yet lost, people, but for many of us the end might just be in sight.

For another point of view, I'll soon let you know what my friend Robin, and his co-author Assa Doron, have to say about garbage in their latest book: Waste of a Nation.

Meanwhile, here is Canada's new future in a few randomly-chosen but semi-organized links for your information and consideration.

British Columbia government and the contamination issue:

(Not new news. October 2015.)


Thursday, May 10, 2018

The crooked Skywatcher

It takes a special kind of Skywatcher to shoot consistently crooked sky photos, and I am that special Skywatcher! Notice, please, that they don't all lean at the same angle, although most do have a left-leaning tendency. (This is not a political comment, however, but do feel welcome to take it as such if you choose.)


Posting my leaning treasures
as part of Lady Fi's fabulous meme

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

"When worlds collide"

Kay Davies photo, 2016

There is a fringe where your world and mine meet, merge, meld for a month or more. Differences disappear and the common ground seems solid.

We walk on this illusory rock confidently, comfortably, tempted to take this temporary thing as truth.

The rock is a lie.

Kay Davies photo
It consists of one thin layer of your reality and one thin layer of mine, overlapping only in a dream.

What is it in the human mind that recognizes mirages yet yearns to accept them as real? That, upon waking, refuses to recognize the death of a dream?

We're masochists all, we humans, walking wide-eyed into pain, daring it to hurt us and recoiling in surprise when it strikes.

Optimists eternally hoping, fools who know no fear.

Into the lion's den we walk, softly crooning, "Kitty, kitty, kitty."

Hand held out to stroke the head of a rabid dog; bare feet in the scorpion's lair; bare heart held in a heartless lover's hand.

By Kay Davies,  January, 1979

Posting for Fiona's marvellous meme:


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tyrannousaurid redux, many links

Blue sky over the "Hoodoos" ...  the hills of Alberta's signature badlands
I posted about the subject of dinosaurs some years ago after we had taken our Golden Retriever, Lindy, to help my husband explore Dinosaur Provincial Park near the town of Patricia, Alberta. 

On the world stage, Canada is often considered a small country because of our relatively sparse human population despite our large land mass. However, Canada has been the site of some very big things!

Many fossils have been found of 
who once roamed this countryside! 

Although not as famous as its cousin 'Rex,' Alberta's gargantuan lizard, Albertosaurus, is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived in western North America during the late Cretaceous Period, about 70 million years ago.

The type speciesAlbertosaurus Sarcophagus, was restricted in range to the modern-day Canadian province of Alberta, which gives the genus its named.
Scientists, however, disagree on the content of the genus, with some of them recognizing Gorgosaurus libratus as a second species.

As a tyrannosaurid, Albertosaurus was a bipedal predator with tiny, two-fingered hands and a massive head with dozens of large, sharp teeth.
It was probably at the top of the food chain in its local ecosystem. Although relatively large for a theropod, Albertosaurus was much smaller than its more famous relative Tyrannosaurus, probably weighing less than 2 metric tons.

I've been posting so much lately about the dangers of pollution on our planet that I can't help wondering...what if we suffer the same kind of fate as the dinosaur? Would we be humanity extinctus?

Drumheller, Alberta,
Dinosaur Museum
Since the first discovery in 1884, fossils of more than 30 individuals have been recovered, providing scientists with a more detailed knowledge of Albertosaurus anatomy than anything available for other tyrannosaurids.

The discovery of 26 individuals at one site provides evidence of pack behaviour and allows students of ontogeny and population biology opportunities which are impossible with lesser-known dinosaurs.