You want to see more and store the big boxes and all those leftovers
until finding yogurt is like scaling an enamel and glass ridge
and your mustard can’t be located after extensive flyovers
’cause we didn’t stay sane and controlled with our small and convenient fridge
don’t be a greed magnetized magnate
no need for more magnet real estate!
the web of life
in googleplex numbers
to our widest eyes
water is just granted
wash away our waste
waste away our window on this world.
Yet it flows through
our wet cells
our pruned fingers
our panned hands
our bemused bodies
Thomas and his double double
with Thor the terrier
take the air
and admire nature
from the path
tossing his disposable cup into the weeds.
Later a cigarette
carefully extinguished against a cedar trunk
is butt ended onto the path.
When Thor does his business
Thomas scoops the poop
and bags it
leaving it with the others
in his special spot under an evergreen
branch and out of sight.
out of mind things.
for Trina the hiker
who fills up bags with trash
she didn’t cause.
In the documentary Unforeseen a link is made between unrestricted housing development and the growth of cancers in the human body. Though by no means subtle, I still feel that the audience was given the right to draw their own conclusions. This is an incredibly well made film that really forces the issues out into the open. You follow the course of events with a developer, Gary Bradley, whose star rises big and bright in Austin, Texas, and falls just as spectacularly. It’s a tribute to the director that you actually feel for Bradley even though he’s a crook and dangerous to the environment.
Of particular interest was how the municipal will of the people of Austin was crushed by the State legislature which was influenced by land speculating lobbyists. How the greed of a few can manipulate the lives of the many. Discussion after the film made the link between events in Guelph and the power of the Ontario Municipal Board.
Wendell Berry’s poem Santa Clara Valley is featured at the beginning and end of the film with the poet reading his own work. It very beautifully book ends the film.
Another image which sticks will you is of an elderly farmer walking through the concrete and asphalt of ultra developed parts of the city. Just walking. But such a powerful statement about man’s place in nature.
The documentary is centred on a spring-fed pool in Austin that is under the threat of development. The juxtaposition of this little bit of paradise and the rank and file, mud-surrounded suburbs that are being built brings out the values so well. Inverviews with Robert Redford (who spent time in Austin when growing up), William Greider and Gov. Ann Richards, and lobbyist Dick Brown provided balanced reporting all around.
Another image that is seared into my mind is that of growth-minded Texans marching with their signs ‘Birds don’t pay taxes’ shown marching to defend their right to despoil the Earth to the death. And that’s exactly where that attitude will take us. Good Christians all, I’m sure. Never mind taking seriously the responsibility of being custodians of the Earth: “It’s mine, God damn it!” And God may not have much to damn by the time we’re all done with it. There will be no consideration of lilies or birds either. They don’t pay taxes.
I just signed myself up for Earth Hour. The idea is to agree to turn off your lights for one hour at 8pm March 29, 2008. We live in a world that blazes off light into space and in our houses and businesses where it isn’t needed. I remember the big blackout of August 2003 and how magical that night was. Everyone was looking up at the stars that night, not because there was something special astronomically to look at, because the stars were visible. The great light pollution that we humans generate to turn back something as natural as night. Not many people think about light pollution until a blackout occurs.
I’m going to do my part on March 29th to cut down on the light pollution I’m responsible for and turn off all the electricity I’d normally be using that night. It’s just one hour and I and my family can exist independant of electricity for an hour. In fact, I’m hoping that this will grow in many other hours we turn the electricity off and a different portion of our lives on.