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Thoughts and Prayers Don’t Put Out Fires

Thoughts and Prayers Don’t Put Out Fires

WARNING: This is going to be a rant. With swearing. And ranting. Because I am uber angry about the current state of our dear planet, and our political leaders that don’t give a rats ass about it.

Unless you live under a rock, or are actually dead, you by now have heard about the horrible wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru. There are some reports that the fires are moving as fast as three football fields per minute…per fucking minute. That’s a big problem, because the Amazon rainforest, known as the lungs of our planet, provides the earth with 20% of our oxygen. Not only that, but the diverse ecosystem that is Amazonia also absorbs around 25% of the carbon dioxide produced each year by burning fossil fuels. Now scientists report that due to the weathering of the rainforest that number is no longer quite as high, but still, the numbers are significant, and we need that shit to help with the survival of our planet. Did you know that the humans who live in Brazil are struggling to breath because of the smoke?

Then there are world leaders like Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil and quite frankly possibly the biggest douchebag our planet has ever seen. And that’s saying a lot #becauseTrump. Bolsonaro has been accused of turning a blind eye to cattle farmers who are allegedly starting these fires to clear cut brush for them to farm. This may sound crazy because of the proven scientific importance of the Amazon, but who doesn’t want more money, right? Well I guess wrong because the idiot turned down $22 million dollars in aid for fighting the fires pledged by the G7 group of countries. Like legit turned it down. And now Bolsonaro is saying that he’ll accept the funds if French president Emmanuel Macron apologizes for calling him a liar… after he called Macron’s wife ugly or some bullshit. Yes, this is actually happening on the political world stage. I’d love to give both these idiots soothers and wrap them in baby blankets and rock them to sleep so the rest of the mature human race can make environmental decisions without them.

And speaking of Trump, the outspoken and quite obviously mentally unstable leader of our neighbours to the south… did you know that he completely missed the G7 meeting on climate change? Like didn’t even show up. He claimed he thought it was later, but really? I am pretty sure the last time the president of the United States’ schedule got screwed up by someone was, well, never. Not to mention that he doesn’t believe that climate change is real. He thinks it’s a hoax invented by China. In fact, a NY Times analysis based on research from Harvard and Columbia low has identified 83 environmental rollbacks since the Trump administration started ruining the world. Every time he speaks I can’t help but picture and hear Ralph Wiggam… or is it just me? “My cats breath smells like cat food…” am I right?

And the Amazon is not the only thing on fire. There are currently three fires burning in Algonquin park. And there are fires burning in Alberta. Alberta. The province that hates Trudeau and his carbon tax but wonders why their houses keep burning down. And yes, Trudeau’s carbon tax should hit big corporations more, that’s true, but it doesn’t mean that a higher carbon tax on us is a bad thing… it will force us to make better fuel-burning decisions. And a Nobel-prize winning economist has proved that carbon taxes work, so sorry Dougie Ford but I’ll take that over your Grade 10 education any day. Oh, and thank you Doug for trying to push for building on the Greenbelt, which is only slightly bigger than your belt but much more vital to the planet.

So let’s be brutally honest; your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to do shit to help put out fires, curb climate change/global warming, improve the state of our political reality, or get me a pet unicorn that can shit rainbows. Here’s what you can do that will actually help the only home we have:

DONATE TO OR VOLUNTEER: for The Rainforest Alliance. Not only did they donate 100% of their donations in August to frontline — like actually on the ground where the actual fires actually are — groups in the Brazilian Amazon, they are also working with their partners including farmers, governments, scientists and Indigenous groups to put pressure in the Brazilian government to preserve the rainforest. Or volunteer or donate locally, to The Bruce Trail Conservancy or the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, who work locally to preserve out natural reserves. These groups are doing so much for our planet, and anything you can do to help them would be much more real than a thought or a prayer On a side note, I am not knocking the power of spirituality, but simply saying we need something more tangible right now.

PLANT TREES, GARDENS, GRASS, WEEDS, WEED, WHATEVER: Anything you plant in the ground outside will contribute to providing the earth with oxygen and pulling CO2 out of the air. Already have a garden? Go the extra mile… think about a living roof. Stop using pesticides or herbicides. Buy organic seeds to plant. Save your seeds from your plants to grow next year. Build a bee hotel. Do whatever you can to promote a greener world will encourage the longevity of our ecosystem.

VOTE FOR THE GREEN PARTY: You may think it’s a wasted vote, but imagine if Elizabeth May had any say it what happens with Canada’s environmental policy? Her plan, titled Mission: Possible, wants to ensure renewable energy can be transferred from one province to another, reuse old buildings instead of building new ones (genius), end imports of foreign oil, and prioritize adaptation to help our industries and help our industries protect our natural resources. That sounds pretty awesome if you ask me.

GO VEGAN… JUST KIDDING!: The most ridiculous claim on the planet is that by going vegan you can help stop climate change. And while statistically speaking you can see where this argument comes from, it just doesn’t make sense. For example, up to 70% of the earth’s forests have been clear cut for cattle ranching, animal farming and their feed. So, does that mean that if I am buying beef from a small local farmer I am contributing to global warming? Actually, it’s quite the opposite; small farms, especially organic ones, are committed to taking care of the land and their animals, and actually help contribute to our natural ecosystem. Do you think your veganism is helping our earth? Well if your diet consists of a lot of soy and corn products then I assure you that you are sadly mistaken. Because monocrops like corn and soy are the most heavily herbicide and pesticide sprayed crops on earth, and are single-handedly destroying the populations of pollinators like bees and butterflies, which if extinct could be the end of all naturally existing plant life as we know it. Ah the irony. What you can do is buy local, buy organic, and stick to small farms run by farmers who care. Whether you’re vegan or carnivore, just give a shit where your food comes from. period. The real issue is buying anything that supports conventional (think mass) farming. Just don’t do it.

Rant over. But seriously, the planet needs our help, and many scientists believe we are scary close to a tipping point after which we will essentially be too late to save Mother Earth. And while we all have our own causes to fight for and have our own shit going on and don’t have enough time or enough money etc etc, none of that will matter if we don’t exist.

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