Earth Day pollution

Earth Day is a day when we can all hug a tree and feel good about the planet, until the next reality check.

April 22 has become the day we celebrate as Earth Day. It’s a day when we can all hug a tree and feel good about the planet, until the next reality check. That didn’t take long this year, for some of us in Fernie. Our Earth Day was marked by a blue haze drifting over our neighbourhood, caused by the burning of tree debris on a property undergoing what is referred to as ‘development.’

Many of us are quite sensitive to smoke of all kinds, and the air quality definitely suffers when large stacks of vegetative matter are burned in the open. Perhaps this is another unanticipated result of what is referred to as ‘progress.’ I realize that such debris burning is permitted on a relatively rare basis, so I can deal with the occasional smokiness. Yet, looking at the big picture, I have to question what ‘development’ really costs us as a society.

What happens when we’ve ‘developed’ all the natural land around us? Are roads and houses more aesthetically pleasing than forests? Do they provide habitat for any other creatures than self-absorbed humans? What will be left to take in carbon dioxide and supply vital oxygen?

Now I see ‘development’ stakes and signs posted along Fairy Creek. Great, more ‘progress!’ Next, I suppose we won’t be able to hike that stretch of creek because it’s privatized property.

So we teach our children about Earth Day, get them all excited about ‘preserving our environment;’ and then we proceed with helter-skelter ‘development’ in the name of so-called progress. Surely this species will make progress until it kills us. Can anything be crazier than human behaviour?

 

John Krzyzewski

Fernie