And Happy Spring!
The equinox actually happened yesterday morning around 5 AM Eastern time. But March 21st always feels like the right day for the first day of Spring!
It is also International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – and World Poetry Day! Sierra Club of Canada is inviting people to celebrate today World Poetry Day with a walk in nature to connect with “Nature as Muse.”
This morning I decided to share more links to the spiritual side of life. As a practicing Anglican, I have been faithful (mostly!) to my Lenten practices since Ash Wednesday, February 17th. Due to COVID, church services are on-line. I really miss my church communities – St. Andrew’s in Sidney and St. Bartholomew’s in Ottawa. For those who are non-Christian or just non-observant, Easter is coming up April 4th and next Sunday is Palm Sunday.
Increasingly, the church community in Canada has been linking climate activism with Lent. This campaign, “For the Love of Creation” runs past Easter and all the way to October 4th – the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. It focuses on encouraging Christians to reduce their carbon footprint as an experience of “Faith in Action.”
Meanwhile, two amazing people I had the joy of meeting back in 1997 through the Earth Charter Commission (co-chaired by the late Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev) sent me the link to their gorgeous new website. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim created the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology in 1998. Unlike the “Love of Creation” work, the Yale Forum is explicitly non-denominational, reaching out to all the religions of the world in dialogue.
I am now chair of a similar effort in parliament to create a Parliamentary Inter-Religious caucus. I am well supported by a number of other MPs from all the other parties. Not sure how I ended up being chair, except that I remain very weak in my “saying no” skill set.
The Yale Forum website gives particular prominence to the Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si. If you have not read it, please do. It is, regardless of one’s belief or non-belief, an important contribution to an ethical framework for humanity and the planet.
Interestingly, Laudato Si came up in conversation on CBC’s The Current this week when Matt Galloway interviewed Mark Carney.
It turns out that Mark Carney’s new book Value(s): Building a Better World For All, was inspired by a conversation Carney had with the Pope. Pope Francis is deeply committed to climate action, as he is to the poor. I have resolved to get Mark Carney’s book and read it. I have still not finished Michael Mann’s book, The New Climate War; the Fight to Take Back our Planet, which is excellent.
I also recommend this powerful piece in The New Republic. https://newrepublic.
It is definitely a challenging read, as the title “Hurtling toward Global Suicide” will suggest.
Which is why I need my faith. I need to do my work while fervently believing in miracles. When a close friend became an atheist, she acknowledged that I needed religion as a crutch. I could never deny that, if it is a delusional belief (since most of my friends seem to be atheists), I am happy – blessed- to have it. I keep soldiering on, without feeling discouraged. I feel buoyed up and supported by the Creator. And I rely on prayer and faith on a daily basis. I mutter my way through Ephesians 3:20 a good bit “praise God, whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” Great words from St. Paul, even though I regret his politics and his primary role in creating the Christian patriarchy – but that is a discussion for a different newsletter!
Speaking of miracles, a good piece of news this week as Chevron pulled out of Kitimat LNG! https://www.cbc.ca/news/
The CBC story, like all the business press, strives to create the impression that the Kitimat LNG project will be taken up by another corporation, but this is in defiance of all evidence. Russ Francis writes frequently on the reality of fracking and LNG in Focus on Victoria. https://www.
The reality is that the market for Canada’s LNG has dried up. There is a global glut, the price has plummeted and this ugly fossil fuel is increasingly seen as a “stranded asset.” Time for Horgan and Trudeau to stop subsidizing it.
I have more than the usual number of events to promote in my post script, so please keep reading!!
Have a lovely spring day wherever this email finds you! Be well! Stay safe!
Lots of love,
A LOT going on this week- March 23rd, an event with our Salmon hero Alexandra Morton and Adam Olsen
March 28th – Green book club AND an afternoon protest organized by Dogwood – COVID-safe and at distance against TMX. I will be at both of these!
A call for donations to stop Site C and support the West Moberly First Nation in a court case.
Links to all below:
Wild salmon runs in coastal BC are in steep decline. No one has fought harder and longer to save them than Alexandra Morton, a marine biologist living in the North Island Green Party riding, and the Green Party’s candidate there in 2020. Her extensive study of the ecological impact of open-net salmon farms has been instrumental in government decisions to shut down salmon farms between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland.
In this Voices of Saanich webinar Alexandra Morton will be conversing with Adam Olsen on what it will take to restore the salmon runs that are so critical to indigenous communities in particular, and the ocean environment generally.
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Join Dogwood and concerned citizens who are coming together to show their resistance for the continued building of this unnecessary TMX pipeline.
When: Sunday, 28 March
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Where: Dallas Road – from Clover Point to Douglas Street
Meet up: Dallas Road & Cook Street
Though only a tiny fraction of pipe has actually been laid, the pace is picking up in the Lower Mainland. Trees are being cleared in the Brunette conservation area as the company snubs its nose at federal and provincial regulations that were conditions of its approval, and acres of precious wetland habitat at Colony Farm are about to be bulldozed.
Enough is enough!
This is not a rally or a gathering, and all pandemic protocols including wearing masks will be followed.
Participants will spread out at a distance of 2 meters along the length of Dallas Road in a show of defiance against Trans Mountain and solidarity with Indigenous land defenders who continue to carry so much of the weight in this fight.
Bring 2 metres of red ribbon/fabric or a piece of rope and join our human red line of resistance!
An invitation to join Elizabeth May and James Marshall for our first Saanich Gulf Islands book club event.
Sunday, March 28th. at 7pm. on zoom.
James Marshall, the author of WHAT DOES GREEN MEAN? THE HISTORY, PEOPLE, AND IDEAS OF THE GREEN PARTY IN CANADA AND ABROAD will be joining us to discuss his book. It will be an interesting session as Elizabeth has been involved with the Global Greens and has personal knowledge of many of the events mentioned in the book.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions, and we suggest you read the book ahead of time. It is available as an ebook for $12.99, and $22.99 for a paperback.
A copy of the book will be given to one of the first fifty registrants. Maximum registration is 100 so be sure to register soon.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information for joining the meeting.
STOP SITE C:
Support Chief Roland Wilson West Moberly First Nation
And please sign these petitions!
Stop weapons sales to Saudi Arabia (sponsor Jenica Atwin):
Insist on real climate action to hold to 1.5 degrees (sponsor Jenica Atwin):
Calling for meaningful action to address the housing crisis (sponsor Paul Manly):
Focus on local violence prevention (sponsor Paul Manly):
Support for COVID “long-haulers” (sponsor: Elizabeth May):
Call for Ombudsperson investigation of Recon-Africa fracking plans for Okavango Delta (sponsor: Elizabeth May):
Saanich-Gulf Islands Greens