MERTON ~ on the LOVE OF WINTER

 

Love winter when the plant says nothing.

 

~ Thomas Merton ~

 

Snow on the mountains Feb16, 2019- bruce witzel photo

 

 

Snow and the lake and old mans beard lichen, feb 16-2019 - bruce witzel photo

 

 

snowtracks - photo by thomas merton

Snowtracks – by Thomas Merton

 

 

Snow at Victoria Lake, BC- Feb.16, 2019 - bruce witzel photo

 

 

Kicking Horse River 2, British Columbia Canada, Nov.26-2017 - bruce witzel photo

 

 

Good panorama of the lake and greenhouse, Feb15-2019 - bruce witzel photo

 

                                Peace ~

                                           Bruce

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Thinking Like a Mountain – Charles Brandt at 96

 

Coast Mountains (large), from Oyster Bay, Dec. 2, '14. charles brandt photo (2)

British Columbia Coast Mountain Range and the Salish Sea – Charles Brandt photo

 

“Somehow we must come to realize that the earth is not merely a resource for human exploitation, but that it is a gift, a holy gift, that has a vastly deeper worth than its value as purely an economic commodity. To do this we must discover our own spirit.”

 

February 19th, 2019 is frater Charles Brandt’s 96th birthday. He made this plea many years ago in the late 1980’s. He continues with this belief onwards today. His long life has been one of quiet contemplation and action. He has shared this generously and encouraged others.        

 

Charles lives with a faith that is durable and deeply rooted.

 

Antelope Canyon, Page Arizona - July 2007 by Charles A.E.Brandt

Antelope Canyon, Arizona – Charles Brandt photo

 

He calls people to have greater awareness through living by example. Charles is an advocate of meditation, both sitting and walking. He is a renown expert in art, book and paper conservation. This has provided Charles’ material and creative sustenance.

 

Charles Brandt's book binding skills

An example of Charles Brandt’s work in the art of book binding

 

As a humble Catholic hermit, monk and priest, Charles is true to the universal principle ‘it is better to give than recieve’.  Recently he donated his hermitage land rights, ensuring the 27-acres of natural forest on the banks of the Oyster River are protected in perpetuity.

 

Here are details from a news release:

 

The Comox Valley Land Trust (CVLT) is pleased to announce the establishment of a conservation covenant over 27-acres of wild land on the banks of the Oyster River. The land is currently home to spiritual leader and conservationist Father Charles Brandt, 95, who asked the CVLT to protect the mature forest and riparian areas for future generations.

Father Charles Brandt, or “Father Charles,” has lived in his hermitage on the 27-acres bordering the Oyster River since 1970. As the first ordained Catholic priest-hermit in two centuries, he asked the CVLT to hold conservation covenant over the property to safeguard the values of conservation and ecological stewardship. “The covenant will ensure that these mature forests and riparian areas, as well as the plants and wildlife that call them home, are protected for future generations in perpetuity,” says Tim Ennis, executive director of CVLT.

Father Charles plans to eventually donate the land to the CVRD as parkland (allowing pedestrian-only public access). A registered society will lease back the hermitage building for use by a contemplative individual to carry on in the priest-hermit’s tradition. “We must fall in love with the Earth, and we only save what we love,” says Father Charles. “It is my deep love of contemplation and communion with the natural world that has led me to act in its defense.”

Funding required to complete the project was generously provided by Judy Hager (in memory of Bob Hager), the Oyster River Enhancement Society, members of the Tsolum River Restoration Society, and other local community members. The CVLT would like to thank everyone who helped to bring about this conservation success story. 

 

January 31, 2019   Comox Valley Land Trust

 

Oyster River near the hermitage - charles brandt photo

Oyster River near the hermitage – Charles Brandt photo

 

“We find ourselves alienated not only from ourselves but from our sister and brother, and from the very root of reality. We find ourselves alienated from the earth and its natural resources. Instead of living in peace and harmony and unity with the earth, we find ourselves exploiting it and performing acts of violence that degrade and spoil it . . . Because of these grave threats to the continuation of life on earth we are drawn together in the cause of peace. We seek peace with all the peoples of the earth and with the earth itself . . . ”

~ frater Charles Brandt  ~      (frater – Latin for brother)

from the grassroots People’s Synod of 1986-1991 in the Diocese of Victoria (Vancouver Island)

 

An article of Charles’ from the synod, a New Consciousness, is previously posted here.

 

charles brandt at his hermitage in 2018 - photo by grant callegari

Charles Brandt at his hermitage, the ‘Merton House’  (photo by Grant Callegari of Hakai Magazine)

 

Charles studied for a brief time with Aldo Leopold’s son and was influenced by Aldo’s own  experience of paradigm shift, as described in this essay below of witnessing a wolf die.

Charles often paraphrases Leopold, saying we must learn to Think Like a Mountain. Hence the title for this post, celebrating Charles life of 96 years and creation of Brandt Hermitage Land Trust.

 

Screenshot_2019-02-19 Thinking Like a Mountain by Aldo Leopold - wolves and deforestation(1)

 

Cheers to you Charles,

 

in fellowship with all

Windows to the world

 

Lakeview panorama  b&w March 10-2017 - bruce witzel photo

b.witzel photo 

 

Arm in arms

 

Rich world /poor world

Divided or not?

No. Know no dichotomy.

We are one

with the earth, the heavens

The stars of night

and the smiling faces of children.

 

The hungry ones’ eyes

are sad, empty stomachs

suffer pain.

And we rich world

of smiling faces,

arm in arms. Are we won?

With the hungry ones’ – are we one

duty and bound,

for this “dirty rotten system”

 

The earth, the heavens

meet. Dichotomy or not?

No. Know this not . . . the duality

rich world /poor world.

 

~ B. Thomas Witzel ~

 

Migrant Mother (Florence Owens Thompson) dorothea lange photo taken March 13, 1936 Public domain US library of congress

 

 Florence Owens Thompson (1903 –1983)  “Migrant Mother” 

(US Library of Congress – Dorothea Lange photo & thanks to Public Images Online Blog)

   https://imagespublicdomain.wordpress.com/category/dorothea-lange/

 

 

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.

When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”

 

― Dom Helder Camara

 

800px-Braziliaanse_bisschop_Don_Helder_Camara_bij_eucharistieviering_in_Den_Bosch_tu,_Bestanddeelnr_927-5424 (2)

Photo by Hans Peters/Anefo, via Wikimedia commons

Thomas Merton On Being ‘TAINTED WITH POISON’

 

~ photo and poem by Thomas Merton ~

 

Paint Cans - photo by thomas merton

 

We must be wary of ourselves when the worst that is in people becomes objectified in society,

approved, acclaimed and deified,

 

when hatred becomes patriotism and murder a holy duty,

when spying and delation are called love of truth and the stool pigeon is a public benefactor,

 

when the gnawing and prurient resentments of frustrated bureaucrats

become the conscience of the people and the gangster is enthroned in power,

 

then we must fear the voice of our own heart, even when it denounces them.

 

For are we not all tainted with the same poison?

 

 

~ from Emblems of a Season of Fury ~

 

Delation (meaning) – to inform, to accuse, to bring down

 

Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama

Thomas Merton with the Dalai Lama – photo credit unknown

Searching for the Perfect Writing Spot

Francis speaks of her elusive and ever changing writing spots in the cabin. And we re-purpose a small stack of leftover flooring from friends, to build – guess what? Look and see, amidst the nooks and crannies (clue – light coloured wood & just above my composting duties) 🙂

disappearinginplainsight

Emma at the desk

There is no such thing as the perfect writing spot. We all know that. Though, I must say, granddaughter Emma looks almost perfect right where she sits at my desk. And my son, Doug, looks pretty productive, too.

Doug at my desk

There are simply writers who sit down and write. Wait around for the perfect spot and you won’t be writing much. And yet … periodically, I disrupt our whole house as I attempt to fulfill this most illusory need.

Our cabin is somewhat unconventional. Right angles and doors are rare. Open concept is taken to the limit. Finding my perfect writing space has been a challenge that is as much about my personality as it is about the house. I like a change now and then. Over the years, I have had my desks in at least eight areas of this small cabin. I’m sorry to tell you that the first few…

View original post 1,298 more words

Crude Awakening, Civil Disobedience & Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline

  A Crude Awakening:

 

Our grandchildren will ask someday: ‘All those lovely organic molecules, and you just burned it?’

Sorry, we burned it…         

                                               Crude oil is much too valuable to be burned as a fuel.

Dr. Kenneth Deffeyes

Oil geologist 1931 –2017

 

gfx-map-trans-mountain-expansion-project

 

The twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline has been a contentious issue for the past four years in Canada. If completed it would triple diluted bitumen shipments from Alberta to the BC coast to 890,000 barrels a day. The increase in oil would lead to an increase in tanker traffic along the BC coast from 5 tankers per month to 34.

Last year more than 200 people were arrested while protesting continued construction of the pipeline, including 2 Canadian Members of Parliament.

Another person arrested was my friend Brian Voth. He gave the following testimony at his trial.

 

 

Statement to the BC Supreme Court

by Brian Voth, August 2, 2018

Charts, photos & blue notes added by B. Witzel

M’lord, this statement will take me 5 minutes to read.

I have a deep respect for the rule of law.  So why did I publicly disobey the BC Supreme Court’s March 15th, 2018 order and injunction to not disrupt construction of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project? 

 

Kinder Morgan Pipeline protest (2) Burnaby BC, March 15, 2018 - brian voth photo

                       Trans Mountain Pipeline Protest near Vancouver, March 24-2018                 Brian Voth photo

spiral_2017_large

                                                                                   Source unknown

 

Simply put, desperate times call for desperate measures.  I’m desperate because I fear for the environmental future of coastal BC, and because I have grave concerns about climate change.

 

Winter Harbour estuary, north-west coast Vancouver Island May 5-2016 - bruce witzel photo

                                       An estuary on the north west coast of Vancouver Island                               b.witzel photo

 

First, I want to make it clear that I respect the folks who work in our resource industries. I spent my career as a professional forester, working up and down the BC coast, for a large forest products company.  I was impressed by the culture of the logging community. 

 

W.D. Moore Logging moorage Winter Harbour BC, Nov. 15-2013 - bruce witzel photo

                                         Logging Camp on Northern Vancouver Island                           b.witzel photo

 

This culture valued innovation, hard work (often under difficult conditions), and a good sense of humour.  And yes, my respect for natural resource workers includes those in the oil patch.

 

Alberta Rockies and oil - bruce witzel photo

                                       Oil well and prairie farmland near Longview, Alberta                 b.witzel photo

 

If we do the right thing and stop this pipeline and invest in clean energy, there will still be plenty of good resource jobs in BC and Alberta.

 

Cape Scott Windfarm Jan. 17-2014 - bruce witzel photo

                                             99 Mega-watt wind farm near Cape Scott, Vancouver Island                    b.witzel photo

 

Green Acres Solar Farm, Alberta                                                                                               Attribution Non-Commercial-Share-Alike

                                       Alberta Solar Farm

                               http://www.greenenergyfutures.ca/episode/hutterite-solar-western-canada-biggest

 

Windfarm near Pincher Creek, Alberta - bruce witzel photo

                           Wind Turbines near Pincher Creek, Alberta                              b.witzel photos

 

Near Pincher Creek Alberta Oct. 28-2014 - Cowley Ridge Wind Site - Bruce Witzel photo

 

The scientific evidence is overwhelming – humans have been causing, and continue to cause, very harmful climate change. 

 

Nasa graph of climate change

This NASA graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.)

 

And scientists are warning that we are now at a tipping point and if we don’t quickly, and greatly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, catastrophic climate change is imminent. 

 

1 Carbon Bubble carbon budget carbon tracker

 

In addition to the massive threat of climate change, this pipeline is also wrong for our beloved BC coast.  The massive increase in tanker traffic would surely be detrimental to our already gravely threatened southern resident Orca population. 

 

Orca in the Salish Sea 1 - photo by brian voth                                                                                                                                                              Brian Voth photo

                                            An Orca whale on the Salish Sea near Lund, BC

 

A large oil spill would be devastating for huge swaths of this coast.  And local indigenous rights are not being respected. 

 

NATIVE CANOE & MOON

 Painting by Roy Henry Vickers

 

So why is it that most countries will probably not meet their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets?  And why are BC and Canada not doing enough to protect our fragile coast? 

There are many reasons, and smarter people than myself have written about this extensively, and logically.  But science also tells us that humans very often act illogically.  That’s why I’d like to look at why this pipeline is such a bad idea on a more emotional level.

 

Pipeline Capture

Photo from University of Alberta          https://www.folio.ca/is-the-environmental-price-of-pipelines-too-high/

 

I love music, and I’m deeply moved by some of what I listen to.  For me, the power of music reaches its peak when good music meets good lyrics.  I’m going to quote some song lyrics that really speak to me.  The music part will be missing, but I’m hoping the poetry of these lyrics will still resonate.

 

FLW Statues at Taliesen East, Wisconsin - bruce witzel photo (2)

                                                                                                                                       b.witzel photo

 

For many years, I’ve been advocating for serious environmental change, but it’s crystal clear that we’re changing much too slowly.  Sometimes this inaction can be very depressing to witness.  Nobody captured this feeling better than Leonard Cohen, in these lyrics from his song “Everybody Knows”:

photo-by-bruce-witzel-leonard-cohen-singing-hallelujah-in-vancouver-concert                                                   Leonard Cohen in Vancouver BC                                          b.witzel photo

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking.

Everybody knows that the captain lied.

Everybody got this broken feeling,

like their father, or their dog just died.

 

Bruce Witzel photo - original location and artist, unknown                               original artist unknown (b.witzel photo)

 

But I don’t let those occasional helpless feelings stop me.  I still get inspired by these words written by Midnight Oil in 1987, from their song “Beds Are Burning”:

 

The time has come
to take a stand,
It’s for the Earth,
it’s for our land.

Victoria Lake, July 5, 2016 - bruce witzel photo                                                                                                                       Vancouver Island forest – b. witzel photo

The time has come,
a fact’s a fact,
the heat is on,
No turning back.

Under red smoky skies - fran guenette photo (2)

                                                     British Columbia coast during 2017 wildfires                    francis guenette photo

How can we dance,

when our earth is turning?

 

Nasa image of earth at night

How do we sleep,

while our beds are burning?”

Under smokie skies - fran guenette (2)

                                                    Smoke on the Water                                      francis guenette photo

Serious problems call for serious action.  BC, Canada, and the rest of the world need to come together to find solutions.  I’m going to close with this plea from John Lennon’s 1971 song “Imagine”:

“You may say I’m a dreamer,

But I’m not the only one.

I hope some day you’ll join us,

and the world will be as one.”

 

 

Thank you.

Brian Voth, RPF (ret) – Registered Professional Forester (retired)

 

Postscript

 

 

Brian was given a five hundred dollar fine. Some of the others arrested served 14 days in jail.

Meanwhile, on  August 30, 2018 Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal overturned the Canadian Government’s NEB (National Energy Board) approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. In a unanimous decision by a panel of three judges, the court said that the NEB’s review of the proposal was so flawed that the federal government could not rely on it as a basis for its decision to approve the expansion. The court also concluded that the federal government failed in its duty to engage in meaningful consultations with First Nations before giving the project the green light.

On that same day the shareholders of the Canadian subsidiary of Kinder Morgan approved the sale of the pipeline and the Canadian Government purchased it for 4.5 Billion dollars.

The Federal Court of Appeal gave the Canadian government until Feb. 22, 2019 to file an amended report detailing extra protections for an endangered group of West Coast killer whales in this region. Indigenous consultations the government itself must redo, though the court set no timeline.

The saga continues… 

                          Cheers to all – Bruce

                         

 

“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

Relative Sanity, Walls and Thomas Merton

 

Rainbow Watercolour, 1992 - by bruce witzel

                         a rainbow watercolour                   b.thomas witzel 

 

                      with quote of the day by Thomas Merton

 

One of the most important tasks today is to clear the atmosphere so that people can understand their plight without hatred, without fury, without desperation, and with the minimum of goodwill.

 

Statues in Downtown Montreal - The Illuminated Crowd - bruce wtizel photo

                                                                                  The illuminated crowd, Montreal

 

Downtown Tuscon Arizona - bruce witzle photo (2)

                                                                                                                         A gentleman at the Tucson court house

 

A humble and objective seriousness is necessary for the long task of restoring mutual confidence and preparing the way for the necessary work of collaboration in building world peace.

 

Solemn tribute, Manzanar internment camp California  - photo by Bruce Witzel

Manzanar internment camp, California

 

The restoration of a climate of relative sanity is perhaps more important than specific decisions , regarding the morality of this or that strategy, this or that pragmatic policy.

 

                                             ~ Thomas Merton ~

                                        from Seeds of Destruction

 

University of Arizona in Tucson against the wall - bruce witzel photo

                                                   Against the wall, University of Tucson 

                                              

 ~ photos by bruce witzel ~

ARTICLE TO PONDER FOR THE NEW YEAR –THE ORACLE OF OYSTER RIVER

 

Charles Brandt's seasons greeting 2018

             NON-VIOLENCE

 

a card from Charles Brandt – hermit priest

 

 

                                 . . . and an article by Brian Payton

 

Capture Oracle of Oyster River

 

Read here:

 

https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/the-oracle-of-oyster-river/

                                                                                                                  

 

bookbinding-catholic-hermit-520x780 photo by grant callegari

                                                                                            Photo by Grant Callegari

 

          An estuary meets the Salish Sea – photo by Charles Brandt 

An estuarty entering the Salish Sea with the BC's Coastal Mountain Range in the distance - by Charles A.E. Brandt

 

~ Cheers to all for a promising New Year ~

 

Bruce

Heather Witzel – Rest in Peace

 

Fred Witzel speaking at our sister Heather's memorial Dec 8-2018 - fran witzel photo

The last 6 weeks I have been quietly grieving the death of my sister Heather. My brother Fred (above), gave a eulogy for my sister at her memorial on Dec. 8th, 2018 along with one of Heather’s friends, Dave Hardy from Saskatchewan.

 

Here, I give my own eulogy for Heather.

 

Heather's memorial Dec8-2018

   

Heather was a person who always “gave it her all.” Amidst her long difficult struggle with illness in the last few years of her life (most pronounced during her last 4 months),  she bore witness to everyone  she saw with incredible grace and dignity.

Though now Heather has left this earth, she left us all with a beautiful legacy – a life, well lived.

 

Heather and sasha

Through out her life Heather loved people, though she dearly loved pets – here, with Sasha.

 

And here, with one of her so-called “f-errs”  (Ferdinand, or Finnegan?)

Heather loved to have a good laugh.

Heather Witzel Aug 09, 1918  

 

Rose and Heather

 

And yes, Heather was a twin  – Rose is on the left.

 

Heather and Rose 1950

 

Heather and Rose playing a piano duet - aunt edith Fisher photo

 

 

Grandpa Marean with Witzel kids (minus Bruce)

  In this photo of Heather, again on the left, with 5 other siblings and Grandpa. I’m missing in action.

 

Witzel family(2) about 1958

All the Witzel clan in 1958, with Heather on the left again (me too now, the baby of the family).

 

Rose, Heather, Bruce, Fred and David at Christmas 1958 - photo by aunt edith fisher 

Heather is standing with the candy cane – 1958.

 

Christmas, the early 1960’s.  Heather never tooted her own horn, but this time I’m not sure?

Witzel Christmas in the early 60's - Al, Fran Heather, Grandpa, Rose & bruce

 

Witzel kids at Lake Louise 1965

1965 at Lake Louise, a family trip back to the Canadian prairies. Heather on the right, next to Fred.

 

Witzel sisters with swim coach Casey Cessford - Heather (left)  Rose, Casey and Frances (right)

Heather (left) with Rose, swim coach Casey Cessford and Frances (our oldest sister).

 

Over the years Heather became a great athlete. She excelled at swimming. Fred recalled how on one competitive 4 mile swim Heather was the first person to stumble out of the water, even ahead of all the male swimmers.

“That‘s why we we all looked up to Heather so much,”  Fred joked. “She was always on top of the podium.”

Rose (far left – catcher), Frances (third on left), then Heather – Mom was coach (on the right)

Mom's Softball team

 

Here is Heather at one of her 1st Saskatchewan homes, with Mom visiting in the early 1980’s

Heather and Mom in Saskatchewan

 

After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.S., M.S. & B.Ed in 1974, Heather became a highly respected and sought after teacher, counsellor and coach during her 29 years within the Saskatoon Catholic School system. A past student posted this reflection on December 3, 2018:

 

Condolence from Andrea Urquhart

 

 

Heather Witzel, my sister - photo by bruce witzel

Heather in 2005, at the beginning of her retirement years in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

 

Much earlier in her life, Heather was a member of Canada’s National Women’s basketball team from 1969 to 1974. On August 16 to Sept. 3, 1972, the Canadian team travelled to China during the same period of time the Canadian Minister of Trade, Mitchell Sharp, led a trade delegation there (Aug. 15 – 24th).

Heather passport photo

Heather Witzel passport stamp in Aug 1972 - China trip as captain of Canadian Women's National Basketball team

 

Heather met Prime Minister Chou En Lai during her visit . Fred also joked that when Heather talked to the Chinese Prime Minister, she told him to “watch out for Nixon.”  Completely false, for certain.

This summer Heather described  how the Chinese spectators didn’t cheer during the games, only responding “ooooooh” to an excellent play – from the Chinese and the Canadian team. Heather then told us when one game was tied the officials wouldn’t allow overtime. Each team could then “save face”.  

Championships usually goes until there is a winner.

 

My sister, Heather Witzel meeting Chou En Lai

Heather shaking hands with Chou En Lai in 1972

 

Bruce, Heather with Christina, and Rose at the Comox Airport, late 1970's - Mac Witzel photo

Taking Heather to the Comox airport – Bruce, Heather (holding our niece Christina) and Rose, Tina’s mom.

 

In Heather’s retirement years beginning in 2004, she moved back to Vancouver Island, her birthplace.  She became an avid golfer. As in all things she did, Heather excelled. She continued to golf on her “good days”, up to the last month of her life.

Heather and Rose Witzel with golfing partners in Nanaimo  2018

 

The day after Heather died and as the family gathered, Rose told us that often on Heathers car drive to the golf course she took food to a homeless person she had come to know – a plate or a sandwich.       She explained her action simply to Rose by saying how wrong she felt hunger and poverty was.

True to her form, Heather looked out for the underdog.

 

My sister Rose Witzel & brother Fred Witzel, Dec 8-2018 - fran witzel photo

Rose and Fred (also both retired teachers) planned the memorial

with much help from family and friends.

 

Heather often looked out for the least of her students, sometimes with a gift at Christmas or on their birthday and by bringing or taking them out for a meal. And yet as Rose said, Heather rarely went out to a restaurant herself, believing  it was a waste of money. 

 

CARD FROM MOM ON HEATHERS 12th BIRTHDAY

 

Letter for heather from Mom (1962)

 

Heather was not only athletic, she had a keen intellect – good at crossword, Sudoku and she loved a game of Bridge – here with Dave, Fred and probably Rose (because it’s in her kitchen – Dec. 23 2013).

 

Dec 22, 2013 My siblings Heather, Dave ((center) and Fred Witzel

 

Her strength and will was strong.  48 hours before Heather died she awoke from semi-consciousness and said “lets play some bridge!” Dave said she played five hands with excellent defence before retiring back to her bed. She never arose on her own again.

 

Brother's Dave (left), Heather and Fred Witzel on Nov 4- 2018 a few days before heather died  Dave, Heather and Sara   

The last few weeks of her life – Heather is at her home in BC with brother Dave, niece Sara and brother Fred. 

 

As Fred concluded his memorial, he noted that Heather was quite a private person and not a women of many words. Rather, Heather was a women of actions.  All those who had the gift of being with Heather and coming to know her, would say it was so.

In words from her obituaryHeather will be remembered for her indomitable and loving spirit, as well as her thoughtfulness, kindness and loyalty.

                               

                                          Rest in peace, dear Heather

                                                                          Lovingly, Bruce

 

“Something has spoken to me in the night…and told me that I shall die, I know not where. Saying: “[Death is] to lose the earth you know for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

― Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

 

White rose, flowers and flames at Heather's memorial Dec.8-2018 - bruce witzel photo

Clean BC moves towards Beyond Oil: Dr. Andrew Weaver Speaks

 

Yesterday in my home province of British Columbia, our government announced an updated Climate Action Plan called CleanBC.

 

Port Hardy Harbour (2) Dec 6-2018 - bruce witzel photo

  Port Hardy Harbour, Dec. 5-2018

 

Driving over to Port Hardy for business and to get a load of seaweed for our garden,  it was truly inspiring as I listened to the radio and learned about the new CleanBC program. It basically focuses on reducing emissions and creating new jobs in the clean energy sector through 5 strategies:

1. Better Building

2. Reducing Pollution from Industry

3. Cleaner Transportation

4. Reducing Emissions from Waste

5. Clean Energy Jobs

Funding the program is largely via BC’s Carbon Tax which is currently priced at $35.00/ton of carbon emissions, rising $5.00/ton annually.

 

Jerry Brown quote Capture

 

 

One of the people to speak when during the announcement from the BC government was the the leader of the BC Green Party, Andrew Weaver.  As a climate scientist and past member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Dr. Weaver has  worked tirelessly in this field.  Now as an elected MLA and leader of the BC Green party, Weaver has focused not so much on the problem, but rather on solutions to help transform and end our dependence on fossil fuels. He and countless others is making British Columbia a North American leader  in working to mitigate the climate crises. 

 

Along with my photos, here I give you excerpts of Andrew Weaver’s speech  from yesterday.

 

Gathering seawood Dec 6-2018 - bruce witzwl photo

                                                                                                                                         

 

CleanBC repositions BC as a leader in the 21st century low carbon economy

(from Andrew Weaver’s MLA website)

 

Today, as I speak to you, we are at a pivotal moment in human history: Our generation is responsible for deciding what path the future climate will take.

We will either be complicit in allowing climate change to despoil our world – or we can fight for a different outcome for our children.

 As Sir David Attenborough said Monday in Poland at the UN Climate talks, “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

 

At the beach Dec 6-2018 -bruce witzel photo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

As a climate scientist, I have spent my entire adult life consumed by this threat and the opportunities that will come with it. . .

 

In 2007, I had the honour of being on the Climate Action Team that advised Premier Gordon Campbell. That work led to B.C. becoming the first jurisdiction in North America to put a price on carbon.

B.C. stood as an example of how putting a price on carbon is perfectly compatible with prosperity. Our emissions dropped as our economy grew.

 

BC Carbon fee disbursements 2

 

And when I saw that leadership and progress being dismantled by the administration that followed, I put my name forward for public office. I knew I would not be able to look my kids in the face if I didn’t do everything I possibly could to fight for their future. . .

 

By tackling climate change, with carefully designed policies, B.C.’s economy can grow in new ways.  CleanBC offers a pathway for B.C. to be on the cutting edge of the low-carbon economy. This plan is a vital first step towards keeping B.C.’s climate commitments.

 

 Alert Bay Solar Conversion - comliments from BC Hydro Power Smart Program

 

 

Climate change is daunting and overwhelming, yes, but within every challenge lies opportunity. We worked hard to ensure that CleanBC is not just a climate plan – it is an economic vision. It is not just the Ministry of Environment’s responsibility – it is an all of government approach. . .

 

I have long believed that our children and grandchildren will ask us one of two questions when they look back at the beginning of this century.  It will either be: “How could you let this happen?”

Or, if we choose a different path, they will ask: “How did you solve this problem when so many said you couldn’t?”

 

Alertbay fire department - compliments BC Hydo power Smart Program

 

To be a climate scientist one must be an optimist. Frankly, I’ve found it helps you survive politics too.  I am convinced my children will one day ask me the second question. And when they do I will answer: “We prevailed because we worked together. We saw the threat and we knew we had to deal with it.”

181205-mru-horgan-heyman-weaver-mungall-1 Ministers Mulligan with her baby Xavier, Andrew Weaver, George Heyman (Minister of Environment) and Premier John Horgan

I am greatly encouraged by the spirit of hope and collaboration in which this plan was written and thank the government, in particular Minister Heyman, for their efforts in this regard.  There is much work still to be done, but today I feel we are one step closer to that brighter future.

 

Thank you again, to everyone who has helped us get here.

 

Andrew Weaver, Dec. 5-2018

 

 Sunrise at the lake (solar power) Dec 6-2018 - bruce witzel photo

 

Cheers to the Solar Age that’s is dawning

~ Bruce ~

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