International Affairs Specialist by day, Blogger Enthusiast by night. This is a sneak peek into my world that should be enjoyed with ample time and a good and very strong cup of java.
It’s been on everyone’s mind for the last several weeks, but no one has dared whisper it for fear that we’ll be jinxed and it’ll fade into the distance like a dream. It’s been hinted at and even overjoyed when we got a snippet of it a few days ago…the sun! Winters are everlasting in Canada and Mother Nature simply can not make up her mind, flip-flopping back and forth between sunny rays and dreary days that I simply just want to hid until it makes up its mind! I marvel at it though, thinking that the sun is such a life-source for every person, animal, or plant on the earth and we never get tired of it. Won’t ever be replaced by Apple’s newest ap or NASA’s expanding technology. Instead, we imitate it , thank God for it and trade stories about what it was like when we didn’t have it.
In general, I love natural landscapes or environments and all things that are a part of it. In fact, most of my ‘to-do-before-I-die’ List is based on natural landscapes / scenery. So, it should be no big surprise that when I saw Disney’s ‘Earth’, I really enjoyed it. It shadows four animals and the struggles that they go through to survive, most of which meant migrating with the sun to warmer climates at different times of the year. It really was fascinating and showcased exactly how these animals were having to deal with global warming. It also highlighted the importance of forests, fauna and ecosystems as vital for human development and sustainability.
I don’t want to complain about my government…again – then I’d really turn into a broken record! What I do want to do is more or less to highlight how many people have turned their profession in to a cause in support of conservation, sustainability and advocacy. Journalists, social scientists, film-makers. There clearly are scores of people out there who have made the environment,conservation and spreading awareness about it a priority, but I’ve noticed that the line between environmental advocacy and reinforcing social norms is getting to be a bit blurry.
The documentaries nominated at last week’s Oscar ceremony were phenomenal and most of them to shed light on hidden atrocities. The film that won, The Cove, documented a particular Cove in Japan where dolphins were lured and then killed for their meat. In light of the typical Western view that dolphins are the beloved Savior of the Seas, it’s an awful reality, but one that may also be a Japanese food source, like cattle would be in middle America. It is Difficult to enforce social norms on other nations, isn’t it? Just as I’m sure that dogs in China, guinea pigs in Peru, tarantulas in Cambodia or crickets and scorpions in Thailand are not exactly the delicacies of the North American palate, as long as it is safe to eat and they are not endangered of extinction, then I find it difficult to condemn a practice that may be to the locals as what salmon is to us. If the documentary highlighted how the dolphins were endangered or were vital to other ecosystems in the area, then I might feel more inclined to appreciate this type of cinematography. And although I don’t like to see murdered dolphins, I can accept it as synonymous to a poultry farm or other meat breeding establishments.
By blurring the line between environmental conservation and social advocacy, we’re not really getting anywhere – just a lot of hot air.