The Wizards of Pipelines and Fracking

December Op-ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

What position must we take when our politicians continue to be environmental laggards? This past week Prime Minister Trudeau actually had the gall to say—indignantly—that he wouldn’t have approved the twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline if he thought doing so would be harmful to BC’s coast. Could someone please inform our PM that preventing human error and controlling storms at sea are not among his impressive abilities?

His arrogance reminded me of the doctor I had in my early 20s. I’d gone to see him about getting birth control. I sat facing him and his big, oak desk and said that I had some concern about the long-term effect on my health if I went on the pill. The good doctor snubbed his cigarette into a plate-sized ashtray and bellowed, “Do you think I would give it to you if I thought it would harm you?”

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Encounter at Hangman’s Lane

September Op-Ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

Recently I went for my first-ever walk to Cayoosh Park with my sister and Missy, her little Chihuahua cross. It was a beautiful, blustery day. We circled the downed hangman’s tree and I thought about the men who’d been hung on this hillside, how the last thing they would have seen was this same spectacular vista I was seeing, the same impressive mountains and Fraser River.

I figured that from some locations down below people would have been able to look up to the hillside and see a body hanging. You’d think the poor souls might have been hung with less public spectacle, but I guess that was the point, to instill fear, to showcase that rough, harsh justice.

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Reblog: Retracing the Hippie Trail in Istanbul

Following this woman’s travel blog is a delight, a Turkish delight in this case… 🙂

The Mad Woman in the Attic

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For all my talk about Bulgaria being a chance to ‘catch up’ and to make the most of the fast internet and low prices, the month seems to be degenerating into yet another travel opportunity.

I have now left Bulgaria and taken a bus to Istanbul in Turkey. It cost a bargain €20.

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Istanbul has proved a fascinating break for me. I have been here before, circa 1979 (yes I’m that old), but it feels very different this time.

Istanbul was very much on the 1960s-70s ‘hippie trail’. As a teenager stuck in suburban England I used to pour over books about the overland route used by the ‘hippies’ to get to Goa and Kathmandu (or sometimes Thailand).

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This route diverged at Istanbul to go in various directions, meeting again at the India/Pakistan border. I simply couldn’t wait to go do this journey myself. There was a magazine called the…

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Got the post-Brexit jitters/blues?

Time for celebration. Or not. Time for a drink or four and time for a thrashing dance. Or not. Always time for a box of chocolates. And definitely time for a laugh.

Episode #11 Funny Bone Friday

(Post Script. June 30th/16)  Of course it’s a terrible shame that those in the UK who value their EU citizenship will lose it, and that the value of the pound is taking a hit and there will be short-term structural economic repercussions, but what’s missing from the post-Brexit media coverage here in Canada are two important things: (1) respect for the British voters who have chosen their path, the majority of which no doubt based their decision upon intelligent conviction rather than baser instincts or gullibility, and (2) discussions around the very real possibility that this event spells the beginning of a global movement against the rapacious greed of international corporatism.

Insert Your New Ideas Here

June Op-ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

In less than 6 weeks the online passenger train petition has 1,150 signatures, and counting. (https://www.change.org/p/premier-gov-bc-ca-bring-back-the-north-vancouver-to-prince-george-passenger-train) The Facebook page—Bring Back the BC Passenger Train—has hundreds of Likes and shares so far. People are keen to have the service.

But as I connect with people and do research, one negative keeps cooling the excitement: even though population, highway traffic, and tourism have significantly increased since the train was cancelled in 2002, would ridership be enough to make a new service profitable?

To that negative train of thought (sorry, the puns abound) I would say this: it’s time to think beyond old-school revenue models. Why force ridership to be the sole profit generator? Let’s re-imagine the passenger train concept and find ways to maximize the infrastructure in terms of the incoming green economy.

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