Saturday, 23 August 2008


I am sad. I should be working on a follow up post to my water story about the wetland drainage, but I am just too sad. I've taken pictures of the nearly drained wetland area, but they're still in my camera. Every time I drive by the wetland I get sad all over again.

I'm trying to compose an outline for the letter I'm going to writer to Sturgeon County in my head, but I can't bring myself to type anything. The wetland draining seems to represent all that is wrong with this stupid, stupid redneck province, with its arrogant two-faced premier and its bewildered, hapless opposition, and its apathetic citizenry.

I can see where some of the apathy comes from because I'm feeling it right now: why bother to write letters or call people or take pictures or write blogs? Why even bother to feel sad as ducks try to swim in sludge when nothing ever changes anyway? How does the earth even put up with the cancerous blight that is humanity?
Well, there. I managed to get one picture out of my camera and posted. Nice sign, eh? And the date for the 'permit' tacked to the orange board several days AFTER I saw the water truck operator draining the wetland. Gotta love those strict water conservation regulations.

Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow, after doing some baking or gardening or something.


Maggie said...

I was watching a Michael Palin documentary he made about a camel train journey in the extreme environment of the Sahara Desert.
" If you don't respect your environment, then you die. It's as simple as that".
We must be sad about what us humans are doing to the planet and I guess we must speak out and express our anger.

E said...

If it would help, I can write a letter from BC saying even from here it looks bad to do things like this.

Theresa said...

Michael Palin's got it right I think Maggie. I try not to loll about in despair too much, but yesterday I just couldn't shake it for some reason.

Thanks E - wow, that would really be nice. I will be writing my letter very soon, and mailing it to the mayor of Sturgeon County. This is his address if you feel like sending him something.

Mayor Don Rigney
Sturgeon County Centre
9613 100 Street Morinville, Alberta T8R 1L9

Wait until you see the rest of the pictures - they look even worse.

meg said...

Sadness is good. Anger is good. If they move you to do something about it. Even the fact that you are writing about it is something accomplished. It is almost impossible for me to convey the sadness with which I watch our incredibly beautiful world being destroyed. All the more reason to write those letters and be the town gadfly: you are aware of what is lost.

::::wifemothermaniac:::: said...

I try to find comfort in the spiritual awareness that nothing is permanent. It is sad though, sad that such beauty and wealth is so callously unappreciated and wasted by the human majority.

kale for sale said...

What a great refuge a garden and the kitchen can be. Sometimes I hide on the couch with a blanket until the eco-sadness or frustration has had their say. And then I care some more. Thanks for caring to spend the time bothering.

E said...

Can you send me some info where this is etc, and then I can use it as an example.
Anything else about Alberta water politics and practices you want me to mention?

Perhaps you can send this to my gmail.

Theresa said...

Thanks everyone for your support and understanding. It does really help. I have nearly completed a first draft of my letter, and I'll post it here in the next couple of days, once I'm reasonably happy with it.

WMM - I do try to remember that all things are cyclical and impermanent, I just have a hard time when the impermanence is artificially accelerated. Maybe I'm just not looking at a big enough picture though.

Kale, yes, the kitchen and garden helped a lot. My angst has at least produced some cookies and biscuits for the deep freeze, and many fewer weeds in my garden!

E - thanks so much! If you email me at myriad dot things at yahoo dot ca I can give you some more info and background.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I know how you feel, and it is really hard not to just throw your hands in the air and give up. It's not just your province, it is the Western World, and perhaps just the whole world. I used to think it was just the US that was the problem, stalling progress, doing all these horrible, backwards things, but it isn't. Apathy in the Western world is rampant and deadly.

I do hope you'll keep up with this. It may seem like a fruitless effort, but it isn't. Someone has to stand up and say something, and even if, in the end, they drain this wetland completely, you didn't just sit back and watch them do it without saying anything.

I admire you for what you are doing and you are a model for us all. Never give up no matter how pointless it seems, you never know, in the end, you could make a big differenec.

Amber said...

I'll write a letter! This could just as easily be happening in my part of the world, and as a fellow Canadian I can voice my opinion about this too.
Whatever the outcome, you are supported by others and the 'powers that be' in Sturgeon County will at least be aware that people from all across the country believe that this is unacceptable behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Hey Theresa,

My Name is Ryan Tumilty and I am a reporter at the St. Albert Gazette. I came across your post about this wetland draining issues (with the help of google alerts) and I was curious about where it is.

I am wondering if you could contact me and I could get some more information and possibly write a story.


Theresa said...

Hello Ryan - thanks so much for your interest! I have emailed you with some information about the location of the wetland area and gladly welcome coverage of this important issue. I am certain that water will become more precious than oil over the coming years.

Theresa said...

Jennifer - I've just about finished my response letter to the County, and I'm definitely not going to give up. I just can't look away and pretend it doesn't matter anymore, even though I get so tired and disheartened at times. And you're right, even if it doesn't make a difference, it's just the right thing to do.

Thanks Amber - the more people who say something the better! Water is an issue that is important to everyone, everywhere!

Scott N said...

Interesting. In BC, water removal is a provincial issue, not a local one, and permission is granted after a review period that includes public consultation. That is a fairly gross description of it. Just surprised that local government would even have the authority to issue the permit.

Theresa said...

Hi Scott - thanks for stopping by.

From what I can tell, the County was extracting the water for its construction project until I called to complain, then later got a province-issued permit to do what it had been doing all along without one. I'm not surprised that BC has better water conservation policies - it looks like there is just a blanket policy in Alberta that a certain amount of water can be removed from any unnamed water body. I'm sure when I send my letter to the County they well tell me that it's under provincial jurisdiction and they can't do anything about it. My point is that they just took it upon themselves to drain the wetland in the first place, without any regard for the (lame) provincial regulations. I'm not letting them off the hook for that one.

I should have my letter posted for people to look at later this evening via Google Docs....