Things we’ll run out of

  • Beaver ponds
  • Glaciers
  • Proper law enforcement
  • Decency

Let’s do these in order, with beaver ponds first. We walk in the bush up north a lot, less now, but have visited and ‘named’ over twenty-five beaver ponds. Many of these have changed over the years, and a few have pretty much dried up.

The creation process is pretty simple: a beaver (pair?) find running water that can be dammed. The sound of running water is known to summon work and repair. If a second outlet becomes possible as the water level rises, the beavers will begin damming there too. But there is a limit. Eventually it becomes impracticable to extend the pond’s borders due to the topography.

At this point the pond begins to fill up while it’s size cannot be increased. Eventually it ends up as a bog, often with a narrow ‘beaver channel’ around its edges.

There used to be a renewal process; I know this from studies on MacLean Lake years ago. At one point another set of ponds and lakes used to overflow, maybe every ten or fifteen years or so; the resulting flood would re-sculpt the downstream watercourses and remove sediment, allowing later ponds and lakes to be deeper.

This renewal process was deliberately (in this case) stopped by building a dam in a strategic place. If a surge of water does occur, it gets redirected elsewhere.

We don’t seem to have storms large enough to re-sculpt beaver ponds that are filling in. So we’re going to run out of them

Glaciers are easy to comment on, with all the global warming research, including Nature articles on Antarctic water flow patterns, Greenland observations, et cetera. The majority (not all) of glaciers are retreating. Sea level will rise. Darker oceans will absorb more heat, in a feedback process I am loath to call ‘positive.’

I’m doing a glacier and Alaska trip this summer while we still have some that are accessible.

Proper law enforcement depends on priorities. The President of Canada’s southern neighbour is shifting those priorities. Instead of focussing on the more dangerous criminals (aliens or not) the focus is on aliens (dangerous (criminals) or not.)

Today’s Toronto Star quotes several immigration enforcement individuals as being delighted with this shift in priorities. Of course they are: if you like bullying relatively defenceless ‘guest workers’ you’ll find it a lot more rewarding than difficult detective work to catch the serious (drug smugglers, for example) criminals.

Decency. When we deny global warming, we’re committing the weak of this generation, and the un-rich of the next, to atrocious living conditions, probably starvation and lack of potable water. When we revoke long-standing practices of tolerance for ‘guest workers’ we betray them and those large agribusinesses (to name one major employer) that need them.

When a POTUS runs on cleaning up the swamp, which many perceive to be gross and increasing inequality, by appointing the swamp owners to key posts, I can be forgiven for thinking we’ve betrayed all those voters who had those foolish, trusting hopes.

The next step is to do what many corporate cultures do already: set worker against worker. The Sicko video showed how rejecting health care insurance claims became a contest with quotas, bonuses, and publicly shown statistics. A recent article on Uber seemed to say that the internal corporate culture there is like this.

Now we select seven countries (with no stated justification, who would ask the Fake News media for their opinion when we have Alternative Facts ‘that somebody told me’?) So we now set the transport security folk against airline passengers. Soon we’ll be setting the local sheriff against long-tolerated contributing ‘non’ citizens. Next we’ll have a hotline (like the infamous Canadian ‘extreme religious practices hotline’ under Harper) for neighbour to inform against neighbour.

Decency used to be a right. Now it’s a privilege of the rich? No, most of them behave indecently, imho.

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