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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I am sad to be an Albertan

Yesterday in my home province of Alberta, a provincial election was held to determine which political party would run the province for the next three years. What was the most disheartening aspect of this election for me, was that only 42.2 percent of eligible voters actually decided to vote, (which represents the lowest voter turnout in Alberta history.) In a world where individuals and groups of people have often died fighting for the right to vote in a country, I find it absolutely appalling that such a low turnout at the polling stations in Alberta occurred last night. The Premier of the province, Ed Stelmach won the majority of votes cast (53%), however, of all eligible voters in Alberta, just 22% supported the Tories. Albertans are spoiled, and irresponsible, and our political leaders are too! The ruling Progressive Conservative party in Alberta has refused to outline near-term targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions . Instead, their plan, which was supported by Albertan voters in yesterday's elections, only sets a target for reducing GHG emissions by the year 2050. ""Premier Stelmach's announcement today is shockingly irresponsible, it continues to delay action and promises only a plan to plan. There are no short-term targets for absolute reductions in GHG pollution and no requirements for large polluters to reduce emissions," says Dan Woynillowicz, a Senior Policy Analyst with the Pembina Institute. "Alberta is the largest greenhouse gas polluter in Canada, producing close to one third of Canada's emissions. Albertans want action and Premier Stelmach is playing games by trying to dodge responsibility for delivering any real results until 2050." (source:http://www.oilsandswatch.org/media-release/1576).

"Rapid production of the Alberta oilsands will account for nearly half of the projected rise in greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 2010, making it the country's fastest growing source of pollution, according to data released ...by the Pembina Institute."

http://www.embassymag.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2005/november/30/oilsands/

And yet the Stelmach government has no desire to change their perspective on greenhouse gas emissions, which will have effects on all wildlife and plants in Alberta as well as on us human beings!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.