Saturday, May 12, 2007
[THO] Good News on the Activist Front
Sometimes the state of our world can be pretty overwhelming. Illegal armed conflicts (yeah I'm talking to you G W Bush), ecological ruin, HIV/AID pandemic, oppressive systemic poverty, a culture that has sacrificed morals on the altar of Capitalism, so much in this world just makes you want to throw up your arms and quit. Once one gets past the initial shock a realistic view of the world affords, there comes a second realization: either we find some hope or we plug our ears and hope this is all just a bad dream. As a Christian, I believe hope is the order of the day. So I try to do my part. We replaced our van with a fuel efficient hybrid, we have been trying to eat locally, including buying local, organic meat. We have been ridding our selves of some of the nastier plastics, especially the ones we place our food and drink into. We don't drink bottled water. We have been opting not to use grocery bags (I always have a bin or two in the trunk) and I insist on ceremac cups for coffee - I've walked away from places that do not provide a reusable option.
But the other thing that I've gotten excited about is writing companies and the government on issues that I take seriously. I recently received a very encouraging response from the Environment Minister, John Baird, which echoes my concern over cluster bombs, now if we could only get him to be as concerned about the environment! Also a very quick response from Petro-Canada that since April 2004 none of their gasolines contain the neurotoxin MMT. I know where I am buying my gas from now on. All this reinforces my hope that even a single voice, like my own, can make a difference. For those that don't know MMT is used to increase the octane of gasoline and is one of the cheapest alternatives for that process - and the Canadian government was sued by big corporations whey they tried to ban it! We paid out something like $16million (tax payers dollars) to the companies we inconvenienced by telling them not to f^%& up our brains with toxins! MMT gets into our water and our air and causes Parkinson's like symptoms! I have been fuming ever since I heard that my taxes went to pay this fine. At least I know there is an alternative. The best I have been able to determine there is a bill to ban MMT going through the house - you better believe I will travel to protest if big corporations try to sue us over that one.
The state of our world should make us angry. Angry enough to do something about it. And our hope comes from a conviction that God works with us to make change happen. God longs for the liberation of all of creation. God cares about the world we leave our children. God is with us in the project of saving the world. That gives me great hope. The only throwing up of my arms will be to worship such a great and wonderful Saviour!