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By Alexandra Kaminski September 18, 2014

Transience of the Canadian Environment

Illustrated by PATRICK CALLAHAN

 

Canadian nature is in a state of transience.

From Yoho to Kejimkujik,

We are disregarding the sickness of our country

Putting our environment at risk.

 

From Yoho to Kejimkujik,

Canada’s environmental track record is dwindling.

Our environment is being jeopardized,

As oil interests increase and support for climate change decreases.

 

Canada’s environmental track record is dwindling.

From Polar Bears to Caribou, Bowhead Whales to Narwhals,

And 160 million dollars cut from environmental spending,

Economic growth is becoming more crucial than extinction.

 

Bowhead Whales and Narwhals are the target,

As oil spill response units are being cut.

We encourage oil drilling in the Gulf of St Lawrence,

With a lack of preparedness for an offshore spill.

 

Oil will spill without a response,

America will lecture Canada on environmental protection,

There will be no preparedness for the loss of a unique ecosystem,

And Alberta tar sands will continue to be exploited.

 

America is lecturing Canada on our nature,

This is hard to stomach in every way,

Alberta is feeling the risks of pollution,

And a traditional party is destroying ancestral ground.

 

The neglect we show is hard to stomach,

Like amending the Coastal Trade Act for profit.

A conservative party is not attending to ancestral ground,

And the Kyoto Protocol is dismissed.

 

Risking our land for profit is irresponsible,

Gambling away our waters is reckless,

Endangering our climate is thoughtless.

Canadian nature is in a state of transience.

About the author

Alexandra is a second-year liberal arts student hoping to continue studies in Journalism and Politics. She has been on and led multiple canoe-camping trips and worked at a sleep-away summer camp in Saint-Sauveur. Her passions are reading, biking and eating pizza. Visit Alexandra on her Tumblr page.

About the illustrator

Originally having planned to pursue the sciences, Patrick Callahan found the arts to be much more rewarding but has tried to imbue his projects with elements from both worlds. Patrick explores a variety of subjects and techniques in his illustrations but there is always an element of duality, as well as an interest in combining the geometric with the naturalistic. While he now mainly utilizes digital media, he maintains an interest in traditional media in his pieces and, whenever possible, will simulate it's appearance digitally.

Being challenged to create something new, current and evocative is what motivates Patrick's work, in whatever media is so desired.

Comments

  1. space-default-avatar

    gemmamstevens

    December 7, 2014

    This is a fabulous poem. It really touches the subject of our precious environment and the way that it has been treated in the past 100 years or so. I really think that this poem addresses touchy subjects in a clear and comprehensive way and I really respect that. In my opinion this poem gives all the right examples of what’s wrong with our society today. I know that oil is a big part of Canada’s economy, however I don’t think that we should put our environment, our home, at risk just to put money in the oil corporations pockets. There are endless environmental problems that have been caused by it, and so many more that can occur, like spills, as the poem states. Our ecosystem is at stake, and so are lives, not just ours, but the lives of the countless animals and plants that share our home as well. This poem outlines the dangers of neglecting our environment very well and I think it takes a great stance.

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