Saturday, June 28, 2014

crow on the range

It just so happened that I'd been working on turning another of Crow's sketched portraits into a colored image for his scrapbook when what should I find but the following piece of good news:

'A room full of surprised veteran B.C. Aboriginal leaders erupted in “cheers and tears” after the Supreme Court of Canada, in the most important aboriginal rights case in the country’s history, ruled that the Tsilhqot’in First Nation has title 1,750 square kilometres of land in south central B.C.'
from the Vancouver Sun on June 27th

'The Canadian Supreme Court decision gives full title to Yinka Dene of their land. Not all First Nations, just the 6 bands in the Yinka Dene Alliance. This probably means the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal to the Pacific Ocean is Dead. Yes Enbridge can route around the Yinka Dene lands, only at greatly added cost.'
from Daily Kos on June 27th

While this is definitely good news for the First Nations people and all of those who love and respect the land, Crow has his own opinion about what it will take for  things to improve:

I've yet to hear anyone say that they want no power/generation. Perhaps they're envisioning some sort of fairy-dust based power that has no environmental impact? No, that's not true, fairies are mass-raised in factory farms for their dust, it's a brutal industry....  ;) As everyone should understand by now you can't reasonably just move the problem off into some other corner of the world and say, "I can't see it any more, so problem solved!"

Ultimately, the only solution is to reduce demand. And that's where the focus needs to be. Humanity would do well to remember The Great Law of the Iroquois:

“In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.” 


Rob-bear said...

Germany produces half of its electricity through harnessed solar energy, and it is aiming higher. May people are putting solar panels on their roves. There are lots of power options, on or off the grid.

Blessings and Bear hugs! Rejoicing with the First Nations.

susan said...

Yes, Germany has proven that solar energy can work on a large scale. The only problem with solar is that so far nobody has come up with an affordable storage system for the post-sunlight hours. I'm sure there are small systems answers just waiting for some support.

Best wishes for a happy holiday weekend, Bear. We know the First nations will be celebrating.

Life As I Know It Now said...

So good, this. The portrait of Crow, the Canadian Supreme Court decision, the idea that we can't always get everything that we want. Yes!

Should Fish More said...

Crow as a Crow, very nice.
The earth colors are very like the color/dyes used by the SW first nation people (Navajo, Hopi) in their blankets and rugs before they were asked to do brighter colors for commercial purposes by traders. I have some blankets and rugs made prior to 1880 that have similar colors.

marja-leena said...

What a gorgeous portrait of handsome and wise Crow!

I was just as excited and happy as the First Nations over the Supreme Court decision! This means that the evil Enbridge pipeline which we have been fighting will very likely not get built, as well as other similar projects. Our next wish is for the tar sands to be shut down. Yes, demand needs to be reduced and a concerted movement to green energy sources. Storage batteries are getting better. Germany is a great example and they don't even have as much sunshine as California or Alberta!

I wish the First Nations congratulations and continuing strength ahead in resisting the financial temptations offered by greedy industry!

susan said...

Thanks, Lib! It's good to have ideals but solutions must be realistic too.

susan said...

I thought of that as I was working on this one, but I didn't research the real attire. I'm glad to know you believe I got close :)

susan said...

Yes, he was looking very good that day, wasn't he? Must have been the desert air.

The SC decision was both wonderful and surprising news. I'm sure First Nations people everywhere will take heart from this. You're right the best thing to do with the tar sands is what mediation of the land they can do and leave the rest in the ground. Germany has provided a very good example so far and it's great the batteries are improving.

I hope you're enjoying a fine holiday weekend.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
This welcome decision sounds very similar to the native title act here; to confer traditional land rights and require consent prior to any development. But in the Canadian law as I understand it there remains a power for the Crown to proceed without consent, where the development is proven to have a “compelling and substantial” public interest.
I wholeheartedly agree with Crow, in his full sartorial splendour that “Ultimately, the only solution is to reduce demand. And that's where the focus needs to be” –and I would add to that if China and India were to suddenly use the same pro rata energy per capita as the west we would immediately need more than another 3 earths to cope with supply !! Although more in aggregates they are only about a quarter of the word average and only a fraction of the developed economies.
The painting is very appealing and full of colour and expression.
Best wishes

Sean Jeating said...

Hm, that sounds wonderful, and yes, the total share of renewable energy has increased in Germany, however not in such remarkable dimensions.
According to this article on the website of the German Government, in 2013 its share was 23, 4 percent (2012 (22,8).
(Translating from the first diagram) In detail: Windpower 7,9 % (8,0), biomass 6,8% (6,3), photovoltaics/solar 4,5& (4,2), water 3,4% (3,5), municipal solid waste 0,8% (0,8).
Thus, fossil recources do still have a share of 76,6 percent:
stone coal (19,7)%, brown coal (25,8), natural gas (10,5, nuclear power (15,4), heating oil, pump storage and others (5,2).

Sean Jeating said...

Well, Germany – in this context – does provide not bad an example, however . . . please look above, my reply to Rob-bear. :)

susan said...

While it is good news for the Yinka Dene it's certainly true this decision doesn't represent a true turn around of a government that's decided to do the right thing by its citizens. I'd like to think that will eventually be the case, but who knows what will have happened by that yet to happen period?

I expected you to to comment on the German energy situation, Sean, and you haven't disappointed me. 23.4% for all renewable energy is certainly far less that 50% solar. Thanks for letting us know the real amount. Not that I'm surprised for the simple fact I'm well aware of the turmoil in the Ukraine is based to a large extent on Gazprom's pipeline routes. If Europe overall, and Germany in particular, was able to generate their own power from renewable sources much of the current trouble wouldn't be happening.

You might enjoy reading this article from today's Zero Hedge about Russia's plan to avoid the Ukraine pipelines altogether.

ps: The commenters on ZH are in general a ragtag bunch of highly opinionated hedgefunders whose opinions should be viewed with appropriate doses of salt :)

susan said...

I did :)

susan said...

I also noticed the legal caveats inherent in the decision. Still, there's so much anger and resentment in BC about the plan that I'm quite sure further legal obstacles will continue to be erected. What continues to be a problem is that the bitumen reserves of Western Canada are being mined at all. It's nasty stuff that really should be left as it is - in the ground. Not that long ago the process was considered far too expensive, but with world reserves of light crude depleted as they are, it seems that no step is one too far to the multinational oil developers.

I remember in high school a teacher making just that point about what would happen if all the world's people lived a similar lifestyle as us. Back then there were far fewer of us for the planet to contend with.

I'm glad you liked the new picture of Crow and his friends.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

About 40% of Scotland's energy comes from renewables. We have a big hydro-electric sector.

If the money and effort devoted to nuclear power over the years had been devoted to researching solar I suggest we'd be sustained by the ideal fuel cycle already (sunshine splitting water to hydrogen & oxygen which is recombined to water, releasing energy to generate electricity). It's already done. It will become more efficient and more common.

And reducing demand would be best done by reducing production of people. There are too many of us. I'll make way soon, but only for many more, I expect; and I expect nature will do the limiting rather than logic.

And yet all those governments who in policy documents drone on about the need to reduce their fossil fuel use still delight in the news about every new fossil fuel find that they discover.

susan said...

I didn't know that about Scotland's renewable power generation. It's excellent news.

As for all the rest you say, I agree completely. Not one nuclear power plant would ever have been built (at least in the US, but likely all) without government funding. Then there's the huge gas and oil companies. What can I say about that other than that there are too many people who only consider the profits to be made today?

Yes, there are too many of us and more arriving all the time. Try telling anybody they shouldn't have more than one or two and see the reaction. I joined the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement some years ago - you might enjoy their website. Their motto is 'May we live long and die out'.

gfid said...

Once again Crow and Co. make a eye-catching fashion statement! such a beautiful picture! for the Canadian government's abilty to override ANY decision made by ANYONE that they don't care for, (particularly when the Conservatives are in charge) it's only too familiar. Three cheers for the Supreme Court.... but Stevie Harper has never got on all that well with them, and doesn't seem to think their rulings apply to him. I think the best thing to come from this decision is the visibility and airplay it's getting. It means that even if (or when) Stevie ignores the law for his own purposes, it won't go unnoticed and unchallenged.

susan said...

Yep, Crow really knows how to best present his fancy togs, doesn't he?

I agree that the best part of the SC decision is that it's raised the level of visibility and the potential for debate on the issue. At least we're lucky here not to have a Court that allows companies to deny birth control to their employees. Common sense and altruism don't have much of a place in governments these days. Maybe they never did.

Lydia said...

Sigh. I so love this colored drawing and the good news and gentlestrong message. How I do wish you would do a book, Susan.

susan said...

I'm happy yo like this, Lydia. It's true as well that the only thing we have hopes for controlling is ourself.

No need for a book, my friend, when it's all right here :)