Wednesday, June 23, 2010


One thing that you clearly in Canada, especially in Toronto, is the mix of cultures. Canada is a land of immigrants, but wherever they come from, they have brought a piece of their homeland with them. This mix of people is more apparent these days, thanks to the World Cup. Wherever you look you can see flags of the participating countries, hanging in front of houses, pubs and stuck on cars. Come game time, the various communities get together at their local pubs and party hard while cheering for their team. what's important is that all communities have found a balance between living harmony with each other as Canadians and still preserving their individual identities. I guess this is true in all countries where there are a lot of immigrant communities.

The lesson in all this: Tolerance is a great quality to develop in all of us. It will greatly help to solve a lot of the problems in this world.

I'm not sure what kind of coverage the Gulf oil spill is getting in SL, but over the US its a pretty big deal. This is the biggest environmental disaster in US history. The latest estimate is 250,000 gallons of crude oil is flowing into the sea, but some experts put the numbers around 1 million gallons per day. The whole thing started back in April 20th, when the offshore oil rig called the Deepwater Horizon exploded, causing the spillage. They have tried to stop the leak, but the main problem is that the well is too deep. It sits 5000 feet under the sea, which makes the patching up efforts problematic.

The result of all this is massive ecological damage along with a huge adverse impact to the people living off the Gulf Coast. i personally think that the ecological damage is far worse and irreparable than the effect on the people. After all, people can move away from the area into other parts of the country. However, if an ecology is destroyed it is forever. The natural world doesn't happen in a couple of months or years. It's not as if constructing a skyscraper. It takes thousands, maybe millions of years to come to that state, but it can be destroyed in seconds.

A 2009 inventory of the Gulf of Mexico offshore species numbered 15,700 species, and out of that 8332 plant and animal species live in the area effected by the spill.

Stats as of June 18th include:
885 dead birds
363 sea turtles
44 dolphins

1292 animals seem like a small amount compared to the thousands of people who die everyday to natural or unnatural causes, but there are 6 billion of us to go around. Some experts say that this has the potential to wipe out all marine life near the spill area and other parts of the gulf. If the spill is not stopped soon, there are fears that it may spread into the Atlantic Ocean. As one scientist put it, this amount of oil "May alter the chemistry of the sea, with unforeseeable results."

Let's face it, oil is a necessary evil. Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Hopefully these type of incidents will make the case stronger for making alternate sources of energy the norm, not the exception.

Our need for materialistic things is perplexing. Our needs insatiable and our greed bottomless. These are not the basic things we need to survive. Frankly, we don't need them to live at all, but we keep on making them. Nothing will stop us from satisfying this hunger, even if it means destroying everything around us. One day, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be soon, all this is going to turn around and bite us in our ass. It's already started to nip at the ankles, so give it a little time, it's getting there.

If you want more details about the spill try these links:
The Huffington Post

The G8 and the G20 summits are being held in Toronto this week, and security in downtown is tight. They are even putting up chain link fences around the convention center where the summit is taking place. Cops are everywhere, no parking in the city and traffic is a right mess. Funnily enough, even with the huge police presence, some one had fired a gun inside the security zone and disappeared. So much for security. Plenty of protests are going on against the summit.

To tell the truth, i haven't paid any attention to these summits, so i don't know much about them. Must do some reading and see. My basic understand is that the rich countries, the self proclaimed "great" ones get together once a year to figure out how they can get more richer and more "greater". Outside, the protesters will shout and the otherwise jobless police riot squad will get have some work to do. The normal people out there, they don't really give a shit.

One word to describe it: A Circus.


Oooh, just saw that i've passed the 200 posts mark. Woohoo... :)


Chavie said...

Congratulations on the 200 posts! :D

The oil spill is a real mess, and it's just a reminder that no matter how much we claim we can control nature, we're pretty much helpless when something goes wrong.

Azrael said...

Thanks Chavie :)