Tar Sands: Europe actions coming up!

I wrote about Canada’s obscene tar sands in the post ‘Tar Sands: Canada’s (Oil) Shame’. In that post you’ll find links to several YouTubes & info about Greenpeace’s tar sands film.

This post is about something kinda cool that happened the other day when I was in Washington, D.C. at the NSP (Network of Spiritual Progressives) conference.

I was wearing my current favourite T-shirt. It’s black, & on the front it has a map of Alberta (Canada), home of the infamous tar sands project. The red blotches on the map represent tar sands sites. On the back of the shirt it says, “Stop the tar sands. Greenpeace.”

Someone behind me tapped me on the shoulder. When I turned around, I saw an older man (in his 70’s, perhaps?), who said to me, “I used to work in the tar sands. I’m sorry.”

What a moment!

(We all do things we later regret, hmmm? When we hurt individuals we love (who among us has not??), we can apologize.(1) When our errors have had wider impact, there is always the possibility of atonement. I know this man has greatly atoned for whatever he may have done way back when, in the tar sands. But his words really moved me. Bless you, Lee!!)

Well. Later that day I had a very quick look at my e-mails. There was one from old friend Steve Leahy, another Canadian activist/writer. Steve’s son Derek is organizing anti-tar sands protests in several European cities this summe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna & Berlin).

You can read about his activities on Facebook. Also on the Sierra Club of Canada blog here.

Let me point out that Derek became an activist only months ago. Because he’s been working in Berlin & could do so, he went to Copenhagen for the climate meetings his father was there to write about. Clearly, he got inspired!!

Check out what he’s up to.

What can you do?

For sure, you can learn about the tar sands & climate change.

And lessen your personal carbon footprint.

Join with individuals & groups working to end our poisonous dependence on fossil fuels.

I’m repeating myself here, but here I go again: Activism is the best possible antidote to despair (& apathy).

Activism (like virtue) is its own reward.

You can quote me on that.


(1) I love this quotation about apology: “Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.” – Margaret Lee Runbeck. How about this one? “A clear conscience is more valuable than wealth.” – Filipino proverb