EDITORIAL: A pause to ponder our planetary predicament

Friday, April 22 is Earth Day

Perhaps you are one of those with plans to take some action to support environmental protection on Earth Day this Friday (April 22).

Perhaps you are one of the many who simply don’t have the time to be more involved.

No matter which group you fall into, Earth Day should provide pause, at least, for a few moments of contemplation on the sorry state of the globe.

Among a multitude of existential threats currently facing Earth are deforestation and the pollution of the air, water and soil – not only through direct dumping of toxins, but also by the insidious effects of gases released by factories, through fossil-fuel combustion, rainfall, oil spills and industrial waste.

We may not have to look too far for our own science experiment on this in the near future.

The eloquent and well-informed warnings of numerous environmentalists and the Semiahmoo First Nation notwithstanding, the Metro Vancouver board of directors recently went ahead and voted to endorse Surrey’s plan to exclude 600 acres from the urban containment boundary to allow industrial development in the sensitive South Campbell Heights area.

There might be no better way for Semiahmoo Peninsula residents to mark Earth Day this weekend than visiting the nearby Little Campbell River area of South Surrey to experience first-hand the forest and wildlife that, for the moment at least, is still flourishing there.

Perhaps we can also take time to recall that brief golden moment in 2020 when we realized that the pandemic lockdown on human activity was actually leading to a surprising global resurgence of the environment and wildlife.

We know what happened after that brief lull – the human race’s priorities, it seems, are far too rooted in business imperatives, including propping up the fossil fuel industries, to pay attention to environmental crises.

And that, sadly, may end up being its – our – epitaph.