Originally published on Cortes Radio.ca. This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.
This year has seen a couple of fairly major shocks to the global industrial economic system that so many of us rely upon. One could say that we had a near-collapse experience.
I thought it might be wise to take a moment, step back, and have a look at the bigger picture. To see where western civilization is at, what’s driving us and what kinds of a future we might want to plan for. How does the pandemic fit with other threats to stability.
To help me with this, I sought out the ideas of a Cortes Island thinker and researcher who deals with a lot of the sh*t on this island that most people would rather flush away without looking at – he’s a plumber, but so much more.
Continue reading Collapse Now, Avoid The Crush
Originally Published on Cortes Radio.ca. This radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.
In this episode, we get a deep dive from Eric Hargrave, manager at the Cortes Natural Food Cooperative, and Bill Dougan, manager at the Gorge Harbour Marina Resort General Store. These are two fellows who run grocery stores and have given a lot of thought to the modern food chain. They present their insights with wit and charm. Together we explored the impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on their lives and their businesses. I was especially curious about the pandemics impacts on frontline workers — those working the tills and stocking shelves.
Continue reading The Pandemic’s Impacts On Frontline Workers – The Stores
[An earlier version of this article originally appeared in Medium, an online magazine, under the title “The Price Tag.”]
The influenza epidemic of 1918 — as most of us are remembering or discovering right about now — killed about 50 million people worldwide between 1918 and 1920. At that time, the world population was perhaps about 1.8 billion people (as opposed to today’s approximately 7.8 billion people). So to achieve the same statistical impact, a pandemic today would have to kill about 200 million people (or approximately 2/3 the population of the US). Spread of the disease was greatly aided by military deployment at the end of WWI, and by the poor physical condition and abysmal living conditions of troops in the trenches. So far, Covid-19 is not even remotely in the league and hardly merits comparison. However, that could change. Like the old Carpenters song, it’s only just begun.
My second reaction to Covid-19 was one of puzzlement or frustration (I’ve written about the first reaction elsewhere). All around me, people were not only scared or appalled, but bewildered, outraged, shocked. What a freakish thing to happen, how unfair, how incredible, how surreal! A pandemic? A Plague? How mediaeval! Who woulda thunkit? How could that happen here?
Continue reading Shocked, Shocked?
In the midst of all the reports of closures, cancellations and global economics, I heard a very reassuring rattle coming up from the government wharf below me. Someone was tightening the bolts on the east float’s new light. Squirrel Cove’s dock restoration is proceeding. I found the Harbour Authority Cortes Island’s wharfinger, Don Tennent, lying in front of the light. His hands were extended below the deck, presumably holding the bottom of a bolt, while his helper made the final adjustments with a wrench.
Continue reading COVID-19, Emissions & Global Economics