Tag Archives: environment

That Cockburn Sleeve

via Daily Prompt: Sleeve

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Contrary to the nay-sayers of the 80s the vinyl LP has hung around. My Bruce Cockburn album “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaw” from 1979. The one that finally brought him to international attention, especially in the US. Cockburn, a Canadian, was quite popular in his native Canada, but until this album (don’t think I’ve used that term in a while) was only ever on the fringe elsewhere. The cover is a painting by Ojibwa artist Norval Morrisseau.

The cardboard outer was earlier called a record jacket, technically it was a protective sleeve that became an artform in itself in the late 60s. The plastic liner was an inner sleeve, an anti-scratch protection. Earlier eras used paper inners, even as jackets in some cases (especially on the old 78 rpm – a brown paper jacket).

Bruce Cockburn is a folk-rock artist (sometimes called the bearded mystic) who has been an activist for environmental and humanitarian issues through his writing and performing. He has been associated with Oxfam, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, World Vision, Friends of the Earth and more. He has advocated for humanitarian aid in Mozambique, Iraq, Mali, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Honduras and more. He has toured to raise funds for humanitarian crisis relief, including being a leading spokesperson for the banning of landmines, and on the subject of third world debt. He stood with the Haida people of British Columbia in their land claim struggle, and has also raised money for aid for former child soldiers. Just a sample of his commitments. He once stated that his music asks something from the listener, it invites the listener to get involved in the causes, or he asks existential questions, a more general raising of awareness of issues and questioning the listener’s stance.

Cockburn came to my attention through a friend in 79, who urged me to have a listen to this guy who wrote amazing lyrics. I did and I was hooked. But I was hooked again by his personal beliefs, his political stance, his activism. For me he embodied the meaning of integrity and commitment. I aspire to that.

Cockburn is respected by his contemporaries and younger artists, and has worked with a number of rock and folk luminaries throughout his career. He has recorded over 300 songes and made 33 albums. However, Cockburn hasn’t aimed at fame, instead he has given back to his community, and indeed to the world through his writing and activism. I would say he has invested in people and the environment.

I’d like a few more Bruce Cockburn’s around, but then, we’re here!

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under environment, history, life, mindfulness, music, politics

Suddenly A Quenda

via Daily Prompt: Suddenly

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Out of focus, and well hidden. We were standing outside at the place we were staying when I noticed a sudden movement in the garden below us. And there was a Quenda or, Southern Brown Bandicoot. I couldn’t see him clearly with the phone camera, so I enlarged – but too much. Still there he is, and a few seconds later as I tried to recalibrate the zoom, he suddenly took off. It was a privilege to see him because they are usually very shy.

The Quenda isn’t yet on any endangered lists, but the population has dropped markedly in the last two decades. Clearing for housing, the presence of introduced predators such as the red fox, and the domestic cat, have all taken their toll. But also, as with all native species, their reproductive capacity is also determined by annual rainfall. The rainfall in the southwest has diminished by 16% over the last fifty years, and this has had a negative effect on all native species, including the Quenda.

There has been a population intentionally introduced into a conservation park called Wadderin Sanctuary (just north of Narambeen in the eastern wheat-belt) where they are protected from predators. The hope is to reestablish them in the region and rebuild hteir numbers.

This one is living in the midst of a housing area, but with access to small pockets of preserved urban bushland (Quendas roam widely). There are reports of populations of Quendas in the metropolitan areas around Perth to our north. So they are clearly resilient. We too are resilient, we have rapidly adopted modern technology, we have been very inventive as a species, and we are making efforts to combat global warming and trying to work to redress climate change in general. But we are doing it from a species-centric viewpoint. In my reading of human efforts to deal with climate change, we seem to be reacting to a crisis (or making a noise about it) but not looking at the whole picture. The environment consists of a number of interelated biospheres, and we need to work with that interrelationship and interdependence. We need to recognise our interdependence with other species, and the need to work across biospheres and not just for our own self-interests. And it’s not just the fact that the well known and exotic species like tigers, elephants and rhinos are diappearing, but whole populations of insects, plants and mammals are under threat. When we’ve pulped the last tree, drunk the last waterhole dry, and killed the last elephant, what will be left?

If we can help the Quenda by provding a fully protected, but natural environment, surely we can do better for all species. There will be no sudden environmental wizzard to save the day. We are the generations who must now do whatever it takes, together, to halt and reverse climate change, and not just for ourselves or for our grandchildren, but for all species we need each other.

Paul,

pvcann.com

11 Comments

Filed under community, environment, life

Thorny Problem

via Daily Prompt: Thorny

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You’re not just out in the back blocks, but Geoff, there’s no engine or wheels, you’re going nowhere mate 🙂 It would have been difficut for the person who abandoned the car some decades ago. But now its even more difficult for the environment, on the W.A. side there was a wreck every 1 – 2 kms between Laverton and Warakurna. And they’re just siting there clogging up the lanscape, rusting slowly, leaching plastic and rubber into the soil, broken glass and more. On the Northern Territory side they seem to tow them away, there were only two wrecks on that side in over a 1,000 kms by comparison. They don’t seem to have a problem with cleaning up in the Northern Territory, but in W.A. we sure do.

Paul

pvcann.com

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