Don’t play political games with climate change

earthOn a Cosmic scale our beautiful little blue-green jewel of a planet is some kind of rare miracle – perhaps the only one – in a vast Universe of unimaginable extremes of blazing hot and deep-freezing cold.

But global warming and the resulting climate change is now in the process of showing the world – that part of the world that’s watching, at least – how delicately balanced and vulnerable that miracle is.

Market gardeners and other farmers know a few degrees of temperature either way during the growing season, and the lack of a certain amount of reliable rainfall – say, at least a weekly centimetre or two, about an inch – can make all the difference in the health and well-being of crops. Continue reading

On weeding the garden, here and there


The well-tended potato plants are starting to bloom north of the border

There’s a lot to be said for growing a garden, especially one as big as mine here at Cathedral Drive Farm in Hope Ness, on the Bruce Peninsula, in Ontario, Canada. It’s like ballet, or any other creative discipline that requires your absolute devotion and attention for hours a day, every day. You can get lost in it, but not aimless. It can be an escape for a while from the world of cares and woe and discouraging news about how the future is likely to unfold; and these days it’s not very good at all.

And, yes, I am referring to the infernal T-word. Continue reading

The soul of a great democracy is in grave danger

The technical support woman on the other end of the line somewhere in the U.S. south or south-west sounded weary, and a little stressed.  I always try to exchange a little small talk with those call-centre/tech support folks; after all, I’m a real, live human being, and so are they. It often leads to something interesting. This time was no exception.

I took a risk and sympathized with her and her great nation about the present “political situation” it finds itself in, “what with Trump and all.”

I went a little farther than that even by suggesting the man and his careless mouth are playing “a dangerous game” with the future of his country and the world. “There’s a reason why we study history in school,” I said. “It’s happened before, somewhere else, and not that long ago.” Continue reading

Candidate Meet for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Riding

Well, nothing like a dose of cold reality to bring one’s feet down to earth.

Just a few days ago it was easy enough to be fooled into thinking it was still summer, that the possibility of frost and even snow was still somewhere in the future. But a couple of mornings ago I looked out the upstairs window of this old farmhouse and saw the cold, brisk east wind blowing the clouds in the wrong direction – always a bad sign; and the need to take certain steps to batten down the hatches for the winter, and so on, suddenly seemed urgent. Continue reading

Vote Strategically

So, the federal election campaign has suddenly got interesting.

To some extent it’s about competing polls. One surveying the national and province-by-province mood of voters was done by the polling firm Ekos for LaPresse newspaper in Montreal. The results were released just in time for the French language leaders’ debate this week. It polled 2,343 people for their voting intentions. The results are considered accurate 19 times out of 20, to within two percentage points, according to news reports. Continue reading

Larry Miller’s Attitude Toward the News Media

I was going to start off here by doing the gracious thing after the federal election and congratulate newly re-elected Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Conservative MP Larry Miller on his victory. To win re-election by such a wide margin must be, one would think, a “humbling” experience in the way politicians use that word in the aftermath of a successful election campaign. (Chances are they’re anything but humbled.)

But I have just read the Honourable Member’s letter to the editor in Wednesday’s issue of this newspaper and I no longer feel like offering him congratulations; instead, I will criticize him for what strikes me as ill-timed arrogance and a shocking lack of appreciation of basic democratic principles for one now entering his fourth term as an elected representative of the people. Continue reading

Conservative Government: Minority or Majority?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then someone in the Larry Miller re-election campaign might want to hurry on over to Shallow Lake, take a photo, and send it off to Conservative Party of Canada election campaign national headquarters as a striking illustration of just how well things appear to be going for the Conservatives in this part of rural Ontario: it’s just one Miller/Conservative sign after another, just like it was in the last federal campaign. Continue reading

Ontario Taxes Will Indeed Go Up

It’s that time of year again across the Canadian landscape: the taxman cometh. And many are the howls of outrage here in Grey-Bruce, and elsewhere in Ontario, at the rate property taxes are going up to help support the cost of municipal government. Bruce County’s 13.2 percent increase in county taxes especially raised some local eyebrows. But it may be a sign of things to come for a lot more municipal taxpayers in Grey-Bruce and elsewhere in the province, if somebody at Queen’s Park doesn’t soon do something fundamental about fixing the Ontario eight-year-old downloading fiasco.    Continue reading