The mantra to build a “green economy” is actually code to kill the oil and natural gas industry and replace it with solar and wind power, battery-powered cars, and the like. Others have revealed the naivety of this canard and the true unfeasibility and cost of it, and it is not my purpose here to rehash their findings. I do, however, have things to add.
While living in rural Manitoba for 10 years, I found it desirable to add farm labour and trapping to my writing jobs to make a living. Life on the land teaches how ecosystems work, and why they sometimes don’t.
Across Canada are hundreds of men, and many women, who trap fur seasonally and humanely, given modern tools. It’s a traditional skill that harvests nature’s surplus, and it demands great care in pelt preparation (to enhance prices) and guardianship of animal populations (to sustain the work over years).
When conservation officers want to know what’s happening to wildlife in their area, they talk to trappers. Trapping is also a necessary tool of animal management. Registered lines can require quotas of beaver, for example, to control their populations. Too many beavers in an area can trigger fighting and disease (a lot like people), as well as flooding.
My friends Ernie and Dave had trapped since they were boys. In the 1930s it was that or go hungry for many on the Prairies, when farm and other work dried up. Municipal relief was minimal. Muskrats, beavers, and rabbits are good eating. So are squirrels.
Back then, more of us lived in the country. Statistics Canada tells us almost half of all Canadians lived in rural areas and small towns, compared to 18.9 percent today.
Many of us today have less of a link to the land, which ultimately feeds, clothes, and houses us. I was lucky to learn some basics from Ernie and Dave and a farmer I’ll call Joe, who raised dairy cows and grew organic crops. I’ve added elements of other farmers I knew to “Joe.”
The following is a re-creation of the kinds of conversations we had in the 1990s.
Principle No. 1: Nature Fluctuates; It Does Not Stay the Same.
“Ernie, I see very few muskrats. It’s late fall and there’s only a few houses built, and few pushups on the ice. What’s up?”
“The minks got ’em. That happens, Bird. A lot o’ minks means few rats, but they always come back.”
Dave: “Another thing is the sloughs were low last winter. Rats need a good four to six feet of water. They die when sloughs freeze solid. More rain and snow mean higher water and more rats. Don’t worry, be happy, the rats will return. Nature fluctuates.
“Temperatures, wildfires, storms—they vary from year to year, which is why the climate alarmists are so often wrong. They see a storm or a forest fire and say, ‘Oh, that’s caused by man-made global warming!’ when there’s more things involved, like population patterns affecting forested areas and the ‘heat island effect’ of cities.
“The sun, too, has strongly affected warming and cooling periods for at least a million years, long before human industry.”
Principle No. 2: Nature is cyclical, not linear and terminal. Everything breaks down.
“Hey Joe, you’ve been spreading manure all day, you must be tired.”
“Well, the tractor does most of the work! But yeah, it’s gotta be done. You’ve got to feed the soil. It can’t be take, take, take, and no give.
“But why manure and not chemicals?”
“Well, cow manure feeds the land in a loop. The land produces hay, the hay feeds the cattle, the cattle poop in the barn, and we give it back to the land. Chemical fertilizers feed but also harm the soils; they kill good bacteria that create organic material plants need. Soils end up hard and weak. Chemicals are also expensive, and a one-way street.”
“I see it’s going to rain. Good thing you got the tractor off the field, Joe.”
“Rain’s another loop. Rain fills the lakes and sloughs, waters the land, and evaporates to make more clouds and rain.”
“Sounds to me like nature’s a little loopy.”
“As a farmer I deal in nature’s cycles but so do you. Those beaver carcasses you haul into the bush are eaten and broken down by coyotes, birds, and ants. Maybe our cities need to work like that. Maybe the detritus from waste treatment plants can help to feed our farmlands. Maybe plastics aren’t the best idea, since they don’t feed land or water but sit and plug things up. They’re outside the loop.”
“But plastics are durable.”
“So are wood and paper to a degree, but they break down and feed the land. Maybe we need to develop plastics that are more easily biodegradable. That’s a challenge for our scientists.”
“Joe, some people call carbon dioxide pollution.”
“That’s nonsense. Carbon dioxide is natural, an essential part of the cycle of air, which sustains life. Trees and other plants use carbon dioxide with sunlight to produce sugars that we and animals eat, in things like wheat and oats and hay. People and industry expel carbon dioxide; plants and trees use it to make oxygen. That’s one of the reasons you enjoy being in the bush so much—it’s an oxygen high.
“If the Earth is warming, I welcome it Brad. People don’t know the incredible value of crop and berry production lost over the years to early frosts. Canadian and northern European agriculture will be big winners if warming is happening.
“Hey, the Earth is a tough old planet. Its systems are always in flux. Warming? Count me in!”
Brad Bird is an award-winning reporter and editorial writer in British Columbia.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.