Sure, the story of carbon emissions is the global warming story, but there’s also the story of the warming that comes from urbanization, and there’s the story that comes from the warming that results from being blind to the wisdom an experience of indigenous knowledge of the land. For example, this:
Well, no wisdom except a the view from a Smlqmx village site in the Similkameen Valley, with a history of many thousands of years. This is fire country. Fire is natural here, not a disaster, or an aberration. Look, for instance how the smoke through the snout of the mountain into relief. I tell ya, on a non-burning day, you don’t see that, because there are other mountains in behind. When it burns, though, the story is highlighted.
Global warming, that’s a tricky thing. Huge sums of money have been spent fighting fires this year. This smoke comes from Washington, in the USA. It has blown north and west to come here, in Keremeos. Thing is, this village site invited the Hudson’s Bay Company to set up its horse ranch on its boundaries, and a métis packer for the company settled on it, and then an Austrian scout from the Apache wars bought it, and in the third transaction after that, my father bought it. Now, two generations have passed. The old stage coach road I remember is gone. This is serious farming country now. The image below shows where the stage over Green Mountain pulled in and crossed the Keremeos River, which has been downgraded to a creek.
These old black locusts (and honey locusts) were planted to grow without water and provide fence posts that would last 100 years. Here’s what’s left of the orchard I planted on the village site (not knowing it was a village) in 1973, out of the trees I learned to graft on:
That’s right, out of 120 trees, four remain, and next year the one on the left is going to be toast. Here’s what’s left of the fifty acres of trees I planted when I was twelve years old. Yes, in the smoke.
That’s global warming, too. An orchard my father planted eight years earlier, out of the same varieties, is still productive. The warming here, is a measure of human incompetence. If the farmer who “owned” these trees had known what on earth he was doing, they would have still been alive, and would still be producing. So, when you see smoke…
…look for the coyote in the rock or the marble on the hill …
… see it? … That’s Chukuaskin’s grave. He tried for a fair deal for his people. He got a graveyard excavated for a gravel pit, now grown over with weeds.
Disrespect leads to global warming. If we’re going to turn this around, then respect for the ancestors of this place is the way to do it. I don’t mean my ancestry in the orchards. That’s factory land now.
I mean the foraging that we referenced with our orchards two generations ago. Here’s some foraging land that has suffered from the warming created by the extraction of capital from it in the mouths of cows that didn’t belong there.
And here’s the sagebrush (in the smoke) that represents that warming. This stuff burns like gasoline, and it’s the result of overgrazing. What’s to do? Burn it! The hill in the back in the image below burnt three years ago when a kid started playing with a lighter on the corner where a “land developer” (sic) blasted out an 8,000 year old rattlesnake den to build a road to a subdivision and a golf course no-one wants. No sagebrush there in back. Fire would blow through it in a few minutes and fizzle out. There’d be no smoke.
Of course, this excess of carbon in the landscape, this warming of the landscape, holds the carbon of the industrial age, in the grass, where it doesn’t belong. Burning might be extreme until the situation is stabilized, but you could cut this damn stuff out with a pair of clippers for 1,000,000th the cost of fighting wildfires and replacing houses that went up like aviation fuel. We could do this. We could bring the grass back, and cool the land. I can see no reason why we should be the holders of the carbon of people who don’t respect people like Chukuaskin. Here’s his vandalized grave three years ago, when the world wasn’t burning.
Remember, this is the centre of the Smlgmx world. 2,000 people lived here for 10,000 years. Ignoring their knowledge is suicide. It’s horrible that people are losing their homes these days. It would be more horrible if it ever happened again.
Categories: Ethics, fire, First Peoples, Gaia, Global Warming, Industry, Nature Photography, Spirit
Another good piece. Thanks.
Thanks for the support. It means a lot.