Let’s Not Be Too Romantic Now

The Okanagan Valley in which I live is sold as a place of beauty and purity in the midst of a wilderness. This project has been underway for about 125 years. The result, looking south from the hill above my house, is disgusting.

In my lifetime, the air has been transformed from a clear product to this effluent. The images above and (especially) below shows the glint off the windows of an Austrian resort spa high above Okanagan Lake. Not high enough.

There is no way to avoid this gick. We have overpopulated, over-industrialized, over-heated, and over-networked a fragile valley with roads, streets and all the accoutrements of the contemporary industrial economy, in order to provide fun-in-the-sun opportunities for Canadians. How can this be fun? There’s no sun.

Below, as you can see, Turtle Point, a bit of luxury for the wealthy from distant Canada, sits in a pool of sludgy air, which burns through brown into the wind patterns on the lake.

We even have planes that fly around and spew for fun.


These are the decisions of an entire culture, not of some mythical cabal of greedy industrialists. This mess is a projection of the desires of the country, and by extension its people, as they work out their colonial destiny together. This is what that looks like.

Let’s stop romanticizing it by writing utopias upon it. Whatever work done here has to be done on ourselves.


2 replies »

  1. This makes me so sad, and as I read and look upon your photos, I sense a wee bit of trauma twisting my guts as I recall the air quality last summer. Waking up wondering if I will see the sun today, or be able to breathe deep, and then the melodramatic thought rushes in whispering what if it keeps getting worse…what then? Thank you for speaking the truth, Harold. I will consider how I might work on myself today.


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