02 Jul

Wade Davis: Gorgeous photos of a backyard wilderness worth saving

Wade Davis: Gorgeous photos of a backyard wilderness worth saving

Length: 6 Minutes, 35 seconds

Total Views so far: 298,631

Happy Canada Day!

And because I’m curious about it, I did a search on Ted Talks for ‘Canada’ and tonight’s selection did seem quite intriguing.  (Admittedly enough, this is close to rolling a die and seeing what would come up, but It’s a good talk)

Simply put, it is about preservation of the British Columbia ecosystem versus the exploration for natural gas in the area.  (and then some, I’m just summarizing)

Wait, this video was filmed in 2012.  Was this resolved?  A quick view of the comments below implies that it has (with one comment stating that it is resolved).

A quick search of the internet and the agreement is found and is available.  This release was done on December 18, 2012 and is in favor of preserving the area, and for Shell to withdraw plans from exploring for natural gas in the Kapplan.

Is this actually a form of Ted Talks protest?  Was Davis able to gather enough support from the Ted Talks specifically to affect matters?  Or was the Tahltan Central Council able to succeed on its own?

I’m afraid some of these are questions I am unable to answer, however it is also readily apparent that this subject of debate is far from over.  As of a few days ago, the Keystone XL pipeline was in the headlines as it was being placed into question by the president of the United States.

So it certainly does not seem that this Ted Talk is moot, despite the fact the primary subject in question has been resolved.  Nor are Ted Talks the front means to bring awareness to the issue.  (Another commenter mentions searching for Moccasins on the Ground, and this brings up the Tar Sands blockade:  Found here:

And as these issues are ongoing, I will curve back to the subject which is this Ted Talk.  As it has been resolved, it might be better to bring up my own reactions as opposed to questions.

Davis shows some of the most beautiful pictures I’ve seen regarding the wonder of nature.

Now I have clearly identified myself as a Canadian and over the years every time Canada is mentioned in an advertisement, the first image they bring up (and I mentally bring up) is its beautiful nature filled environments (plus the sound of a loon).  On the flip side, when Davis describes the pictures as my backyard I lose the suspension of disbelief a lecture begins with.  It ISN’T “my” backyard, in the sense for a city dwelling mouse in a maze.  I understand the idea that this serenity belongs to all of us, yet I don’t immediately recognize it as my own backyard and thus I have to connect a mental bridge to see it as anyone’s backyard.

It’s a very vague point but I am under the impression that this is one of the reasons why a talk like this is delivered in this manner.  The words seem precise, and specific to this reason.

In searching more about this kind of topic, it also brings up the question of tar sands.  I’ve heard for years, that the tar sands was this wellspring of an economy but I don’t know the specifics.  I see commercials when I go to the movies regarding how they’re developing technology around it.

A quick search on Youtube for “Tar Sands Learn more” brings pages upon pages of material to absorb.  (too much to link all of them)  However it does let me know how blind I am to the situation and I would assume that I have at least about twenty hours of video and articles to ingest (that’s a guess) before I could even attempt to make a judgement call on what I’m seeing.

So what does my gut tell me right now?  What would I believe to be important without knowing a single thing?  Or I suppose, how should I interpret this Ted Talk in regards to Davis’ subject?

The photographs are beautiful.  If I had seen them isolated from the talk, I might naturally believed them to be from Canada.  However, the photographs alone are not enough to compel me to think about it further.  So to speak, it is a pleasing distraction but it isn’t one I’m directly associating to the day to day life of a city based individual.  I have to make a few mental steps to re-associate myself with the fact that environment plays its own role in the human living equation.

For instance,  single person, who happens to be hard working, contributes to society, etc, happens to live in a condo.  The equivalent of a tiny cube located in the sky.

A family, equivalent to the above, lives in a house in the suburbs,  A larger space required for a larger number of people but they too might effectively have a cube of space to themselves individually.

Insert a farmer.  An individual who needs acres of land and in order to produce, requires a much larger, more vast amount of space.  This audience seems like the first to understand the quandary at large.

Now let’s go out on a limb here and go HIGHLY specific.  A person that creates goods from ‘free range’ livestock (eg> I dunno, a fisherman), and suddenly you’re not just including a person but the animal’s territories of space for work.  I’m not even going to guess how this might expand if that animal was a predator (eg> a wolf) that had to follow another creature’s migration patterns.  (enlarging the amount of space required yet again).

The contrast is gigantic.  It isn’t surprising that city based individuals may consider themselves more observers than participants to the ordeal in question.  And even a bigger question, even in a world of social media, would information be enough to compel people to care?  Would they need to experience it first?  How does one get that experience without being invited to it?

This is quite hypothetical, so I’m going to do some more research.

On the other hand, what I do know, is that when a commercial about Canada appears, what I expect to see is the beautiful nature filled environment.

That says something on its own too.

Happy Canada Day,


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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in TED Talks


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