Earth awareness, identity, and the lands

This month, along with religious events like Passover and Easter, we celebrate Earth Awareness once again, including the Earth Day Festival at Terra Nova Rural Park on April 24. A year ago, Richmond’s Howard Jampolsky reflected about his journey to earth awareness. His reflections are timely and worth revisiting.

Naturally, that inner journey took place in the terrain of Howard’s identity. He is a family person, business person, and much more. I encourage you to read his whole column, “16. Earth Awareness” on this blog, but here’s the philosophical framework.

Howard begins,

What has sharpened my Earth awareness is the Garden City Lands, a Richmond issue with wide impact.

He continues:

As I reflect about the issue, I recall how my views about it have evolved, and I realize how relevant it has become to me as a politically active citizen with a Jewish religious and cultural identity. Whatever your political, cultural, and religious identity, perhaps my account will nudge you to think about the issue’s relevance to you.

After a helpful review of the issue, he comes back to this:

Naturally, I perceive all this through a Jewish prism. The “Save Garden City” movement that I have come to appreciate and embrace is respectful of the community, its individual human beings, and its partners in charting the future of invaluable land. That is in keeping with our core values.

As in Israel, which produces most of the food for so many residents in so little space, the role of local food has come to the fore with the Garden City Lands issue. Our province, I learned, was once largely self-sustaining but now produces less than half what its people eat. Meanwhile, our reliance on imported food is threatened by an enemy across the border, the worsening California water shortage.

Much “Save Garden City” support comes from beyond Richmond, and one reason is that the decision about removing the property from the ALR was seen as pivotal. If power could dictate the loss of fertile farmland, the precedent could be fatal for the ALR. Coming back to the importance of passing on value, m’Dor, I suggest that ALR land, food-producing land, is vital to bequeath to British Columbia’s future generations.

My final point is related to the complexity of the Garden City Lands issue. It was hard to grasp, especially when a well-funded campaign was confusing the issue. Similarly, an issue like global climate change is hard to grasp. I have learned that we sometimes need to go the extra mile to be aware.

To read the whole column in this window, click on “16. Earth Awareness” in this blog’s menu. To read it in a new window, click here. Happy journeys!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s