Orca breaching and blowing. Photo © digicla via Creative Commons and flickr

Among groups of people, ignoring somebody is often considered a sign of disrespect. The word disrespect itself means disregard, overlook, to not acknowledge or look at something.

Over the last dozen years, we have seen disrespect for federal legislation. The Species at Risk Act became law in December 2002, but for most of its existence it has been disregarded by the very government responsible for enacting the law.

No wonder citizen groups are striking out independently. For example, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, the Dogwood Initiative, Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society and South Vancouver Island Anglers Association recently announced they would start taking their own action to save the region’s orcas.

The feds declared southern resident orcas endangered 12 years ago. The Species at Risk Act requires the government to develop recovery strategies and action plans for the species within a set period. However, the required federal action plan to protect orcas remains incomplete….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Olympia Oyster. Photo © Deep Bay Marine Field Station, Vancouver Island University, www.viu/deepbay

Beneath the quiet surface of the Gorge Waterway and Portage Inlet, life, death and survival play out in a drama affecting a rare, tasty B.C. marine species.

The Olympia oyster is the only oyster species native to the province. Once abundant from Alaska to Panama, it disappeared from much of its habitat by the early 20th century, a victim of its own tastiness, overfishing, and waters contaminated with sewage, chemicals and sediment that poisoned and suffocated the oyster beds. The fished-out waters included the Gorge Waterway, from which the oyster was considered locally extinct by the 1920s.

The state of Olympia oyster populations in the province remains such that Canada’s Species at Risk Act lists it as a species of special concern.

However, the oyster has surprised everyone. Some years back, researchers found the small, unprepossessing-looking mollusc had returned and set up house in the Gorge.

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Dead Annas hummingbird. Photo © Lenore M. Edman, www.evilmadscientist.com, creative commons

Tonight, at 8:30 p.m., many people, businesses and institutions here on the eco-friendly south coast will be turning out the lights.

We’re taking part in Earth Hour, an international grassroots event started by former-Pearson International College graduate Todd Sampson and now hosted by the World Wildlife Federation. The goal is to celebrate our commitment to the planet by cutting energy consumption for an hour, raising awareness of our own, individual impacts on the environment, and sending a message to policy makers.

The event’s success in attracting participation is astounding. Since its start in 2007, the event has spread from Sydney, Australia, to more than 7,000 towns and cities in 153 countries. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, New York City’s Empire State Building, Seattle’s Space Needle, Ontario’s Niagara Falls and CN Tower, and our own B.C. Legislature will go dark for Earth Hour tonight—among hundreds of landmarks around the world.

The global nature of the event means a wave of more-dimness-than-usual will circle the planet, time zone by time zone.

In a way, it’s too bad the direction of the wave of darkness doesn’t run, say, from the equator to the planet’s poles. Oh, I get the circle-the-globe thing, but supposing it were possible for the wave to go from zero degrees latitude northwards, for instance, another emblem of the global web of ecological connectedness would also benefit from the resulting path of reduced lighting.

That emblem is the songbird….

Reach the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….