“I love China, but it breaks my heart,” I used to say. Now I feel the same way about Canada. Another beautiful country going to ruin because of a destructive and fearful government and a populace who, for the most part, is unwilling/unable to right the ship.
Ever since learning about environmental journalist Stephen Leahy’s work on exposing the truth about why Canadians are allowing the tar sands to happen, I’ve felt an increasing sense of duty to be back in Canada to fight as hard as I can for the country I love. I don’t mean to be vain at all – I’m under no illusion that I will make any difference in Canadian politics and policy. But better to have tried and failed than to have surrendered before making any attempt – at least that way I can sleep at night knowing I put up a fight.
Having said that, I’m also acutely aware that “a single grain of rice can tip the scale” (Disney movies have the best quotes). I can’t afford to be apathetic and hopeless when so many young Canadians are. A friend of mine from Queen’s said, “We need you in Canada” and I can feel myself being drawn back home. Realistically, who knows what’s in store for me in the next 2-3 years.
The obstacle now is, if I’m going to be serious about saving my beloved country from being ruled by fear, distrust and hopelessness, I need to learn how best to help. I don’t think it’ll be easy or fun, but war is neither, and this feels a lot like war. And I’m so unprepared and untrained that I don’t even know what our weapons are!
Just had a brainwave. My supervisor where I intern told me that she wants to do a PhD, possibly in the field of energy and gender, and wants to get the WFC (the organisation) to kind of fund it, since it’s absolutely related to the work of the WFC. She half-joked that I could do my master’s thesis on oceans policy, since that’s probably next year’s big theme. Oceans policy is really not my thing. There are a couple of potential thesis ideas floating around on my computer, and most of them are more philosophical/psychological/economic, and definitely not legal. Legal is very difficult for me to understand – and care about.
But the tar sands and Canada’s environment I care about very much. Canadians I care about. And the creation of a “climate of fear” and manipulation of the public’s priorities is very, very interesting. Hence… what if I wrote about the tar sands (environmental) and why Canadians are allowing it (social/psychological/philosophcial) and what the politicians are doing (political/economic/psychological/social) and what our legal code actually says about all this (legal/political)?
Would be sick if WFC would ‘fund’ it, but I might enjoy it regardless, and feel more motivated knowing my work and research will go beyond mere academic curiosity and actually serve a purpose. And something topical can also get published – not in an academic journal, fuck those guys, but in a special interest publication.