The other day I was killing a bit of time at a Starbucks in Saskatoon. Shortly after laying out my wallet, phone and computer on the table the bowel loosening aroma of my americano took hold of me. I wasn’t comfortable leaving my table unattended incase someone stole my valuables. So instead I asked a woman close to me if she would watch my things for a few moments, to which she graciously agreed.
I realized that invoking the help of a stranger is a bit odd when one fears the stranger entity to begin with. I was worried about someone in that cafe stealing my stuff but I was confident that this woman would not be the culprit. If I had simply left my table unattended a thief might be unsure if I am simply waiting for my drink at the counter, sitting momentarily at another table or possibly in the bathroom but with no reference of when I would emerge. Instead, I made an effort to point out to a complete stranger that for the next few minutes my money, identity and brand new electronics would be completely up for grabs if she so desired them. The fact that she had a face and hearing her voice was all I needed to establish a bond of trust.
I realized that the vast majority of the time I would be comfortable leaving my things in the hands of anyone, which negates the need to do so in the first place. I’m not saying I won’t continue to do it, as there is no denying we are creatures of strange habits, but to recognize the fallacy does give humanity another point in my books.
Earlier this week I got sucked into another Facebook debate over this posted image:
(Image won’t post so here’s the link instead)
And this follow up comment: “That’s why we call it “The Texas of Canada.”
He then went so far as to call people who he considered to be too lazy to explore alternative lifestyles assholes. I chimed in to defend the land auction and the harvesting of oil. I’m a big nature lover but I love the benefits of oil as well. I thought I would object to the simplistic view of money loving, destroy the world oil companies and point out the reasons why carefully exploiting this land is a very good thing. My argument goes something like this:
1. Alberta and Texas harvest oil because THEY HAVE THE OIL RESERVES!
2. Alberta sits on 11% of the world’s oil reserves and therefor we have a responsibiity to the whole world to retrieve it as the world uses a lot of oil and will continue to do so for decades to come.
3. Oil isn’t just good for greedy people and their luxuries. It is essential for almost everything involved in food, water, shelter, transportation, communication, and even the development of alternative energy sources. People who do not make drastic life changes are not necessarily lazy or apathetic
4. Even eco-friendly people such as this Facebook user use an awful lot of oil simply by living in society. The work place that they bike to is powered by oil, the organic food they like is harvested by machines and shipped in on big trucks and the solar panels and electric cars they promote are not options for most people due to outrageous costs. Even to stage these Facebook protests they are using oil. If oil harvesting halted today, everyone would be hunting Caribou tomorrow.
5. I love nature but Human interest comes first. If the last Caribou have to go so that I can fly to exotic lands and hungry people can farm for food then so be it.
6. Oil companies know they are under constant scrutiny and therefor have strict operating standards. Technology is also wicked cool and can help minimize environmental damage.
In other words, Fuck the Caribou.