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About The Song, "Live More Lightly"

The more I research the current climate crisis, the more concerned I become. All too predictably, the climate summit in Bali did not embrace any new ideas. Those who are in power feel more threatened by change than by the possibility that the earth may be uninhabitable.

My son pointed out to me that nothing that I am saying is new, Al Gore has received huge publicity and support throughout the world. Yet, three people who were planning to attend the conference in Bali were detained by the Indonesian government for speaking to a group of villagers about a planned garbage incinerator in their area. In Bali, these environmentalists would be speaking to other foreigners and to representatives of the Indonesian government, so that is permissible and safe. But raising awareness of pollution as a health and safety issue in the community, where citizens might learn some facts and become upset, is actively discouraged.

My unfortunate experience as an activist in Canada has taught me that most of these conferences and public meetings are intended to keep concerned citizens and knowledgeable experts busy, while the decision makers proceed with their original plan. It allows them to put out press releases with opening statements like, “After extensive consultation with stakeholders, we have decided that the best course of action is …”.

Now, I want to use my song to encourage people to “Live More Lightly”. The only method I have tried that has had any success is to vote with my purchasing power, minimal though it may be. It is my decision to pre-cycle by refusing to buy over-packaged merchandise, non-recyclable plastic, processed foods and other small every day items. These decisions direct my money into the green consumer category, and if similar choices can be made by many individuals — it will make a difference.

In our society, we are limited in what we can do. Realistically, I cannot imagine being able to affect a huge change in the global economy, which I firmly believe is required. I am trying to do something that I can do — create a song that can become a personal statement to encourage individuals to do “Just one thing now, to make a stand, and live more lightly upon the land”.

I am not trying to be “Greener than thou”, I know that some people are self-righteous about how environmentally friendly they are, but I always feel I can learn to do more. I drive a propane powered van in the winter that uses a lot more fossil fuel than I like. Even when I use the bus, it belches diesel smoke into the air or uses hydro from coal burning plants or huge, environment destroying hydro projects. I still have garbage to throw out and broken electronics that I am saving for the day I can re-cycle them.

This project is to promote the beauty and diversity of the land and it’s people and to bring them a song. I am trying to achieve this in the most environmentally friendly way I can. Other people might be able to ride a bicycle, in fact I was inspired last summer by someone who was riding his bike from Saskachewan to the Sunshine Coast and back. However, I am organizing a tour and I can’t let people down. I have to have some reasonable method of meeting a schedule. I will also be carrying a lot of video equipment, an uplink and a computer. I am not a large or strong person, so the best I can do is a very economical motorcycle.

This is part of the philosophy of this song and this journey — everyone should be encouraged to do what they can do. People should be encouraged to take one step, not condemned because they cannot instantly reach some green goal that does not fit their lifestyle. We are running out of time, but I am trying to take responsibility for my own footprint and dedicating my time to raising awareness.

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