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June 21, 2018

We all use inaccurate expressions. Take for example the concept that today is the longest day of the year. It isn’t of course: they are all pretty much 24 hours. But everyone knows what it means – that this is the day that has the longest amount of daylight. At least in the northern hemisphere.

I revel in the geometry of the Earth’s rotation around the Sun and its 23.5 degree off-kilter axis. On June 21 and December 21, the world gets it longest and shortest periods of daylight, depending on where you are. It also means that on December 21 in Canada the days start getting longer, before the cold weather has even set in, and on June 21 the daylight starts getting shorter, before the heat of summer has truly hit.

Both these wonders occur because the Earth takes a long time to heat up, and to cool down. And both – the on-set of the reversal of recent trends and the time it takes for things to change – are sometimes hard for people to perceive, weigh, and either accept or resist.

Which brings me to today. I wish everyone a great summer. Get your batteries re-charged, do some summer reading, and consider new strategies to defend Ontario’s natural heritage.

We may be hearing some discouraging news on several fronts in the near future, such as program and budget cuts for environmental initiatives. We may even be faced with new programs based on alternate facts or lesser courage than we think might be required to protect the planet, the province, and the air, soil, and water upon which we all depend.

We must remain strong, connected, and supportive of sustainable development: development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

And we may need an open mind to articulate, in the best ways possible, why and how we should pursue sustainable development when talking to people with their own perspectives on reality: people who may think that that a rising tide raises all boats, when it also means more beach erosion, that houses and wharves will need to be rebuilt, and that lives may be lost or forever altered.

Enjoy the day, get those batteries re-charged and, as always, I look forward to chatting with you downstream.

Andrew