Hymne à la terre

Témoignages de leaders en environnement.   Comment et pourquoi ils se sont engagés dans leur cause. 


Ode to the earth

Stories of New Brunswick environmental leaders and how they became involved




















Ode to the earth ~ 
Hymne à la terre 


Science and Whales 
By David Coon
February 2006

n the mid 1970's I was studying biology at McGill University and active with Greenpeace McGill and Greenpeace Montreal. I had entered the Faculty of Science with the idea of pursuing a career as an ecologist. My assumption was that the best way for me to contribute to the environmental movement was to help generate the necessary science.

At the time Greenpeace was engaged in direct action to stop commercial whaling. The solid science that had been done to support a ban on commercial whaling had not moved the nations belonging to the International Whaling Commission to enact a ban. The experience of driving a number of species of whales to the brink of extinction was not enough to move the countries to action. It was activism and the resulting public outcry that provided the impetus for action. The images of Greenpeacers zooming around in Zodiacs, placing their bodies between the whales and harpooners were beamed around the world. Grassroots organizing moved into overdrive in the countries belonging to the International Whaling Commission. High level lobbying suddenly had a rapidly growing public constituency around the world. Commercial whaling was banned.

Good science is absolutely necessary to advance environmental sustainability, but it is insufficient. Rational argument based on solid science is essential, but inadequate. Grassroots organizing, consciousness and conscience- raising, creating opportunities for the public to bear witness to the consequences of pollution and plunder, envisioning possibilities for doing things differently - in other words activism and advocacy are what it takes to create change.


Par Daniel LeBlanc 
Sentinelle Petitcodiac Riverkeeper
Février 2006

on intérêt pour la rivière Petitcodiac remonte à mon enfance, lorsque j'ai commencé à entendre parler des effets du pont-chaussée dans mon entourage. En grandissant, je voyais la rivière se détériorer année après année et me souviens que son état me rendait triste. 

Ce n'est que plus tard, alors étudiant, que j'ai pu m'initier à la lutte pour sauver la Petitcodiac, que j'ai compris que des dizaines de milliers de gens de notre région souffraient des impacts négatifs de ce pont-chaussée et qu'il y avait des solutions simples pour restaurer la rivière (ouvrir les vannes). C'est l'injustice entourant le problème qui m'a d'abord motivé à m'engager.


Wanted : A better world for children 
By Sabine Dietz & Roland Chiasson
February 2006

hy care? Because it is arrogant to think that we have a right to damage and destroy in order for us to enjoy ourselves. Yes, this is up for interpretation, but it is the basis for why we believe in what we do.

Our backgrounds are very different, one coming from a crowded Germany where very little breathing space and "natural" nature are left. The other from a Catholic background with a kid's interest in and love for birds. We both care deeply about nature and all that lives within. We also feel that whatever we can do, with whatever tools we might have available, in trying to change people's attitudes towards nature and the environment, is worth a try. Having two young girls has made this so much more important to us. When they ask us why things are so bad, at least we can say that we tried.



Essential Water 
By Beth McLaughlin
SOS Eau Water Sankwan

February 2006

rivatize Moncton's water system? What kind of crazy idea is that? When one thinks that water is essential, water is shared by all, we cannot dig a well in our back yard and have our own water supply!

And privatizing means profits for the company. What is the idea behind paying taxes? To share the load together… What to do? - attend a meeting and find out more, learn that indeed, some giant water multinational with a trail of corruption and bribery behind it (bribing city officials, some actual convictions of high-level company and municipal officials).

How could a person not get involved? Why - something as essential as water means being on the correct side of the argument, so you've already won! Then, water is an emotional issue, one which speaks right to the gut - when one knows about it, it is impossible not to get involved at some level.

What elements have attracted me to become involved in environmental issues? First, love of the Earth, spending time outside - and second, the understanding that the Earth is the source of all, from our food to our cars, clothes, all comes from the Earth.