Friday, July 31, 2009

Catastrophes Are Not Always What They Promise

“No fish story: Chemical spill in river will benefit salmon … The recovery of the Cheakamus River may be more rapid and vigorous than anyone imagined when a catastrophic chemical spill wiped out fish in the Squamish-area stream in 2005,” said the report.[1]

And such is life in this crazy world.

Yet, only a year earlier (less than one year after the chemical spill) the Cheakamus River tied for first in the Outdoor Recreation Council’s 14th Annual List of British Columbia’s most endangered rivers.[2]

The chemical spilled, caustic soda, is basically neutralised once it reaches sea water by the one percent magnesium in the sea water to produce everyday antacid--like “Mylanta” we buy in our supermarkets. The chemical also ‘cleansed’ the river bed of algae and parasites.

I heard an announcer on radio recently marvel at the sight of the gorgeous pink hues resplendent on the sunset horizon produced by smoke from a regional bushfire. To think that anything good could come of such a destructive thing, points us to God in our world. And to think further of the new forest growth initiated whenever a fire sweeps through.

And what does this tell us?

Things are not always what they seem at surface level. We’re quick, however, at seeing the worst in an instant, not holding thought for an expectant faith to break through with sight of the miraculous, unpredictable surprise.

Why would we fear the catastrophes in our midsts? We can plainly not do much about them (unless we’re directly involved), and if we truly believe God controls the universe, we’ll have the tools and the technology at hand to make the situation better.

What a deceit it is to be hemmed in by fear and driven on a whim by the Tabloids. That sort of thinking brings us to death in the past and useless for any real and good impact on the world today.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.
[1] Vancouver Sun, No fish story: Chemical spill in river will benefit salmon. Report: 11 July 2007. Retrieved on 28 July 2009.
[2] Vancouver Sun, Annual list of endangered B.C. rivers 20 March 2006.
Acknowledgement also to Mr. Leith Higgins, Scientific Officer for the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia, for information on the Cheakamus River incident.

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