Travelling with Greta Thunberg in mind

Living with your environmental choices and the ones others make for you while on the road

Travelling with Greta Thunberg in mindWe must reckon with the environmental impacts of our personal travel decisions in this time of climate crisis. For us, it was our current trip – to hike in northern Italy with friends, just after my wife’s retirement and, coincidentally, climate activist Greta Thunberg’s trip to New York from Sweden on a sailboat – that…

Big tech created a fractious, annoyed, malfunctioning world

Where’s the evidence that the values this new world order has created produce happiness, fulfilment and the well-lived life?

Big tech created a fractious, annoyed, malfunctioning worldA great article by Andrew Marantz in a recent issue of the New Yorker called Silicon Valley’s Crisis of Conscience details the struggle of American big tech to find its soul. The central theme is the growing awareness of big tech CEOs and senior executives that their endeavours are causing massive societal psychological harm. None…

A whale of a shift in seasons on the West Coast

Blackberries, figs, grey and humpback whales, and spawning salmon all herald the arrival of autumn

A whale of a shift in seasons on the West Coast[smartslider3 slider=68] As August turns the corner to September, some notable and familiar signs of change occur at Skelhp, which is known as “The place where the ancients dropped down from the heavens and taught us how to make canoe paddles out of yew wood.” The blackberries that have been thriving over the past three…

Memories of a Transmission lost in translation

Transmission Difficulties: The Dignitaries once had a place of pride behind my father's desk. My mother eventually sold it. Now we know why

Memories of a Transmission lost in translationFor her 97th birthday, I offered to take my mother to Whistler for the day, especially to see the new Audain Art Museum. She was ecstatic at the prospect, and especially eager to see the in-house collection of works by Emily Carr and E.J. Hughes – her two favourite B.C. realist painters. Mom was a…

We need to find responsible government in a time of climate crisis

We need real leadership now to calm climate change. Will that come from government, citizens, non-government groups, business or a combination of all four?

We need to find responsible government in a time of climate crisisMonthly heat records are becoming routine (July was the hottest month on record), and people are finally waking up to the reality that climate change is occurring at a much faster pace than most thought. Yes, denial continues in some quarters, but they’re increasingly seen as crudely self- serving, science-illiterate and therefore indefensible. Recent polling…

Finding responsible work in a time of climate crisis

What are the new jobs? How do you train for them? Every old-economy business needs to plan for next-economy transitions

Finding responsible work in a time of climate crisisHow does work change in an era of climate crisis? What skills will have value and how do we acquire them? What advice do we give young people entering the job market? How do we retrain those whose skills are no longer in demand? What roles do colleges and universities play in this workplace transition?…

Change at the helm follows a deep family tradition

Subtly at first, and then with growing purpose, both our daughter and son learned how to skipper in the tradition of Cappy

Change at the helm follows a deep family traditionThe Robinsons are a fairly nautical bunch. My great-uncle Leighton Robinson was port captain of San Francisco (1905 to 1941), and prior to that (1900 to 1905) captain of the Melanope, a three-masted square rigger, rigged as a barque (1,608 registered tons and 258 feet in length) for the Sydney-to-San-Francisco trade route connecting Australia and…

It’s getting impossible to escape from Trump

Our columnist hoped his summer vacation to Vancouver Island would be free of any overheated exchanges about the U.S. President. It wasn't

It’s getting impossible to escape from TrumpI’d really hoped that we wouldn’t meet over the summer vacation. I planned a summer kayak trip out of range of cellphones and far away from cities. And that part of the strategy really worked. He was nowhere to be seen in the Broken Group or even the Tiny Group of offshore islands in Barkley…

Taking the anxiety out of long crossings in a kayak

Go early, be prepared for any eventuality, plan well, concentrate on strong paddle strokes and keep your destination dead off your bow

Taking the anxiety out of long crossings in a kayak[smartslider3 slider=60] It’s the classic ocean kayaker’s dilemma: should I wait or go now? You’re all loaded up. It’s probably early in the morning and you don’t want to delay others as your trip unfolds before you. Some or all of your trip-mates may have taken kayak water rescue courses and have at least some…

Geared up for another kayak adventure on the B.C. coast

The equipment has improved and been refined over the years, but the thrill of the backcountry remains the same

Geared up for another kayak adventure on the B.C. coastIt all started in 1978 when we decided to fly to Haida Gwaii and borrow our friends’ kayaks for trip into Gwaii Haanas (then known as the South Moresby wilderness area). We were just married and finishing grad school, with plans to move to Alberta in the fall. Our pals in Queen Charlotte City offered…

Small cities like Duncan, B.C., steward great artists

Reflecting on Canadian culture at the Dog House Restaurant and small businesses dedicated to local artisans

Small cities like Duncan, B.C., steward great artistsAs cities go, Duncan, B.C., is pretty small. In fact, it’s the smallest city by area (2.07 square km) in Canada. In 2016, it had 4,994 citizens. It was incorporated in 1912, as the star of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, an agricultural, mining and logging centre first visited by Vancouver Island Gov. James Douglas and…

Confronting retirement with thought and planning

Give yourself some time to evaluate options. Be honest with your ego and let your imagination troll through deep waters

Confronting retirement with thought and planningA lot of my friends are retiring. And there are many retirement models being thought about, reviewed, argued and applied or avoided. But it doesn’t really appear to me that any of them were exhaustively analyzed before selection. In fact, many seem to be derived from previous family practice (i.e. what parents did), simply made…

Applying the stages-of-dying model to climate change

The change we need in half a generation is before us. Each of us can play our small part to end the cycle

Applying the stages-of-dying model to climate changeThose of us who signed up for Introductory Psychology 101 as university students were likely exposed to Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s model on the five stages of dying and death. I admit I had to look them up again to write this. But once found, I immediately recalled struggling with their ordered sequence in a lecture…