Home Editorial Sit and talk about the weather 

Sit and talk about the weather 

Megan Kanerahtenha:wi Whyte The Eastern Door

The old adage in journalism (or maybe we made it up, who knows?) is when things get a little dry, talk or write about the weather. 

We have written about the oil spill in this space, about the Survival School trees, about the Mohawk Council’s ups and downs, and about all the important topics of the current day, so this week, well, it’s the strange weather we’ve been having.  

We draw the line at writing about Bar B Barn’s closure on March 17, although that’s a very hot topic right now – you either love their ribs or you hate them, no real in between, so dig in! 

At first blush, talking about the weather is considered a time-chomping tactic to either get to the next topic or get out of really talking to someone. Some people get as excited or upset about the weather as they do about Bar B Barn, but hey, we digress. 

On a serious note, the weather isn’t just a topic of passing discussion. With the lack of snow and cold this year, records have been set and will continue to be set moving into spring, because, well, the only ones happier than those who hate the cold and snow are the snow-plow operators who have signed guaranteed contracts. They probably used their savings on gas to buy at least a whole hawg at Bar B for their entire family. 

But with this lack of snow comes consequences. The maple syrup season and your favourite sugar shacks won’t be the same – with even one winter like this putting some in serious financial jeopardy. 

The animals and the trees are confused, as is the soil itself, and although changes aren’t always prevalent, believe us when we say you’d rather have the tougher winters so you can enjoy the nicer springs, summers and falls. 

Climate change can happen naturally, but coupled with big oil and gas, mining, and other extraction methods that destroy our planet, well, Mother Earth is taking a beating, and we’re not doing enough to stop it. 

We are in a climate crisis but also a crisis of conscience. Do we care enough to stop destroying where we live? To stop building condos on top of condos? To actually preserve habitats of animals we don’t see the everyday benefit of? 

No one likes to dress their kids up when they’re fussy in big winter clothes, but we’d rather brave that cold and make memories than sit inside and lament the lack of ice to play with, the lack of hill to tumble down from, the lack of snow to cushion our kids’ butts on that trusty sled we all love to pull. 

The seasonal elements around us make for the most important topics in terms of long-term living, and at the same time, the most boring at the dinner table – but make no mistake, we should all be concerned. 

When a tree is budding in February, that’s not normal, and it will contribute to the natural cycle being altered to the point our entire seasons could be unrecognizable mere years from now. It has already changed so much from our childhoods, and comparisons are made all the time because we can’t believe the weather has changed that much in such a short period. 

Mother Nature is telling us a story with the drastic changes in her patterns, and we must pay attention and take notes. She’s showing us what can happen if we continue our overall selfish ways as people, and she certainly doesn’t have any pity on us. 

How the story continues, and how your chapter ends when you leave, depends on what is done to address the huge amount of stress we’re all facing, individually and as a collective. 

The end hasn’t been written yet, but the worst-case scenario is looming, and we’re running out of pages. 

This article was originally published in print on March 8 in issue 33.10 of The Eastern Door.

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Eastern Door Editor/Publisher Steve Bonspiel started his journalism career in January 2003 with The Nation magazine, a newspaper serving the Cree of northern Quebec.
Since that time, he has won numerous regional and national awards for his in-depth, impassioned writing on a wide variety of subjects, including investigative pieces, features, editorials, columns, sports, human interest and hard news.
He has freelanced for the Montreal Gazette, Toronto Star, Windspeaker, Nunatsiaq News, Calgary Herald, Native Peoples Magazine, and other publications.
Among Steve's many awards is the Paul Dumont-Frenette Award for journalist of the year with the Quebec Community Newspapers Association in 2015, and a back-to-back win in 2010/11 in the Canadian Association of Journalists' community category - one of which also garnered TED a short-list selection of the prestigious Michener award.
He was also Quebec Community Newspapers Association president from 2012 to 2019, and continues to strive to build bridges between Native and non-Native communities for a better understanding of each other.

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Eastern Door Editor/Publisher Steve Bonspiel started his journalism career in January 2003 with The Nation magazine, a newspaper serving the Cree of northern Quebec. Since that time, he has won numerous regional and national awards for his in-depth, impassioned writing on a wide variety of subjects, including investigative pieces, features, editorials, columns, sports, human interest and hard news. He has freelanced for the Montreal Gazette, Toronto Star, Windspeaker, Nunatsiaq News, Calgary Herald, Native Peoples Magazine, and other publications. Among Steve's many awards is the Paul Dumont-Frenette Award for journalist of the year with the Quebec Community Newspapers Association in 2015, and a back-to-back win in 2010/11 in the Canadian Association of Journalists' community category - one of which also garnered TED a short-list selection of the prestigious Michener award. He was also Quebec Community Newspapers Association president from 2012 to 2019, and continues to strive to build bridges between Native and non-Native communities for a better understanding of each other.