The Irony of it All
What is described here occurred in early April, just after the snow melted. It happened on Gladstone Avenue, in that part of Ottawa known as Little Italy. There were three of us in the car moving east toward Bronson Avenue from Booth Street when we noticed a throng of people displaying placards about our world climate crisis. There were about a hundred of them walking in pairs on the sidewalks on either side of the street. However, a dozen, or fewer, chose to occupy the traffic lane descending the hill near St. Anthony’s Church.
Directly behind them was a large truck with those vertical chrome-plated exhaust pipes spewing diesel fuel into the air. It is only conjecture on my part why this was unfolding that way. Had the driver of the truck honked the horn in derision of the marchers? Had that driver wanted to express his support? Might those who were walking have felt provoked by this? Might the recent Freedom Convoy have been on the minds of those who stepped out onto the street in front of that truck?
Whatever the reason, there were other vehicles behind that truck, including another with dual diesel exhaust pipes.
This was also a bus route and one of those diesel buses was approaching the lengthening bottleneck, adding to the air pollution. That bus would be delayed, leaving frustrated people standing at stops awaiting its arrival. Two trucks that had been removing debris from a construction site near Booth Street were also disrupted. Had these things been considered by those who chose to occupy the lane of traffic moving towards Booth Street?
How ironic, I thought, that well-intentioned individuals would convey a message other than what they had intended.
There were no police cruisers in the area. Yet any intervention by police would probably have been welcomed. After all, how can you fine people who are focusing attention on our climate crisis when you allowed what happened during the Freedom Convoy?
This all unfolded well before Earth Day. Yet, should not every day be an Earth Day? In all, there were about a hundred marchers. Was the walk a spontaneous one organized through social media within the local community? Were the police even made aware of the walk itself? These are but a few of the reflections that went through my mind.
There is also, of course, the threat of a World War where nuclear weapons could potentially be used. Hypersonic missiles carrying multiple nuclear warheads capable of destroying most life on planet earth leave that apocalyptic feeling. Have you noticed the present build-up of the war industry throughout the Eastern and Western worlds? Have you noticed the realignment of nations, the confrontation of totalitarianism with democracies around the world?
These are sober thoughts that I hate to write about. Should there not be mass protests demanding nuclear disarmament?
It is frightening to contemplate but the Vladimir Putin-like world leaders should give us pause for concern. With all that, during this lovely spring season as nature unfolds in all its glory, it seems ironic that I am concluding by wishing peace and goodwill to you and all your loved ones.