Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On The Line - Frank Wolf

Rating ****

This article was about two friends, one who is a wild adventurer, and the other who has never been in a canoe before. They set off on a 75 day canoe trip through Canada’s boreal forest starting in Winnipeg on Red River and plan to paddle to Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. Their route of rivers goes up and down over the 51st parallel which is the line that separates the boreal forest in the north from the industrialized south. The article talks about how helpful the Boreal forest is to our planet because it drops carbon levels, but it is starting to get destroyed. As the two friends move along the Albany River, they meet locals who tell them about the 2 major dams that are planned to be built on the river by 2020. This project would destroy the surrounding forests and wilderness. There are already mining projects in the area underway that have cleared 5000 hectares of forest. They then travel though the Mattagami River which is a river that rises and drops based on electrical demands of people who have never even heard of it. On their third day up this river, they have to wait in the morning for people to turn on their computers and lights to get the river running again with its brown foamy water.

This article reminded me a lot of the movie Paddle to Seattle that we saw at the film festival because of their friendship and experiences along their long journey. It also reminded of the movie Facing east about the Yangtze River, and how it is being destroyed. This article shows that it is not only rivers on the other side of the world that are dying, but also many Canadian rivers and we don’t even realize it. The two guys that went on the trip wrote the article to help raise awareness and help show people what is happening to the rivers in the own province, and since we have become so dependant on technology and use so much power, they need to destroy nature to be able to create power for us.

Wolf, Frank. “On The Line.” Canoeroots Magazine. February 2009. Print.

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