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Eric’s Bio (cont’d)

As a former helicopter pilot, some of my favourite memories are of flying over the vast areas in Canada where there is no sign of human habitation. Some days, I would fly at my maximum service ceiling just to see if I could see a house or a road. It was the best view in the world!
Once in a while, I arrived at a place where no man had ever been and the untouched beauty of the wilderness would give me an ominous feeling. It could have been a mountain top, a lake, or a vast wetlands, but sometimes, I almost felt like I should turn back and leave this place to the animals. I was the explorer, the first human to arrive like an alien on an uninhabited planet with many to follow. Those immense stretches of wilderness have vastly decreased in size since my flying career. Pipelines, roads and power lines cut the landscape up into bite sized bits of resource properties for human exploitation, and it’s a shame.
The animals which had never seen humans now contend with noisy machinery and the forest the animals call home is cut down or carved up for human consumption. You can see it from passenger planes when flying between major centres in Canada. The vast herds of buffalo could not exist in this age with our division of land assets defined with physical barriers and alterations. As the forest degrades, the animal’s options for survival diminish. The vast macro and microcosms which build the environmental fabric of our land becomes thinner and diminished every time someone cuts down a tree.
The oceans are suffering a similar fate. Shipping channels set up sonic highways which confuse the sonar locating creatures and we are only just starting to realize that we can’t dump all our garbage and toxic waste into the ocean to hide it.
Now, with the recent ship collision resulting in the death of Orca J-34, only 78 Southern Resident Orcas remain. They cannot survive as a species if we continue to invade their only habitat. It’s time to realize the impact and risk we put these mammals in as we continue with our unchecked growth and exploitation of the environment.
It won’t be long before we reach the tipping point for their extinction, if we haven’t already.

Eric Pittman