July 25, 2016

In Laudato Si', Pope Francis calls each of us into action - to care for our common home. He invites us to reflect and act upon issues in our daily lives that need our care. He holds up the poorest of the poor and the oppressed for our special attention.

There is an oppression within rural Alberta that is threatening the livelihoods and indeed the lives of rural Albertans.

The free migration of methane from the earth's depths to the surface is destroying rural farmland. As methane migrates to the soil's surface, nothing can grow and the fields become non-arable.

Aquifers providing water to rural communities and to families living on and caring for the land are being contaminated. Methane, butane and ethane gases are migrating into drinking water aquifers and on into homes by way of family water wells and indoor plumbing.

Within the home, the water outlets begin singing, a light pink film may develop inside the toilet bowl, the water begins effervescing and may burn with a light blue flame when lit.

Families who are unaware of these issues may continue to consume and bathe in the toxins within the water. Methane (an odourless gas) may accumulate in the home and contribute to suffocation and explosion.

Once compromised, no science exists for reclaiming contaminated or depleted aquifers. Without potable water, rural communities, families living on the land and farmers with livestock and/or irrigation needs - will simply disappear.

Is this our dream for our home? Our Canada?

Let us bow our heads and surrender our hearts to our most loving Creator and cry out for his protection and guidance as we strive to take small but significant steps together to end this great injustice to his precious children and creation. He will hear our cries!

Tim Axe