Saturday, April 21, 2012

Medicine Hat, the Gas City

As I write this we're passing through Medicine Hat (the Gas City, as the sign says), on our way home from a nine day driving adventure from Victoria to Manitoba and back.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough on the camera draw to get a photo of the Hat's sign.

I wonder if residents wonder about the irony of a city named for healing, and destruction, at the same time.  I suppose they don’t think much about it, and if they do they probably argue that the gas economy is what keeps their community healthy and vibrant.  For now, I suppose.  But the word “medicine” implies, at least to me, something bigger than the mere economics of human activity.  And the word “gas” implies, to me, destruction of environment, pollution, and radical global climate change.  Yes, oil and gas exploration has improved our collective quality of life, providing heat and the ability to live comfortably, but it’s old technology and time, now, to consider alternatives. 

happy earth day