Go Culloden on those Scots invaders

Environmental problems may seem too big to handle, but here's something you can do to make a real difference

The issues seem overwhelming and who knows, maybe they are.

Our climate is warming up and our governments in Ottawa and Victoria  not only seem unable to deal with it and not only unwilling to try, but  is actually moving — sprinting — backwards on the issue.

Sometimes it seems like there’s really nothing that one person can do to deal with the environmental tsunami that’s heading our way and it can be tempting to just sit down on the couch, turn on the idiot box and let the chips fall where they may.

However, I take some comfort in the words of Mark Twain, who said the secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable jobs, and then starting on the first one.

It sounds simple and it is. I guess the problem with that philosophy is deciding what that first step might be.

Well, here’s a suggestion to anyone who feels powerless and overwhelmed: fight back.

I’m not talking about Molotov cocktails, drones or explosive vests here. The weapons of choice for this particular battle are much more basic, but hopefully, just as deadly for this weekend’s enemy of choice.

The weapons? A pair of loppers and a whole lot of grit and determination. Join up with the Broombusters to wrestle out some of the Scotch broom that has invaded the area and each spring turns the roadsides in Parksville a brilliant and deadly yellow. Deadly? Oh yes. Just try being a native plant species competing with these Highland horrors.

True, doing a Culloden on these McPlants may seem like a small thing in the overall picture of environmental degradation, but it’s something — something tangible that pretty much anyone can do. Yes, it will be sweaty, hard work, but just about anything can be made fun if, like me, you have a rich inner life.

Is your boss being a total jerk at work? Funny, you could swear that great, hulking yellow broom plant looks just like him or her. Take that, ya numpty nippet! Ooh, that’s gotta hurt!

Maybe it’s one of our political leaders that has you steamed? Cut back on my EI would you Stephen Harper? Make me work two more years into my dotage before I can get the pension? Steal the election and waste our money on a bunch of over-priced fighter jets? Well take that! And that! And that!

Perhaps it’s the uber rich investment bankers or corporate executives who have you ready to blow. No problem. If you look closely enough and maybe squint a bit, you could swear those broom plants look just like Donald Trump or  Bernie Madoff.

Maybe you’re a history buff who is still irate about the war. Take that Mussolini! That that Hitler! The front is moving forwards! Come on lads! Over the top!  What the heck. Maybe it’s me. Did I spell your name wrong or take your picture with a mouthful of food? Snip! Maybe you’re not angry. Maybe you’re lonely. Well, I’ve always believed that shared activity is the best way to build community. I’m not suggesting that lopping broom will be the start of a beautiful friendship, but stranger things have happened.

The cut is happening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the more people just like you who rally to the cause, the more of a difference we can make. It won’t change the world, but I bet Mark Twain would see it as a great first step.

Visit broombusters.org for details.