Some 13.75 billion years ago, give or take, the Big Bang occurred.
This model of early cosmological development suggests that the universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state, which caused it to rapidly expand. The expansion (still ongoing, they say) cooled the universe enough to allow energy to form subatomic particles, which eventually would come together to form atoms, and on to stars and galaxies and so forth.
The Big Bang theory cannot accurately postulate what this initial state of "singularity" was like, nor what conditions caused the energy of the universe to be concentrated in this way. I, however, have a pretty good idea.
Singularity is like a hot, crowded, smoky nightclub. I don't have time to explain this using physics. How did it get that way? Here's how:
The energy of the universe will eventually start to collapse upon itself, until it again reaches a point of singularity, then a Big Bang will occur again, and so on ad infinitum. Once again, I don't have the space here to explain the physics, but a very similar model can be found right here in our own backyard, as all the factors that cause us here in the East Kootenay to get really, really angry are coalescing into one gigantic perfect storm of divisive issues.
Yes, our own political Big Bang is coming. Keep your heads down.
The Big Bang theory immediately came to my mind with the news that some of the recently transported mountain caribou had wandered out of the backcountry and down to the spray irrigation fields east of Cranbrook.
I could see right away the intersection of divisive issues, all represented by these expensive caribou exiting their new mountain home - after so much trouble had been taken to put them there - and seeking out the nearest hayfields. Consider all the issues, which are usually discussed in raised voices as they arise (the issues, not the voices):
• What should we do with endangered species - let nature take its course or work hard to bring them back from the brink, even at the expense of individuals from other species? (In this case, wolves, which leads us to ...)
• Culls - it's difficult to discuss the merits of culling wolves to protect caribou without having deer culls come to mind. I had no idea the human/wildlife interface could generate such emotion. Oh wait, that leads us to ...
• The elk/rancher debate - fencing, hunting, damage to pasture land, impediment to wildlife corridors (to be frank, even raising the issue without taking sides makes me a little nervous). Oh, and speaking of ranchland ...
• The spray irrigation fields, and our sewage disposal system. And don't forget ...
• Backcountry access (or lack thereof) - This is one subject I don't bring up when I'm in that hot, crowded nightclub called "Singularity." And then, of course, there's the ...
• Mark Creek Flume in Kimberley (I don't have the space to explain the physics of how this fits in).
If we can find a way to fit in the still unnamed Rec Plex, all our divisive issues would be there in one tight, tidy package. We could practically hold it in our collective hand.
The questions to ask ourselves are these: Would having all our divisive issues combined into one meta-issue make it easier for us to recognize and discuss these issues, and find solutions? Maybe only one solution is needed if all the issues are combined into one.
Or, like the original Big Bang theory, would all that energy be too compressed to contain? Would there be an explosion the likes of which would make recent debates seem like playground squabbles?
I suspect that, like the original Big Bang, it will be hot as can be. This all-encompassing model will just draw too much attention from those with an opinion. Things fly apart, the centre cannot hold. But, like the original Big Bang, the expanding process will occur, subatomic particles will form, cooler heads will prevail. Cooler heads always prevail. Right? Right?
Stay tuned in coming weeks, when I will discuss the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort in terms of the Theory of Relativity.