Have you ever heard of Franke James?

Franke is a Canadian artist who writes/ draws some really impressive essays on the environment. Like many of us, she's bothered by her "green conscience": the knowledge that our planet is in big, big trouble because of humans, and the question of what exactly can an individual do to stop the trainwreck.

What I love about Franke is that she doesn't stop at the helpless feeling. She researches, and acts at her own level, and then spreads the word. She's actually taken the idea of spreading the word to a whole new level - this summer, she has a travelling art show through Europe, showing some of the art she made.

At least, that's what she was trying to do - but she's run into some troubles. The Canadian government isn't too happy to have this travelling art show, because they feel it's attacking them. The show does mention a couple times that digging up the province of Alberta for tar sands is a very, very bad idea when the planet is already burning. So I guess she might have hit a nerve there.

But the type of reaction she's been getting against her art show is frankly ridiculous. Not only is she being ignored by Canadian embassies where she goes - there has even been some pressure put on local NGOs that were helping her to drop their support.

Uhm. Definitively hit a nerve there...

Opposing the tar sands publicly in Canada is increasingly unpopular (at least with the government). Asking important questions such as "Why do we choose to wreck the environment in the very long term to save the economy in the very short term?" or "Who is paying to clean up pollution?" is now politically incorrect.

I have a tendency of automatically appreciating people more when a government is trying to silence them - especially when they're asking inconvenient questions. If you're like me, you can help Franke by writing a supporting comment on her blog.

(And do take a look at her visual essays while you're there. They are really great.)