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A very powerful environmental artwork was on display in City Hall’s parking garage during Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. Dirty Loonie shows an oil derrick, with a dead loon as the tip of the derrick. With each stroke of the pump, the head of the loon is plunged into the oil, as if it were being water boarded. One vividly imagines the loon, choking and struggling to breathe as its head is plunged over and over into the filthy liquid. When it is dragged back into the air, the oil runs down its face, through its eyes, and along its beak before falling back into the dirty steel drum. Over and over and over again. As the artist points out, we have far more loonies than loons in this country, and its the loons that are most in danger.

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a bird in an area fouled by oil? I’ve been told that a waterbird will die of exposure and toxicity from even a spot of oil the size of a quarter on its feathers….

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