Yes, we can make the changes we need to make
With all the talk of doom and gloom I hear these days, the UN’s report on global warming and climate change has done very little to improve my mood.
However, when I stopped and thought about what could be done to turn the temperature down, so to speak, I realize there are a number of steps we all could be taking that could make a real difference worldwide.
Starting with housing, clearly we need a lot more of it and at a much more affordable price. Why not encourage the building and maintenance of smaller homes and stop destroying the existing stock and replacing them with mega-houses built for two?
Food is another problem that needs to be tackled. Do we really need the wide variety of imported foods we are all now so accustomed to picking up at the grocery store?
All these imports create jobs in other parts of the world rather than in Canada, and the energy used to bring the food to us by planes, boats, trains and trucks create an awful lot of greenhouse gases.
The same argument can be made for manufactured goods. If we build it here it might cost a little more, but after all how many TVs, computers, electronic devices and other household goods do we really need?
Globalization can be a race to the bottom, especially when the production of greenhouse gases gets factored in to the equation.
Finally there is the tourism industry. This industry produces an enormous amount of greenhouse gas every day and for what?
Air travel, cruise ships, luxury yachts and motor homes are all big polluters and in the end are totally discretionary. If the past year has taught us anything, surely the days of global travel for the sake of nothing more than a good time should be discouraged.
I know we can’t just flip a switch and change our way of life overnight. but when I look back at the changes made across the globe over the past 18 months I have reason to hope.
Economic growth can be a mad delusion
Many promises from the major parties about fighting climate change are spoken. But there’s totally insufficient action to deal effectively with the damage population, waste and material self-indulgence has wrought. Nature is reacting by wrecking our under-appreciated support systems.
Our leaders are too attached to the mad delusion of eternal economic growth in a finite world. They comfort us with lies to get our votes, while in thrall to companies and unions that provide good postings when they retire from politics.
They’re too ignorant and challenged to start providing training and jobs and fiercely regulating industry to steer us to modest and less destructive lifestyles that foster the health of communities, fellow humans and other sentient creatures. Party rank and file fall in behind their leaders in fear being deprived of election funding or promotion.
The result has been occasional minor slaps on the wrist for ecocidal pollution, logging and chemical threats to human health. It’s cheaper than behaving responsibly. What’s a few million once in a while to big business, since those in charge are not thrown in jail?
If we value our health, and the loves of loved ones, we must pay more attention to reducing our own assaults on Earth’s carrying capacity, desist from buying items with cancer risks, and support those aspiring representatives who are not in the double-speaking parties of the Conservatives, Liberals, or NDP.
Civilization has maintenance costs, and we are well behind in our payments. Taxes are just one small kind of the dues we owe.
What are we leaving for the next generations?
Fires, floods, fentanyl, record heat waves, killer hornets, escalating violence, water shortages, hurricanes, food insecurity and a deadly pandemic. Is Mother Nature now getting her revenge for what human beings have done to this planet?
There are almost eight billion of us. We are using Earth as a giant toilet and garbage dump.
We have wiped out hundreds of species of plants and animals. We take, take, take but what are we giving back? Plastic bags.
I won’t be around in 100 years to see the grim results of our behaviour, but some of our descendants might if they find some way to survive. I’ll bet they won’t have nice things to say about us.
Cheera J. Crow
Why we are doomed by the changing climate
The type of human who cares enough about the environment to give up life’s conveniences has not been born yet.
There might be a handful kicking around, bragging about their electric cars, but they are still ordering from Amazon and still driving to the airport for sunny winter vacations.
It’s time we stop lying to ourselves and pretending we care about those people down the line who don’t exist yet and those people in poorer countries who make all our cheap stuff and are being severely effected by climate change now.
Most of us can’t imagine giving up our cars and pickup trucks and boats and jet skis, not to mention all that super-cool plastic stuff that is also made from oil such as kayaks, paddle boards, electric bikes and a million other things.
The fundamental shift to our habits required is just to huge to contemplate, and the individual environmentally conscious baby steps we can take to make ourselves feel better don’t put a dent in the damage done.
It’s time we all woke up and realize we are screwed, and all we can do is adapt to a planet that is growing ever more hostile in its attempt to shed humans like a dog scratching at fleas.
C. Scott Stofer
A walk in the park, an off-leash husky
An off-leash husky chased me until I fell down, terrified, on the Dallas Road pathway on July 30.
The owner left me lying there, grabbed her dog and disappeared without a word. But it wasn’t over.
My broken wrist will be in a cast for six weeks of helpless misery. At the Royal Jubilee Hospital, the emergency admissions clerks, the X-ray and CT scan technicians, the exhausted doctor making my cast at 2:30 a.m., the already overworked surgeon, all the expensive equipment — all of this was needed because one dog owner refused to train and control her dog.
Most off-leash areas are fenced, and I have a painful broken wrist to prove that the Dallas Road park should be as well. Please, mayor and council, build a fence to protect citizens walking in the park from irresponsible dog owners.
A thousand thanks to the wonderful team at Royal Jubilee, and to Garrett, who kindly lifted me up and drove me home.
An enjoyable experience in downtown Victoria
I had an experience of Downtown Victoria at odds with all the complainers on Tuesday.
At 1:30 p.m. I headed downtown from Saanich to attend to some errands and shopping.
I had businesses to visit in the 600-block of Yates, 700-block of Fort, 800-block of Broughton and 900-block of Fort.
Each time I was able to park on the street in the same block of each business, including once in front of the door.
The streets and sidewalks were clean and I didn’t see a single panhandler.
It was an entirely enjoyable experience, and I wonder what all the whiners and complainers are on about.
To top off the pleasure of my visit was all the beautiful hanging baskets in all their colourful glory.
I returned home just in time to join all the people going home after work and a bit of traffic, but nothing to complain about.
I go downtown frequently and my visits are usually just as good, but I thought I could temper the crabby noise from complainers with a little praise.
Questions about paying in the city parkades
The new parkade payment system looks very interesting, but I have a few questions:
Will someone at Victoria city hall be able to assist me with installing the ParkVictoria app on my cellphone, please?
I only have a flip-phone; will the City of Victoria provide me with a “smartphone”?
If I use a pay station, will I be able to get a refund for the unused portion of my prepaid, parking time?
Can I move from one free spot to another free spot every 55 minutes?
If, instead of driving to downtown Victoria, I choose active transportation and ride my bicycle, is there safe and secure, free bicycle parking, at each of the five city parkades?
Perhaps I’ll shop at one of the many, out-of-downtown shopping malls.
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