As this is the first time I’ve sent in a response to heated debates on issues surrounding the lower Vancouver Island area I hope it doesn’t end up on the editor’s junk file.
I usually keep my comments to whoever I’m around, sitting in my chair enjoying a cup of coffee and cursing the dog or cat for hair left everywhere, usually to my wife’s uninterested empathy to long-winded rants.
But as luck would have it I’m on a well-needed rest period from work and feel compelled to voice my ideology in the “burning wood controversy” and the wants of few to make the majority feel like eco-terrorists with little empathy for women and children with asthmatic conditions. The latter is farthest from the truth and probably an insult to the many of us that recycle all our plastics, tins, and glass refuse that is not burnable, including the newspapers and flyers that are peddled by the same editor that probably wrote the article that told all us “wood burners” to join the future and accept that burning wood is the thing of the past.
But if the person that is trying to shut down all wood burning gets their way, the newspapers will be next on their list. Besides, maybe you should accept the fact that the internet has everything we need of a newspaper and stopping newsprint might save a few trees.
One of the reactors for people that suffer from allergies is newsprint along with pollen, wood smoke, dust and bee stings. God help us all if they wants to get rid of bees; civilization is already doing a good job of that with the sprawling out of subdivisions and cement structures taking over the Victorian landscape.
To give support to those affected by allergies, I too am a sufferer, with hay fever and when I chose to build a house I knew my limitations and chose high in the mountains of the Malahat to live because the possibility of someone planting a hay field amongst the rocks and trees was highly improbable. Knowing the topography of Vancouver Island came second nature.
To clarify my existence before I go forward, my family came to Lake Cowichan in 1923 and I am a home-grown Victorian. Could you imagine if I lived in Saanichton and told all the farmers to quit growing any crops because myself and thousands of men, women and kids suffer from hay fever and asthmatic symptoms? No, we moved to an area that I wasn’t affected by the pollen and dust, because who am I to [bother] other people with my afflictions when it’s their privilege to do what they want within the jurisdiction in a rural area because that is why they moved there in the first place.
We burn wood in the winter from our acreage to heat the house and because of the carpet of deadfall under all the trees, which acts as an accelerant in case of forest fires.
The burning of those nasty termites that end up killing live trees is a bonus, but we do so because it gives us comfort, knowing when the power goes out like it does on the Malahat (five times I counted last winter).
During the summer we don’t burn outside because of the fire hazards.
One important question I guess should be asked is, what heat source are you using? Hopefully you’re not supporting and relying on the natural gas depot that is threatening the salmon staging area before they go up Goldstream to heat your home?
That doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the lunacy of that debate jeopardizing the salmon stock. So I would like to recommend smoke sufferers to relocate to the confines of the Victorian life in suburban splendour and battle more important issues like stopping the hauling of all their toxic waste from the inner harbour up to Shawnigan Lake.
Reminds me, why don’t you try and find Christy Clark (it’s like “where’s Waldo”) and ask her why she allows travesties like this to happen? During the whole battle, the good citizens of Shawnigan were fighting the landfill, not one word from our premier was said and even now as the fight is to resume not a peep from her. Proof of her motivation being when she flew with the largest entourage to grace the Paris Summit to fight global pollution she didn’t care how much fuel was burned to get there. Funny, they didn’t row or walk! Go figure. She’s too busy contaminating her own backyard, but front and centre with the selfie king advocating a clean Earth.
Back to good reasons to leave and battle atrocities. How about, when will Victoria make up their minds on a decision on where to put a sewage treatment waste site instead of dumping the effluent into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, or how about spending another $120-160 million on a bridge that in the end the taxpayers will pay for incompetence? Go ahead, pick one that will keep you busy for awhile.
As for me, I just finished my third cup of coffee, the wife and animals are not listening anymore, so I think I’ll just throw another log in the stove and go to work.
Christopher J. Carnes