Solving the climate change problem will involve sacrifice

Individuals can stop using their cars. It’s as simple (and as difficult) as that.

Solving the climate change problem will involve sacrifice

Ironically, climate change denying North Cowichan Councillor Tek Manhas said it best: “If we really believed that there was a climate emergency, we wouldn’t drive our cars…” (and may I add, fly all over the globe as if that also was doing no damage).

Rather than councils making flowery proclamations, sending out colourful flyers saying how dire the problem is, or treating the symptoms of the problem with, say, a dike rather than addressing the problem, how about proposing concrete actions that local governments and individuals could do to help in our (small but vital) part to mitigate this climate emergency?

Individuals can stop using their cars. It’s as simple (and as difficult) as that. There is sacrifice involved and lives need to be reorganized and re-evaluated but this climate problem does not go away without sacrifice. Stop thinking that!

Ideas for local governments: one day a week have a car-free day with boosted bus service (not a bus every two hours!). Maybe businesses would have to close that one day (horrors!). Don’t build major public buildings (like hospitals, police stations, municipal halls) where they are only accessible by car — walkable cities; don’t permit the construction of a gas guzzling racing car track for overgrown children; require solar panels on all new buildings; ban drive-thrus; ban natural gas heaters for outdoor spaces, commercial and residential (what an obscenity!); what about gas-powered leaf blowers, trimmers, even lawn mowers? Well, the list can go on. Or we could continue doing nothing.

Why do we have to ban things that are bad for the environment? Why do they exist?

Years ago there was a local newspaper columnist whose opinions I always totally disagreed with until once he said (probably sarcastically) that there would be no substantial changes to the way governments treat the environment nor to their environmental policies until a tyrannical regime would install itself and forcefully impose them. That is probably true. Of course by then it will be too late.

Let’s build a pipeline and call it working for the environment!

Warren Chapman

Duncan

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