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LETTER: Miles put on the car causes North Island driver to reflect

“Up here in Port McNeill we are so blessed with nature’s tranquillity all around us”

Dear editor,

We did some driving over December – Edmonton and back – and I always think about my personal impact with all the miles I put on my car (because of my work as a piano technician in my day to day life, my car is one of my tools, as well as for personal use).

In the space of a few hours, during our trip to Edmonton, the cost of gas went from $1.31 here in the island to .98 cents in Edmonton. The number of trucks driving on highway 5 between Edmonton and Vancouver in that same short period was huge; in the thousands I’m sure. The impact on just this one route, day after day, alone, must contribute to a very high carbon output number.

Other viable means of transportation such as rail across our country perhaps is economically not as inexpensive as by our highways, but I imagine if the price of gasoline was high enough, it might make economic sense to ship more goods by rail. I haven’t looked into what the comparison is with current gas prices.

Reading CBC’s article on Mark Jaccard’s ideas, today, confirms what I believe to be a good way to act and that is to continue our efforts to pressure our government to make policy changes, upping the game, as might be said, to bring industry and businesses into further compliance with stricter rules and regulations on methods of production of “things” we require to maintain our standard of living and requiring other countries, such as China, to comply with our regulations if they want to trade with us.

I also believe that “back door deals”, corruption at the political level, power and money all play a part in how quickly we make the change we need to prevent a climate disaster. It is at our doorstep and maybe there are people in power who will act in a timely way. I believe this “corruption” is happening with our own NDP government. Ancient Forests Alliance for example talk about how government’s lack of adherence (no doubt lobbying by big business) to their own “Old Growth Strategic Review” and cutting unabated through our last remaining stands while trying to come up with a plan.

This last point really hits close to home – balance, fairness, keeping families healthy – it all has to do with government policy. I wonder, that in a free democracy, being “hard nosed”, forcing legislation that would change people’s habits, perhaps hurting the government’s chances of getting re-elected would actually stop government from implementing necessary changes and then if they did get booted out, what would an alternative government do?

My suggestion and I’m probably not the first, that there be a world organization including every country, where there are international laws forcing each country to comply to a set of standard environmental rules, protecting air, water, land and every species as well as limiting human growth (maybe one child per family).

Up here in Port McNeill we are so blessed with nature’s tranquillity all around us and it is probably one of the nicest places in BC to live. I have had my longest stretch of living up here recently (although only three weeks) and really like this.

Robert Haist,

Port McNeill

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