Opinion » Editorial


Act now or lose what is most precious



"We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone's arguing over where they're going to sit."

David Suzuki, scientist and environmental activist

"The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity... that's all there is. That's the whole economy. That's where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world."

Gaylord Nelson, former governor of Wisconsin, founder of Earth Day

For as long as I have been coming to Whistler and for as long as I have lived here, the natural beauty of the surroundings has inspired me.

And while I admit I am a bit tired of all the snow right now and am hankering to get into my garden, when I look out across Green Lake to the mountains I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.

With that personal reflection also comes responsibility because like so many things if we don't act to protect the things we cherish they can often be lost amid the push-me pull-me of everyday living and growth.

Earth Day offers all of us a chance to think about the planet we live on, but more critically, it should make us do more than just adopt a few feel-good changes - like remembering to turn the heat down and turn off the lights.

It should challenge us to be accountable for our own actions and the actions of those we elect in all levels of government.

In a letter to the editor this week a resident bemoans the fact that people who should know better are throwing items out while only being steps away from the correct recycling container. I'm with the letter writer - what is so difficult about recycling? Even my kids get it.

That being said Whistler as a town does have one of the best records around for recycling to garbage ratios, but I know we can do better.

And what kind of message does it send when our federal televised election debate excludes the leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May?

A quick review of the platforms of the main federal parties doesn't make me feel very hopeful on the "green" front either.

In a recent column David Suzuki states that: "Environmental issues barely registered in the leaders' debates, have not factored into most of the campaigns or platforms and are not being covered by the news media.