Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of July 16th


Time for climate change action

Climate change is widely recognized as a contributing factor to this year's drought and alarming forest fires. The blanket of smoke reminds us that the effects of climate change are here now, as emphasized by scientists everywhere and organizations like the UN and the OECD.

Although El Niño is also feeding the fires this year, we can expect a lot more extreme droughts in the future. This is worrisome for our beautiful forested town and the rest of our province‚Äôs stunning forests.

But this isn't just about our town and the loss of B.C.'s natural wonders. Although fossil fuel proponents often accuse their opponents of a callous disregard for jobs and people, climate activism goes far beyond mere tree hugging.

Climate change action is also about social justice, as highlighted by Pope Francis in his recent encyclical. The world's poor and future generations will suffer most from the extreme weather events, rising sea levels and ecosystem breakdown caused by our heedless fossil fuel consumption.

This makes climate change an ethical issue with humanitarian implications.

Because of this ethical dimension, "business as usual" is no longer an option.

Although the analogy may seem extreme to some, the abolition of the slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries exemplifies a similar ethical imperative. Like fossil fuels, slavery drove massive economic and industrial growth in western European nations and the U.S., financing infrastructure, universities, great architecture and more.

Abolitionists were faced with overcoming huge opposition from financial elites, along with the entrenched view of slavery as normal and legitimate.

Nowadays, no one would sympathize with the pro-slavery groups who insisted the economy needed slavery. Depending on slavery for economic growth just isn't an option anymore.

Similarly, the ethical implications of climate change demand an end to continued dependence on fossil fuels for economic development. To me it's simple: putting short-term gain ahead of our ethical obligations is unacceptable.

These fires should be a wake-up call for our happy valley, and in particular for members of my generation. I urge Canadians of all ages to consider climate change as a top election issue this fall, regardless of their political stripes. Climate change is here and it's time to put our differences and apathy aside to fight the status quo, tooth and nail.

Maddie Reid

Revolution gets two thumbs up

Last winter on a routine tune up the Revolution shop found a crack on my sled's top end saving me upwards of a few thousand dollars.

Now this summer (I had problems with) an old bike — who got it going? Revolution Powersports.

A good power sport company needs three things — great owners, polite and knowledgeable staff, and the best mechanics in the corridor, this shop has it all!

Whistler we are lucky to have them! Great work Revolution

Dale Machan

GAS is full of hot air

Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS) is exactly that! A financial venture that is filled with nothing but hot air and rhetoric!

There is nothing truthful, honest, sustainable or viable about this project. If anyone spent time up on Brohm, winter and summer they would understand that it is simply not feasible. Period.

All this is, is a developer's dream!

Bill Cavanagh has to pull his head out of his high esteem of what he thinks is a project with merit or sustenance (Pique, July 9, "Letters to the Editor"). Wake up, pal!

Whistler only cares because you are too blind to see the truth in regards to this greedy, greedy project.

PS: Who am I? A Whistlerite, one that takes offence at your shortsightedness and name-calling. Please Bill, sit down and if you don't have anything nice to say, then just don't say anything!

Arne Gutmann

Green-thumb thanks

Thank you Whistler, for once again supporting the Friend's of the Library fundraiser, The Giant Plant Sale.

We would like to thank all the people who made this event a success. Three Cheers for all the Gardening Girls and Guys in funny hats, who hauled tables, sold plants and cleaned it all up on a very hot day — thank you for coming out every year to make this happen.

Thanks again for the donation of bulbs from Paul Beswetherick (Whistler Municipality), and Carolyn (Out on a Limb). Jaye Jay (Sea the Sky Soils) donated the compost and Bob DeVaney, (Main Roads Contracting) the bags.

Thank you Bruce Stewart (Nesters) for the bedding plants and Starbucks for the coffee service.

Thank you Garden Gurus, for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for gardening: Jim Cooke (The Green House Project,) Lori Pyne (Cheakamus Crossing Community Gardens,) Clare Goss, Julie Smith and Leslie Malm.

We all hope to be back again next year, rain or shine.

The Friends of the Library meets every third Wednesday of the month at the library at 4 p.m. September to June.

Jessie Pendygrasse and Christy Auer

first among fires

According to the BC Wildfire website accessed on July 13, 2015, 100 firefighters and seven helicopters have been deployed to fight the Boulder Creek fire in Pemberton Valley, which covers 5,361 hectares.

The main focus seems to be on preventing Innergex's Upper Lillooet River Hydro's work camp from going up in flames.

Only 42 firefighters and two helicopters are fighting the Elaho fire, which at 12,132 hectares is more than twice the size of Boulder Creek wild fire.

I guess saving a private company's work camp is more important than saving old growth forests?

Guess who pays for Innergex's firefighting bill? B.C. taxpayers.

How much of the firefighting effort is focused on preventing the Boulder Creek fire from spreading?

The loss of trees and other vegetation will cause soil erosion, which in turn is likely to contribute to mudslides and flooding in a valley prone to these natural disasters.

Meanwhile our dear leaders are nailing another nail in our coffin with their "negotiations" on LNG legislation. LNG like B.C.'s river diversion projects, are not green or clean and will exacerbate climate change.

Why is the B.C. government not supporting household solar installation and energy conservation projects, which will create many more long-term jobs than LNG?

Louise Taylor

The painful truth

Loyalty to their party is an outstanding attribute of Green Party supporters.

It reflects their commitment to the betterment of the planet — to battle climate change versus corporate profiteering, to start renewable energy projects instead of selling bitumen to China for a quick buck. The loyalty is in fact a loyalty to the purpose of the party.

The upcoming federal election is run with our outdated and unjust "First Past the Post" electoral system. It is in fact a collection of 338 separate and mutually independent local elections. We can only vote for one member to represent us in Ottawa.

This riding has four parties to choose from. Three of them desperately want to replace the incumbent. At a recent all candidates meeting (with John Weston absent), Pamela Goldsmith Jones (LIB), Larry Koopman (NDP) and Ken Melamed (Green) answered questions and expressed themselves very eloquently. However, only one can defeat the incumbent.

Unfortunately we have to deal with vote splitting. It is the tool of the current party in power. It is its strategy — divide and conquer. We have only one antidote and it is called strategic voting. In other words unite and defeat.

Voting for the party that is most likely to defeat the incumbent does it. We have access to polls to make that decision, when the time comes.

It probably is not going to be the Green party. The demographics of this riding are not supporting a win for the Greens.

The painful and unfortunate truth is that in this election a vote for the Greens is going to benefit the Conservative party, because it is not given to the party that can actually defeat the Conservatives.

Goze Vlasblom
West Sechelt

Vote if you must

I'm hopeless again. I was hopeless before. I know because I was told.

Then about a month ago GD Maxwell wrote a column in which he suggested he was becoming a democratic "apathete," someone no longer enthusiastic about participating in the democratic division of Canadians (Pique, July 9) .

He gave me a sliver of hope I wasn't alone in my effort to help the Canadian division of humanity avoid democratic self-destruction. Though a few weeks ago he confirmed we would never celebrate with a beer due to our different views of the consequences, I still had hope that after the fall election we would at least high-five the part we played in helping to reunite humanity by not voting.

Sadly, the column he wrote last week extinguished that hope. After telling the Pique world a month ago he was tired of politics, to the young people he was addressing he wrote, "... let me implore you: vote."

If those young people know that voting is "...like pissing into the wind...;" will not lay "...the ground work for real change...;" is hopeless rather than "the only hope we have...," are "too smart... (to)... be manipulated;"...decide to flex (their mental rather than their) political muscle," I could have reason to hope again. 

The title of Max's column is "To the young...go the spoils" that, environmental evidence at the very least confirms, isn't true. The fact is the "spoils" went to the old and to the young goes what's spoiled.

Unfortunately, even if it's possible and there is time, they won't be able to "...clean up the mess...." alone. The fact is our individual activities add up to resultant human activity that is somewhere on a continuum the ends of which have a number of characteristics.

One end can be called "natural." For the longest time after the conception of humanity it was the only end of prehuman activity.

The other end can be called "unnatural." It was created by "Adam" and "Eve" at the birth of humanity. Leaving the reason it was created aside, and focusing on the subject at hand, the natural end can also be labelled self-interest activity and the unnatural end, selfish-interest activity. 

Self-interest activity is reaching out to the limits of our unique capacities we give to humanity from which we receive. Selfish-interest activity is motivated by the question, "what's in it for me?" and it's all about taking from humanity.

Staying with the subject, the coming election will highlight our selfish-interest activities. For one example, we are encouraged to visit websites that explain party positions, so we can decide which best matches our selfish-interest, and then join the fight to take power.

Self-interest activity results in self-realization we seem wired to enjoy. Selfish-interest activity results in self-destruction we obviously can't enjoy.

The resultant can be the former, not the latter, but is now a blend of the two. How close we are getting to either end we can decide.

Vote if you must but really "the only hope we have" of cleaning up our mess is to act in our own self-interest, no voting required. 

Doug Barr

Barnstorm success

The beautiful barn in downtown Pemberton came alive Friday, July 10, at Barnstorm and when the dust had settled, I think most would agree it was a Pemberton evening we won't soon forget.

Wind howled through the barn (clearing the smoke) and a passing train with its signal blasting shook the rafters, but once The Deslondes started playing, the sold-out crowd filled the dance floor and all I saw was happy faces.

Many thanks to The Deslondes from New Orleans, who were fantastic. Come back anytime boys.

Thank you to the Pemberton Canoe Association who initially agreed this sounded like a good idea and came on board as the organizers.

Thank you Maureen Douglas and the Pemberton Music Festival for the donation of two Pemberton Festival passes; Linda and Dave Den Duyf of Sabre Rentals for your amazing dance floor, Mile One Eating House for feeding the band, Deb Phare for always being so generous and the Pemberton Valley Supermarket.

There were so many super volunteers with this event, but we couldn't have done it without Garth and Val Phare, Wayne and Annette Wiltse, The Esseltine Family, Parveen Pehota, Rob Meilleur, Lonny and Susie Wray, Marnie Simon, Karen Tomlinson, Corinne and Derek Graves, Karen Love, Dace Dimitrova, Christie Hess,  Harriet Van Wart, Cherie LeBlanc, the Pemberton Legion and Pemberton Farmers' Market.

Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed this evening. We raised nearly $5,000 for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

It was an unforgettable evening for our family and reaffirmed what a special place this is to live.

The Fisher Family