My friend Leslie Anthony's rant on Panda/Pander Bear Diplomacy and his admiration of Steve Jobs, Reality Distortion Field, (Pique All Smoke, No Mirrors Feb. 23) overlooks the growing and glaring fact that Apple's huge fortune and our I-touch Everythings are reliant on sweatshop labour in the People's Republic of China. It's hard to reconcile that the $400 or so we pay for a 4G is more than the yearly wage of the 16-year-old girls in China who assemble them. There is a lot of distortion to go around East and West.
With my now eight visits to meet Chinese leaders, officials and activists over the last five years I have begun, like Apple engineers, to "Think Different." I am still no lover of neo cons or state capitalists. Unfortunately, they are not endangered species.
But instead of selective arguments and biased rants, I'm thinking we need to build on complementary values, forces of legitimacy and capacity-building systems of equity to forestall the extinction of us all.
Check out World Wildlife Fund China and see this at work http://en.wwfchina.org. And Leslie, I know, would like my friend Yiting Sun who works for WWF Beijing on China's Green Credit Policies.
The icon of course for WWF is the Panda and we just can't have this icon and the work of WWF gone. Despite Panda Diplomacy or Panda Moneyum, we need to work together more than ever to design human systems so impossible and achievable that even Steve Jobs would be proud.
And PS — perhaps some executor from the multi-billion dollar Steve Jobs Estate could send a few million to WWF. It would sure help in building this capacity and reducing the distortion of these reality bytes.
William Roberts, President, The Whistler Forum
Stop Wasting Our Tax Dollars
I have now lived in Cheakamus Crossing for over one year and can honestly say I barely notice the asphalt plant.
It has never affected our quality of life while living here, despite what Tim Koshul might say. $600,000 of the taxpayers' money has been wasted on trying to move the plant. I don't know about the rest of Whistler but I don´t want any more of my tax money thrown away trying to fight this. Is everyone forgetting about the legal documents we signed when we bought our homes stating that we knew about the asphalt plant, and knew it was operating next door to us and the fact that it was there long before the neighbourhood was built?
No one held a gun to your head when you signed those papers. If it bothered you so much you could have walked away. Here's an idea — everyone that wants the plant moved can call the municipality with their credit card numbers and they can pay for any future costs of fighting the plant. Tim and everyone else still complaining about the plant, if it bothers you so much, MOVE!