"Think It" again...
The essence of sustainability is to see that our historic world view of "what is good for me is good for everyone" must be replaced with our ability to embrace "what is good for everyone is good for me." To get anywhere near this inversion of our habits takes a radical shift from being self-centred to being other-centred.
If we really think we are going to do something unique in Whistler we had better start with the belief that we can suspend self-interest to some self-proscribed measure, or the exercise of planning for sustainability will be as fleeting as yesterdays commercial lease rate.
Can't see the forest for the power lines
The power lines proposed by Pemberton's new wave of IPPs (Independent Power Producers) present residents with a difficult moral quandary: the provision of sustainable green energy against the building of ugly power lines across parts of the valley. This dilemma generates hard questions about residents objectivity, community strategy, social, and environmental responsibility.
On the one hand, most residents of Pemberton, notwithstanding a valued group of back-to-the-land semi-retirees, are quite busy raising kids while consuming lots and lots of energy, both directly and indirectly through the various goods and services they use, and those demographics are unlikely to shift toward less energy use over time.
On the other hand, these same residents have a very hard time accepting the need for more power generation capacity if it means ugly new power lines and other depredations against the land, especially if the electrons generated are supposedly destined for some far-off place like California.
Power lines affect people in different ways; for some their property values will certainly decline, others believe electro-magnetic fields could affect their health, and most agree that power lines will diminish the Pemberton esthetic and along with it the valley's potential for tourism and for their own bucolic repose.
For some though, power lines, while still ugly, are symbolic of long-term stability, security, a steady income, and grandkids able to live close by.
All residents of Pemberton need to understand key facts when taking on this issue. The B.C. Energy Policy Task Force, in a recently released interim report on Energy Regulation for B.C., warns that B.C.'s energy needs are beginning to outstrip the province's traditional supply of hydroelectricity, and that brownouts are a looming threat for consumers. People should also be aware that in three of the past 10 years, despite what most people imagine to be a bounty of electrical generation capacity, B.C. was a net importer of electricity.