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Sustainability: whose?

I guess I am reluctantly joining the ranks of the "old farts league" but damn, I still love this place called Whistler.

Picking up one of my old ski poles I point out to a friend a wetland that is now a golf course and residential area. The ski poles get used year around ’cause the pegs aren't as solid as they used to be. I still run longer and swim more than ever just to try to keep within sight of those younger skiers, boarders, mountain bikers, kayakers and climbers. Damn again, I'm left in the dust. They build roads and housing where I used to enjoy the unspoiled views. They scare away the wildlife and wonder why problems occur when wildlife ventures back into the human realm.

When I was younger I thought those older than myself always whined a bit too much about the way it was yesterday. My excuse now is that maybe our sense of what is really valuable takes a long time to mature, similar to a good wine. Please bear with me because as a new budding "old fart" I'm going take a bit of time to say something very simple.

The five Whistler futures (the 20 year plan) have brought me out of my den. We as residents of Whistler have had a lot of major considerations thrown at us in the past few years. New buzz words like "sustainability", environmentally friendly, five pillars, green (everything green), affordability, the Natural Step, Olympics 2010, employee housing, recreational tenures and a gigantic host of others have steadily barraged us through the print media, town meetings, radios and council meetings. So much is thrown up at the citizens of this fine town that I think they are becoming a bit deaf to it all. Apathy is beginning to creep into our midst. But guess what? It's a great opportunity for some people or groups to slyly put forth agendas which seem innocuous to the general citizenry but have dire consequences to the masses.

Back to a great word, "sustainability". It has been in the vocabulary for quite some time and there is nothing new about it. Oxford says and I interpret it as "the act of keeping going continuously". God, that's my problem – but we've mentioned that! We talk of sustainability, but whose? Do we want to keep our individual incomes sustainable? Do we want to keep our way of life sustainable? Do we want keep the wildlife sustainable? Do we want to keep good drinking water sustainable? Do we want to keep natural habitat sustainable for the wild life? Do we really want and do we really care what others around us want?

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