Some seriously good people among us
Last week, a cheery individual stopped into my shop with a tin of homemade shortbreads and a Santa hat. We had never met, but that was beside the point — she was just out spreading some holiday spirit. Aside from her generosity, what struck me was how her actions reminded me of the quality of Whistler's community. Without pretense, a donations box, or any hesitation that people may wonder if the cookies were, perhaps, poisoned!?.. there she was, on a random Monday in December, fighting the good fight.
Someone else made the same point just outside Southside's parking lot a few minutes ago. Coming back to the truck, unaware that the keys were even missing, I was stunned to see them placed under the windsheild wiper. It would've been easy to just leave them in the slush and walk on; would've been tempting to open the truck and steal all the tools inside. You could've even driven away... if you felt like being a bad guy.
The point is that, wherever you live, it's easy to blend in and not make any effort. Maybe it's because we're a small community and they stick out more easily, but there are some seriously good people among us. We just wanted to say thanks.
Follow the Swedes
Re: “Beyond twist bulbs” (Pique feature, Nov.22)
I think, we could minimize lifestyle changes and still cut our Bunyanesque carbon footprint if we would switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The Swedes pursue such an energy strategy based primarily on biomass and waste. They plan to be oil free by 2020. Today, Sweden gets about 35 per cent of its total energy needs from fossil fuels, Canada 75 per cent (Swedish Press, March 2007).
Fossil fuel use represents a massive, artificial injection of carbon — previously inert in the ground — into the atmosphere. The result is a continuous net increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content. Biomass energy, on the other hand, is carbon neutral. Successive crops of biomass (wood, wood waste, grain, agriculture residue, other organic waste, etc.) merely recycle carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. Biomass is more practical and abundant than most other green energy sources (wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, etc.), and far safer than nuclear energy. The various practical forms of biomass energy include ethanol, bio diesel and biogas for vehicles, and fuel for electricity and heat-generating plants. Canada has vast agricultural and forest capacity to produce it yet biomass here gets lukewarm press at best. Our government should direct maximum research effort to fine-tune biomass (particularly cellulosic) technology, and provide production subsides and tax breaks to biomass energy producers and users, possibly from carbon tax.