Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Reader Finds Me Disgusting

My  letter to the Editor, "Have our Servants Become Our Masters? - Why Fossil Fuels are No Longer Our Friends," published in The Roblin Review earlier this month, seems to have hit a nerve. 

It led to a follow-up letter from a reader in the north, published the following week in the same paper. He accuses me of being out to kill Canadian jobs and finds my letter a "disgusting piece of drivel" in the way I insult Mr. Harper and the oil patch.


Please read my response to that letter, below! 

Larry
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Dear Editor,

I'm glad that John Titanich has seen fit to respond in the Review to my earlier letter about fossil fuels and why they are no longer our friends. After all, public debate is the bedrock of a healthy democracy. 

Mind you,  John did get a tad personal. But that comes with the territory, I guess. As for his suggestion you can't be an environmentalist if you drive anything more modern than an ox-cart, well, I've heard that one before, too. Of course, I leave a carbon footprint. Every human does.  My goal is to keep mine small. And I believe I have.

Yes, I drive a car. Mine happens to get up to 50 miles per gallon. I travel close to the speed limit which is not only safer but more fuel efficient (fewer greenhouse gases).  It has been said that, if every owner of a mid-sized SUV traded it in on a hybrid, they would save a whopping 70 percent on their fuel bills! 

While the environmental benefits of that scenario would be lost on folks like John, surely the economic ones should not!

And, since trains cause less harm to the climate than jet planes do, I also collect air miles and put them toward more Via Rail trips and less air travel. 

I know that the provocative comments I come up with are often "off the charts." They are obviously an attempt to over-compensate for the immovable forces,  like the Prime Minister and Big Oil, who are lined up against those of us who would choose a cleaner, greener world. These forces are not the least bit interested in compromising or making way for a future powered by more sustainable sources.

I believe many environmentalists realize, we aren't going to turn the Titanic around. But maybe we can change her course so she doesn't hit the iceberg. Trouble is, we are not changing course. We are steaming ever closer to disaster, eyes closed and hands firmly on the tiller. Our leaders are telling us "steady as she goes"apparently not knowing or wanting to know, what lies ahead. So maybe the time for polite, reasonable argument has passed.

As for wanting to kill Canadian jobs, I have no such wish, John. Other countries such as Germany have shown, there are plenty of jobs which could be created in a greener society. And I'll never give our leaders a "pass" for their lack of such will. 

It's worth noting that, since I wrote the "disgusting drivel" John refers to, the worst killer storm in a generation has rocked England and other parts of Europe, another oil fire on a train has terrorized a small town in Alberta, millions of litres of tar continue to leak from a drilling company's site into a lake near the traditional territory of an Alberta First Nation, and Australia is still reeling from another terrible round of wildfires, including ones which threatened Sydney, itself.

So, if the Titanic can't be turned around, or even diverted by the kind of rhetoric John would seem to favour, I guess he'll just have to settle for even more of my disgusting drivel.  

Larry Powell  
Neepawa, MB

1 comment:

John Fefchak said...

If John Titanich has a little spare time on his hands, I will suggest that he might learn a lot more from some
serious reading, as to what is actually happening and taking place on our planet….earth!
We are 100 years ahead of schedule right now and if a great many of us do not take heed to the warnings that have been predicted,(and now being realized) there will not be inhabitants on this place, we call home. We have surpassed 350 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and closing in on 400 ppm. We're too high!
If we don't smarten up and very soon, forget the grandkids future. This will be the crises and folly of our doing.
Reading "eaarth" Making a life on a tough new planet, by author
Bill McKibben, would be a good beginning.