Letter to the editor

One of the phenomena of the past year was Greta Thurnberg and her meteoric rise in the world of abstract environmental conscience. I say abstract as her mission was loud and long in proclaiming a problem and assigning blame, (how dare you), but yet was very short in workable solutions.

Watching this encouraged me to look back through the misty veil of time to my own youth and remember the propensity for youth to see things through deeply tinted rose-colored glasses and for the zealousness of youth to promote simplistic solutions.

I am not being critical; I find this to be very encouraging that the youth of today still take interest in the workings of human civilization and the survival of the human species

For most of us the tint on these rose-colored glasses wears off as we grow older and are forced to deal with the realities of life but for a few it never will; usually this is tied to social and economic position or privilege.

Few of us can deny that there are serious challenges facing human survival on this planet and the need to alter human behavior.

With that in mind I remembered that in order to solve a problem you must first identify the problem and that is where most will not like the answer but in short;

THERE IS ABOUT SIX AND A HALF BILLION TOO MANY PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET, and the population is growing at about eighty thousand a day. This is the heart of the environmental problems we see happening.

As I watched Greta Thurnberg’s speeches and protests I saw that many of the participants would soon be going out in the world to start their own families and lives, I could not help but wonder how will this society maintain feeding, clothing, and providing shelter for this growing population. Keeping in mind that the people we were seeing are from, by world standards, an entitled population that will expect to have their electronic toys and vacations to sunny warm holidays or cruises when life becomes tiring. Just the energy that we use daily is a drain on world resources, and no plugging into a wall is not green, there is a considerable environmental cost to all forms of production of electricity too.

This is a universal problem but where you choose to put the stage for your protest can dictate the reception.  How would Greta Thurnberg have been received in the developing parts of the world where poverty is rampant like much of South America, Central America, Africa, India, the Orient. The reception in Alberta was testy enough.

If we as a nation do not maintain a healthy economy for our citizens, we will have no hope of helping those who cannot even afford to treat their sewerage or garbage. We are starting to feel the economic impact of radical environmentalism, extreme caution will have to be exercised. We may save our bacon but burn down the whole pig pen if we do not aim at the right targets.

There is the problem that these very youth will have to face, the rose colored glassed will be ripped away and the answers they need will not be so easy.

These are interesting times but remember: “MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES.” Is a Chinese curse.

Rick Knodel

Spread the word from Oliver Daily News
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7 Responses to Letter to the editor

  1. John Hack says:

    Rick, if you had known the effects on your health of holding that welding stinger and not trying to breath less of whatever was in that smoke, and we’re not of wore that shaded pink or #9 or 10 filters you may not be able to see and breathe easier, gratefully we have kids that have vision beyond puffing and “hungry, happy, sleepy”, we need to change our thinking, at least as we drive past Trail BC now we see trees on the hill because not that many years ago we forced the smelter to put scrubbers on the stacks, and the trees are growing on the hill, ranches that were abandoned because they were to polluted to produce, are again being farmed.
    I am grateful people are doing what they can, not that many years age folks dumped their garbage over the bank, out of sight out of mind, would you let that fly under your radar, or do your duty, that is what Greta is doing, or the kids that have been effected by mass school shooting, in the US, or did after the shooting at Poli Tech, we all need to do our part, to assist giving our next generations hope.

  2. Rob Hopkins says:

    Yes, there are too many people. By their very nature, corporations need to continually increase profits or shareholders won’t invest. More and more consumers are needed to buy the products made from more and more natural resources
    to make this happen. How do think this will play out?

  3. Pat Hampson says:

    I agree with all the comments BUT neither our Government or those of many other nations appear to be putting pressure on other nations to reduce pollution which severely impact climate change and oceans.
    I watch the air quality index reports and observe the amount of pollution created in Asia. I have traveled around the South American Continent and observed the plastic in South America gathering along the shore lines of the Pacific oceans and those on the East Coast of SA. I willingly accept responsibility for reducing my pollution and am prepared to spend money to achieve more, but I get very angry when this Country appears to find it easier to ignore some of the most culpable nations who create or ignore their pollution.

  4. Bob Barker says:

    Is it possible? That I actually agree with Keith, Pat and Rick. Yes kids idealistic – they always have been. Comforted by parents and taught by teachers. Only time makes them a bit more realistic.

    Yes we should not make excuses for our past abuse and learn a lesson from the kids that many things can be done by us within the confines of budgets to help the earth.

    Let us ban plastic disposable products and provide better recycling options.
    Let us provide incentives to go to electric vehicles.
    Let us cut back on useless travel options and enjoy our own back yards
    Let us utilize modern technology like solar power to help with costs and the environment
    Let us ask industry to cut back emissions within the profit margin needed to continue
    Let us challenge ourselves to clean the soil, the water, the air, and our determine to do a bit better…. None of the above negates our use of the planet for resources and habitation.

    • Keith McKinnon says:

      Humans monitor, conserve or control the population of almost every species on Earth. Maybe it’s time we controlled our own numbers a bit…….?

  5. Keith McKinnon says:

    I would agree that there are way too many people on this planet. In regards to climate change, this is the elephant in the room that no one seems to want to talk about. (other than saying, “Congrats! Your baby is so cute!”)

    As far as simplistic answers–simplest answer is usually the right one……and the most difficult to enact.

    Rose colored glasses? My tint has never faded, but several old schoolers have tried to tear the glasses right off of my face by reminding me that they have a right to burn fossil fuels for entertainment. By reminding me about how “…..if it don’t got a key or levers, I don’t operate it!”

    These rose colored glasses also get smashed when corporations tell me that I have to get a new cell phone because they are changing the networks and won’t support my phone that was working just fine.

    These glasses get smashed when we are forced to watch a foreign company extract fresh Canadian water for almost no cost and then stick it into plastic single use bottles which end up everywhere but the recycling centre.

    My rose colored glasses also fog right up when people say, “Fracking is not a problem, the earthquakes that it causes are small.”

    My utopian vision is one in which we use the highest of technology to live the most basic lives in an agricultural based society.

    Times are changing, better get your overalls on.

    ……Unless someone can show me just how long they can breathe car exhaust and survive.

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