Earth first, parochial concerns second
Re: Plans to control coal dust must be in place (NewsLeader, Feb. 8)
I normally consider myself a "New Westminsterite" because I've spent nine years of my adult life here. Second to that, a Canadian. And finally, a citizen of planet Earth.
Somehow, though, in light of what is happening on the planet at this time, the tables have turned. It's no longer my little back yard and its white picket fence. It's no longer "jobs" and "crime" and the venerable Maple Leaf that ride high on my list of priorities. My priority now is the welfare of planet Earth, because I realize if we continue to tip the scales of the ecological balance the way we have been, we simply won't have a planet to live on any longer.
I can't pretend that these little human interest stories, these endless cops-and -robber chases of drug lords and organized crime, these sentimental "dog-in-the-dumpster" stories ... I can't pretend that they mean anything to me any more. In light of the reality we face as human beings, if we keep pushing the carbon footprint off the charts on a global level, how important can these things be?
We used to keep all this at bay with our cozy rationalizations that these concerns where just for hippies and fringe activists, but now, the vast majority of all scientists and scientific evidence is admitting that our mismanagement of the environment has indeed gone way off the deep end. We have only to open our eyes and see the ice caps melting, ages-old glaciers disappearing, oceans rising, record storms and escalated weather disturbances becoming commonplace...
And we're letting WHAT ship through our local ports?
I mean, if it was plutonium or cargo ships full of assault rifles, or anthrax or nerve gas, we'd be up in arms. We'd be outraged.
But friendly old coal? Four million tonnes per year? Four million tonnes being incinerated, spewing toxic and deadly CO2 into our atmosphere which is already precariously out of balance? This is way off the charts. This is not about one city or one banana republic or a toxic neighborhood. This is about destroying a planet, the planet we all stand on and live on and draw our food, water and air from: not only every day and every hour, but every moment of our lives.
Now, the fine city of New Westminster is allowing this planet-killing cargo to pass "safely" through its portals, without even a token whimper, while being lulled by excuses of the "bound and gagged" in their positions of power, who make laughable statements about "prevailing winds" and "internal review processes"?
Unfortunately, it's not a laughing matter any more. It's up to the citizens to lead the way and take action. Lies and money and the misuse of power have had their day. It's time for planetary change, now, if we're going to survive as a species.