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LETTER: Climate-change crisis cannot be ignored

To the Editor,

I cannot ignore the climate-change crisis when I hear the young adults say, I’m not going to have children, it wouldn’t be fair to expose them to this devastating future. I don’t know how I am going to cope myself.”

My biologist-trained adult children, with young children, are constantly anxious about their children’s’ future. Weather unpredictability is so hard to cope with – will they have food, if the crops fail? After all, winter arrived in Creston a month early this year, freezing crops in the field.

I read about Canadas’ ground being 50 per cent permafrost and the melting accelerating, releasing methyl-mercury emissions that poison our air, water and soil and increase the rate of climate change. Many of our mountains; the Rockies, the Purcells, Northern Coastals, are supported by permafrost. Alarmingly, farther north, 85 mountain landslides happened in one day on one mountainous area after a heavy rain combined with the permafrost melt. I read about Teck’s Frontier mine scheduled to last 41 years, supplying bitumen for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and I wonder how Teck has the confidence that the permafrost melt won’t disrupt their industrial extractions, their roads or the pipeline stability. I observe industry blithely carrying on industrial activities while accelerating the threatening climate crisis permafrost melt that will threaten their operations.

I read about the Harper Conservative government’s 31-year FIPPA trade deal with China, which allows China to sue Canada for its laws that interfere with the Chinese $30 billion investments in Canadian energy resources. No wonder Canadian politicians can’t transition to a clean economy – we are backed over a trade-deal fossil-fuel barrel. Canadian taxpayer money will be spent on FIPPA lawsuits for 31 years, creating wealth for the international industrial lawyers 1 per cent, while our challenged social services and infrastructure lack financing.

At least we taxpayers can stop paying the $3-4 billion annual subsidies to the fossil-fuel industry. We can instead invest that money into retraining our fossil-fuel labour force to cap the 55,000 natural gas wells that are leaking methane, and the retrained workers can produce clean 24/7 geothermal electricity from the ‘hot’ wells instead.

We taxpayers can invest in electrifying our transportation, using quick-change local hydro-charged battery cells, to keep the vehicles or trains moving quickly. With no more carcinogenic fossil-fuel fumes to breathe, cancers would decrease, asthmatics could breathe easier, we’d save on our healthcare costs. We can subsidize installed heat-pumps in our homes. We can subsidize captured 24/7 heat-waste from our sewers to provide heat and hot water for our urban core. We can subsidize the capture of our sewage methane, combined with manures and mill-waste for local-use fuel and heat.

We Canadian taxpayers, with the $3-4 billion annual subsidies divested from fossil-fuels, could invest in training our youth to build and maintain reservoirs and cisterns to catch enough rain to last us through the drought months or to be tree-planters and soil stabilizers. We can invest in creating a year-round local food economy and employment in Creston that would supply soup stock from all of the butchered animal bones, manufacturing variations of dumplings with the grain, meat and vegetables that we grow here, supplying food for school lunches, hospitals, senior centers, households, and local export. We can invest in root cellars and storage systems, that fail-safe us as a community if the weather is a bad year for some crops, enabling us to continue supplying employment, food and revenue for the community and the Columbia Basin communities.

Creston has the level-ground, the lumber, the cement, and the skills to create an all-season, wheel-chair friendly community as a long-term employment opportunity. Imagine no more winter shut-in isolation! We Boomers are growing old, let’s invest in this opportunity now, and provide ourselves with some ease into old age.

By diverting the annual $3-4 billion fossil-fuel subsidies into climate-friendly economies, Creston and the Columbia Basin communities could have so many opportunities to contribute to social and environmental stability, helping mitigate the climate crisis, and create a secure future for our children, so they may feel confident in having and raising their children.

Susan Eyre, Sirdar

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