An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
HERE’S SOMETHING that really bugs me about all the rhetoric around the future of the planet.
How often do we hear the climate-change deniers and pro-oil types say smugly, “Oh, sure, so-and-so flew in on a jet to give a speech about saving the environment? How much fuel did that plane burn? Talk about a hypocrite!”
On the other hand, environmentalists have a habit of saying, “We’ve got to put an end to oil production, right now, or we’re all gonna die!”
Let’s look at each of those statements. There’s nothing hypocritical about flying from A to B in an airplane. That happens to be how we travel long distances.
Does anyone seriously think the airline industry should just be grounded overnight?
If there were electric airliners, I’m sure David Suzuki would be happy about that and would be the first to use them as he goes around making speeches about the environment.
And then there are the sanctimonious enviros who insist the oil sands should be shut down right now, today. Get serious. If we could decree an immediate end to oil production, we wouldall soon be dead, because we’re dependent on it for the production and transportation of the things that keep us alive.
So the concept of a planned, rational, strategic transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources makes total sense. We need to change from oil to wind and solar and electric on a reasonable timeline.
Why is that so hard for both sides to understand?
Why can’t we stop arguing at extremes and, first, acknowledge the need for change?
Then, we’ll be able to get somewhere, instead of just butting heads.
And, by the way, there are electric airplanes being built and tested, as we speak. Some use batteries, some are solar powered. Very soon, electric cars will be the norm, and electric planes and trains aren’t far behind.
All we have to do is stop fighting long enough to do it.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.