Apathy isn't an excuse when it comes to the environment


When I was young I was taught proverbs like: 'there are none so blind as those who will not see' and idioms like 'not seeing the wood for the trees'.

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When I read the Optimist letters (Dec. 27) telling us we need the new 10-lane bridge because of the pollution caused by idling traffic, I am reminded of those phrases and realize, some adults still do not understand their true meaning. As a species are we really that stupid? Most vehicles using the tunnel have one occupant. We likely would not need a 10-lane bridge and pollution would be greatly reduced if we just considered public transport or car pooling rather than waiting for others to make that change before we have to.

We all see the signs and have heard the warnings about climate change, yet we continue with our lives telling governments and others they must act... first, before we personally are forced into doing so. The days of uncaring excess are over, get used to it. It takes just one doctor to diagnose an illness in us and we believe them, but we still don't believe it, far less change our ways, when 99 per cent of all climate scientists say humanity is facing a very uncertain future. You might think our earth is somehow in danger, it is not, it has experienced worse than the damage we are doing and it will survive its current cancerous growth... mankind and then regenerate as it has done before.

Seeing adverts on TV, essentially sponsored by the fossil fuel industry, of cartoon characters enjoying a non-polluted landscape are, quite frankly, insulting to our intelligence. The fossil fuel industry cares about one thing, profits for their shareholders. I really do hope the $4.5 billion of taxpayers’ money is completely wasted and that pipeline never gets built. Such a project is asinine and totally the wrong focus for government funding, as is the $3 billion of taxpayers’ money we give yearly to the fossil fuel industry (Wikipedia).

Governments and business tell us what they want us to hear, it's all about the economy and jobs, which couldn't be further from the truth. Like you, governments will not change the status quo until we act/protest/letter write/call/email loudly and often enough so they work for our benefit and not the fossil fuel industry.

With continued pollution and weather-related events worsening take a look in the mirror and ask yourself what quality of life are you looking forward to? Now look at the children you gave life to and all future generations and ask what is stopping you from helping them achieve a long and healthy life. Apathy, I can't do anything and maybe tomorrow, are not good enough reasons. Our legacy to them should be the changes we make now to ensure their future in a healthy environment.

There should be but one new years’ resolution you should not just make, but keep, in the coming days and you don't need me to tell you what that is.

Gavin Wishart

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