RE: "Canada only a small player on world stage when it comes to carbon" letter from Colin Whewell, Oct. 17 edition.
Whewell makes a practical argument about climate change.
It is one I have with myself from time-to-time when I wonder why I try to live by the four Rs (reduce, re-use, recycle and refuse) when it has next to no impact, but I plug on.
There is a flip-side to his argument too, which makes it stronger if a bit more selfish: the Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the world, but very few Canadians live up north. So why should most of us, huddled close to our U.S. neighbour, take a hit?
Because it is the right thing to do if you care about others and the planet that sustains all life.
But while moral arguments may make you feel good, they don't put money in your pocket.
Climate change is undeniably a global issue.
If Whewell's argument makes sense, why have the Scandinavian countries become leaders in the fight against climate change?
Surely they had less to lose even than Canada. Or are they just being "good guys?" Or are they more forward looking?
Their actions are attracting positive attention and investment and motivating their youth. Could Canada do the same?
As we know, if you are in a ship that is only sinking a millimetre an hour, but it keeps sinking, it makes sense if all pitch in to pump water out and plug the holes.
Better still when you have the technology to pump water out faster, plug holes better and prevent your ship from getting into such messes in the future – you make a better future.
What is good money in your pocket, saved from carbon taxes, at the bottom of the sea?
Another sweeter argument is gaining force – that climate change offers opportunities for positive action. This can be seen in many places around the world beside Scandinavia and Europe.
The United States federally is refusing to take action, but not so for some of its states that are not just implementing sustainable technology, but developing it.
In Canada, the same thing is happening at the municipal level, as for example the greening of Vancouver in a province that manages to do well with its carbon tax.
Did you know there are small companies working at carbon sequestration technology in Alberta and hoping to sell their equipment internationally?
Carbon tax money directed towards those initiatives would be money well spent. There truly are opportunities for Canadians to benefit morally and economically by taking positive steps, even small ones, to combat climate change and work towards a better future for upcoming generations.
Doing something positive brings hope and hope comes with a promise, sometimes faint, of success.