LETTERS: City’s climate commitment commended, derided

Editor:

The world can breathe a whole lot easier now that the City of White Rock is endeavouring to lower its carbon emissions.

China and India contribute over 50 per cent of global CO2, which they can increase at will moving forward, according to the Paris Climate Agreement. But fear not, White Rock city council to the rescue.

I Googled Canada’s population, which is indicated to be 37.59 million. I then Googled White Rock’s population which is shown to be 19,952. If my old cross-multiply-and-divide math skills haven’t failed me, White Rock represents .00053 per cent of our nation’s population. Canada reportedly contributes .6 per cent of all global emissions. White Rock might conceivably reduce its carbon emissions by 10 per cent.

Continuing to play with this ever-diminishing number became pointless, as the total was becoming so utterly insignificant as to be meaningless.

Obviously, this “climate emergency” gesture is nothing but an act of virtue-signalling, and a waste of taxpayer dollars. How ironic it is that it came the same week as the garbage-collection meeting at the White Rock Community Centre, which was cancelled due to severe winter weather.

As a truant Swedish scold famously said, “How dare you?”

Glen Gerow, White Rock

•••

I must take back all I have ever said about the inefficiency of government. No sooner has White Rock council taken the initiative to tackle climate emergency with clear actions and goals on Jan. 13, and by Jan. 15 we have the coldest period of weather in this century in the Lower Mainland, according to the Weather Network.

Seriously, though, I hope the climate virtue-signallers equate the fight against climate change with one of its foremost causes. As I suspect we all know, by 1980 approximately, there were 5 billion humans and roughly 40 per cent lived in abject poverty. By 2020, there were approximately 7.5 billion humans and only about 10 per cent living in abject poverty. One of the major causes was access to relatively inexpensive energy caused by a large part by an increase in fossil-fuel burning.

This is a conundrum which needs to be addressed, at least in my opinion.

Bob Holden, South Surrey

•••

I would like to commend White Rock city council’s decision to declare a climate emergency, and thank those who put this on the agenda and worked to have it pass.

What seems to be lacking from the story, though, at least as reported in the Peace Arch News, are concrete policy commitments to make White Rock a sustainable place.

I am wary because when the federal government declared a climate emergency, they bought an oil pipeline the next day.

So concrete actions should be taken in tandem with the declaration of a climate emergency, or the phrase is meaningless.

Some of the most basic actions we could take would be making White Rock walkable, with proper sidewalks on every road; creating bike lanes instead of banning bicycles on some streets; and the preservation of our trees, along with reforestation efforts.

Cities have a huge role to play in making our built environments conducive to sustainability; we need to make sure the willingness of the council translates into direct action!

I hope we see this followup, using the climate emergency as mandate to create a community that is both more sustainable and more enjoyable to live in.

Elise Burgert, White Rock

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