Keith Baldrey's Feb. 22 column, Just Saying 'No' Not Always the Best Policy, is one more example of the narrow-minded thinking that is leading us towards the destruction of this planet.
The scientific facts are clear that the ongoing and increasing extraction and use of fossil fuels is causing irreversible damage to life as we know it, and that drastic conservation measures and changes to the way we use energy and run our economies are necessary in order to preserve a livable environment for us and for future generations.
Proposals such as pipeline expansions and increased coal shipments are completely contrary to the direction we should be heading. Even the Kinder Morgan expansion, which Baldrey argues will be essentially the same operation as it has been for years, will add a substantial amount of tanker traffic to an already busy port, increasing pollution and the risk of spills.
Opposing these projects is not easy, as Baldrey suggests. It requires courage and perseverance to stand up against the big businesses and strong governments who have the power and the money to push these projects through. But it is vital to have that opposing voice, and not only from the "environmentalists." We are all dependent on the environment for our survival, and as such we should all make the movement towards a sustainable and healthy environment our ultimate priority. It may seem contradictory to speak out against the very industries that have given us the lifestyles that we enjoy, but coming around to a new way of thinking is a process, and the change has to begin somewhere. David Suzuki argues that "it's incredibly short-sighted to think that a healthy economy can be maintained when the health of the planet is failing." Furthermore, former World Bank chief economist Lord Nicholas Stern asserts that "failing to bring down greenhouse gas emissions will destroy the economy."
It is Keith Baldrey's arguments that lack coherence and a recognition that real and dire consequences would actually result by saying "yes" to everything, not by saying "no."
Lisa Brasso, West Vancouver