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Choosing status quo

Dear editor:

On June 16, the University of Toronto awarded world-renowned ELA scientist Dr. David Schindler with an honourary doctorate degree.

In accepting this honour, Dr. Schindler lamented that since his time at the Experimental Lakes Area, east of Kenora, Canada had abandoned its leadership role in protecting the environment.

He recalled the research he was involved in there. It led to the world banning phosphate—the cause of algal blooms and the death of lakes by oxygen deprivation—from detergents.

He also recalled studies which led to curbing acid rain, which destroys forests and fish. And he recounted Canada’s lead in preventing the destruction of the ozone layer.

But as Dr. Schindler told his young audience, when once Canada did things because they were the right thing to do, now we calculate the economic advantage.

He invited the graduates to help Canada become a leader again.

This modern prophet called on the young students to “wean our society from fossil fuels” and help in the switch to sustainable energy. He reminded them that the oil economy is depleting the earth’s resources and contributing to global warming.

Unfortunately, the Northern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) thinks that digging up fossil fuels and selling them to the world is the only realistic way forward to achieve prosperity.

NOMA seems to believe that as long as TransCanada meets safety standards, the Energy East pipeline can go ahead.

Canada is committed to reducing its carbon production to keep the increase in global warming to below two degrees C. Increasing oilsands production is not going to help us meet our target.

We already extract and ship hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. TransCanada and other supporters of Energy East say that the pipeline will make Canada self-sufficient.

However, Energy East only is about getting oil to “tidewater”—from there to be shipped around the world.

We can choose to lead and do the right thing, or we can choose the status quo. NOMA has chosen the status quo.

In a changing climate which calls for big, bold thinking and changes in the way we produce and consume energy, that is not leadership.

(Signed)

Peter Kirby,

Bill Cameron,

and Jim Johnson

Kenora, Ont.

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