Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Tortoise and The Hare: A Parable for Central Saanich

We have been characterised as a ‘go slow’ municipality by some, as if that were a bad thing. In fact ‘go slow’ is exactly what Central Saanich should be doing given the changes we are facing. It’s time to be sure we have assessed what we have and what we need for future generations. It’s time take an environmental inventory of our water, our trees, our wildlife, the stresses on our land and on our air.

Are we willing to say goodbye forever to the eagles who grace our skies and rest in our tree tops? Are we willing to say goodbye forever to the salmon and the seals and the otters in the inlet? Do we care if our aquifers are draining and recharge is impossible because we’ve over paved? Do we care about the overheated microclimate we’ve created because we took down so many trees? Do we care about the costs incurred in terms of more frequent paving and the need for more storm drains because we cut the trees?

The accelerated pace of consumption has blinded us to the need to conserve finite resources. There is a total disconnection between what we buy and the resources used to make these products. We buy tomatoes from California because we think they are cheaper when, in fact, they are more expensive than local tomatoes because we are not factoring in all the costs, such as the cost to the environment of hauling chemically ripened fruit long distances in polluting vehicles.

The same goes for the setting of our municipality. We say we love its green coolness and its rural ambience, but then we want to build outside our urban containment areas and buffer zones and we claim that we only want to build on unfarmable land as if that were the only test with which we need to concern ourselves.

It’s time we looked more closely at climate, food security, rural preservation, conservation of resources and whether we have a moral right to use up everything and leave nothing for the future. It’s time we measured our ‘success’ in terms of need rather than greed. It’s time we hired an environmental planner with the power to overrule excessive footprinting.

So remember the tortoise who beat the hare and take your time to go slow, measure and set a sustainable pace!

1 comment:

s, watson said...

I will certainly be voting for you in the next election in Nov. You are speaking for all of us about the environment and what you have to say resonates very well with my own feelings about the disregard many seem to have for our environment and balance in society.