Letter: Time to pay attention to environmental concerns

We’re missing a very important big picture.

To the editor:

I often wonder whether that unfortunate aspect of human nature that permits us our collective tunnel vision regarding natural environment degradation, will be our eventual undoing?

Maybe due to Earth’s large size, there seems to be a general oblivious mentality as though even the largest contamination event can somehow be safely absorbed into the environment — air, sea, and land.

For example, it’s largely believed that when released into gritty B.C. coastal waters, diluted bitumen (dilbit) will likely sink to the bottom, as with the 2010 Michigan spill in which dilbit is still being scraped off of the Kalamazoo River floor.

I wonder, could that sinking characteristic perhaps appeal to some people who are usually apathetic towards the natural environment deep below the water surface: i.e. it will no longer be an eyesore after it sinks — i.e. out of sight, out of mind?

It may be the same mentality that allows the immense amount of plastic waste, such as disposable straws, to eventually find its way into our life-filled oceans, where there are few if any, caring souls to see it.

After all, why worry about such things immediately unseen, regardless of their most immense importance, especially when there are various undesirable politicians and significant social issues over which to dispute — distractions our mainstream media seem only too willing to provide us?

Besides, what back and brain busting, home-mortgaged labourer sustains the energy to worry about such things immediately unseen, regardless of their most immense importance?

I see it somewhat analogous to a cafeteria lineup consisting of diversely societally represented people, all adamantly arguing over which identifiable traditionally marginalized person should be at the front and, conversely, at the back of the line; and, furthermore, to whom amongst them should go the last piece of quality pie — all the while the interstellar spaceship on which they’re all permanently confined is burning and toxifying at locations rarely investigated.

As a species, we really can be so heavily preoccupied with our own individual admittedly overwhelming little worlds, that we’ll miss the biggest of pictures.

Frank Sterle Jr.

White Rock, B.C.

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