Environmental issues cannot be ignored

New Prosperity hearings didn't discuss energy cost issues

To the editor:

The final statements have been made and the Prosperity Mine issue is now before the panel for a final decision.

For almost everyone, this has boiled down to two primary issues: the absolute need for some economic injection into the Cariboo economy; or the absolute need to protect the environment.

I’m sure there are other issues, but these are the two on which folks have hung their hats. On the economic issue, I wonder why other alternatives were never raised.

The Mayor’s Industrial Hemp Committee has a well-thought-through, well-researched industry that could affect community economies from Ashcroft to Vanderhoof and be a viable carbon-capture instrument at the same time.

One of the issues I did not see raised (during the New Prosperity hearings) was the issue of energy cost. By the time this mine could open, our fuel costs will have increased significantly over the current price (my authority for this statement is recent reports from the United Kingdom).

The viability of heavy industry in a global warming world is in need of review. Current estimates believe the oceans will rise by two feet by 2070, well within the lifetime of everyone under 20 today.

If that is even close, what does that mean for migration away from coastal areas? Today, the environment must be the over-riding issue.

Our political leaders are taking us down the garden path by insisting the world is still at the business-as-usual time in history. The loss of food production in much of the world’s central latitudes will affect us all.

The idea that this mine or any other will get us back on track is an illusion. We are on the cusp of a major life change and are not prepared to deal with it.

Given just one incident that sends the Middle East into a tailspin, raising the cost of energy in ways we can’t imagine will mean we have waited too long for serious planning to move us to a more sustainable, localized economy.

Jack Witty

Lac la Hache