To the Editor:

I believe we are presently at a crossroads of time and space. We are quickly running out of time when it comes to climate change. It seems the powerful governments around the world have resigned themselves to the fact that they cannot in a few years repair what they’ve been destroying for hundreds of years. When they do get together once a year, it’s more for a photo shoot than concrete action against the big polluters of the world. Instead, they come up with a slush fund to help Third-World countries, who don’t contribute to the pollution, but are being drastically affected by the mass destruction of climate change.

My big question is how much money was promised and how much will actually be paid out? It’s always easy to say one thing, but following through is totally different – especially when it comes to governments. Our own Canadian government leaders have a reputation of saying they will do a lot and instead do very little and the rest of the world realizes it in every hollow empty word that our politicians speak. Case in point: round peg in a square hole.

I recently heard that, according to our Canadian government, forestry and lumber production falls under the “carbon neutral” status. Please tell me how this can be, when forestry and lumber are responsible for 75 million tons of carbon every year? Not to mention the methane released after a clear-cut, from rotting lumber left behind. The amount of diesel fumes produced by trucks and machinery isn’t even mentioned.

The tar sands release 81 million tons of carbon per year. It seems our government likes making square pegs fit in round holes, to their convenience and to our demise.

Our country is huge and beautiful, but at the hands of some politicians, our wetlands and greenbelts are under attack and it happens to be in Ontario, under the guise of affordable housing. It’s amazing how much power the Ontario Home Builders Association really has when accompanied by the legacy(?) of a premier who has already slashed our funds by 50 per cent. Having a premier that is 150 per cent businessman and 0 per cent environmentalist scares the crap out of me. Until we learn to live with the land, as indigenous people have for thousands of years, we will not add up to much as a civilization.

As for space, our Minister of Immigration wants to welcome 1.4 million refugees to our country over the next five years. My big question is where are all these people supposed to live, when there’s not enough hotels and motels to go around? I guess I’m just really tired of our government solving long-term problems with knee-jerk reactions and then wondering why things go wrong down the road.

I recently heard four words that describe our world population: “Bonding with soulless machines” describes us to a T. With more and more exposure the people involved are becoming the very machines they are exposed to – soulless, heartless, cold, calculating, impatient, unforgiving and callous.

All I’m asking is when you’re dealing with people who are serving you at the Farmers’ Market, grocery store, post office, bank, hardware store, restaurants, pharmacy, newspaper, corner store – be kind. Many are making minimum wage and doing the very best they can. The least we can do as customers is to be kind, polite, patient and really appreciate their hard work by sharing a kind word.

I wish you all well in the New Year,

Andy Perreault