Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Open Letter to a Politician (who just happens to also be my cousin)

Hey Doug,

And I luv ya too, cuz..

I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and what you're doing, I know it isn't easy, and I'm sure it's even harder, than the hard I envision and I wouldn't expect you to see eye to eye with me on everything. As you know I grew up with a single mother, a never there alcoholic father, was an asthmatic child and my Mom got cancer when I was 5. All of these things effect your perspective and when your growing up and trying to find your place in the world, the environmental community seemed like the right place for me, I don't always agree with everything, because I did come from a family with Conservative and farming roots as well and that has shaped my perspective too.

The reality is, there are no easy answers, and no one person is 100% right, because everyone has different things happen to them in life that shape their perspective, sometimes I feel like the more I read and more I try to figure people out though, the more I wish I would just keep my mouth shut, but that's not like the people in our family, is it?

Yes I do live in Calgary, I've considered moving many times, but there is a good eco-community movement growing here, and I feel I can make a difference in it at least for now. I do live in a condo, it's heated by geothermal and solar thermal hot water heating. Calgary has some of most sunny weather in major cities across Canada and there's lots of potential to be done with it.

Rudolph Diesel ran his first engine on bio-based fuel, so did Henry Ford, Diesel was rather adamant about petro fuels not being used in his engine at all, but he was up against Goliath and we all know how that ended up. Today we have many alternatives, including things like algae based fuels (which I've seen run down in California in real cars) and all sorts of alternatives that don't require much energy to produce, thus there EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) has a ratio higher than 10:1 unlike Tarsands oil. Sure Suzuki has been saying this for a while, it's going to happen, I like to draw on a great metaphor from businessman Ray Anderson from Interface--In the earlier attempts to fly, the man going off a very high cliff in his plane with his wings flapping thinks he's flying, but in reality he’s actually in free-fall and doesn’t know it yet because the ground is so far away and of course he’s doomed to crash. That’s our civilization, the very high cliff represents the seemingly unlimited resources we seem to have, but the craft isn’t flying because it’s not built to the laws of aerodynamics and is subject to the law of gravity. Our civilization is not flying, because it’s not built to the laws of aerodynamics for civilizations what would fly. The ground is still a long way away but some people have seen that ground and told us it’s coming.....as you say you have an Honours Degree in Environmental Philosophy...you told me two years ago you voted Green, so I know you know...maybe things have changed a bit, but it's like I said before I don't always agree either, with the Greens, with other parties and so on.

The whole idea behind this is "consequences", we teach our children that actions have consequences, but collectivity as a society we don't seem to think so, the idea that we the human race are too small to affect the climate is crazy, remember the Montreal Protocol on CFCs, oh yeah we can effect things up there can't we! We came together then, but this is apparently too big, too many people stand to lose too much and because so much of our society is build on it, your right I could end up with with no power, no imported food, etc. but that's a risk I'm willing to take, because it's still the right thing to do. That may sound crazy, but it's worked for me so far....can't say the same for everyone.

Peace,
Shayne

this is a response to http://www.douggriffiths.ca/archive/posted-2008120262.php "An Open Letter to an Environmentalist" from Doug Griffiths, MLA

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Having read both letters now, may I point out a couple of things.
Firstly, if you are to write a letter to somebody, especially a relative, it is only proper form to ensure you spell that persons name correctly.
Secondly, I am surprised to learn that anyone holds David Suzuki as a 'God'. Especially you Shayne, who I have never heard mention his name. It further bothers me that one assumes who your 'God' may or may not be.
I beleive that people can freely express themselves, with any point of view - without resorting to passive-aggresive insults by misspellings of ones name or attacking ones 'God', even as unaccurate as that assumption is.
As a politician, I would hope for more diplomacy, accurate references to names and beliefs and an obvious open mind to what the public, or even your cousin, feels.
Shayne, I do not wish to insult your cousin (as I feel he was making an attempt to do to you) but I can say what his letter says about his closed mindset is very concerning. I would hope any politican I vote for has an open mind and actually listens to the people. I would hope that an elected politician understands he/she is not an individual voice, but has an obligation to listen and represent ALL of the voices of those who they have been elected to represent.
I hope that your cousin/politician can one day put the peoples viewpoint ahead of his own. And as he so clearly pointed out his education, use that to check and confirm spellings and facts before proceeding with written viewpoints in such a political forum.