You can wade, splash or swim. You can paddle, row or sail. Why then, in a world where global warming is already wreaking death and destruction, are luxury boats and jet skis a growth industry?
There is now a scientific consensus that burning fossil fuel is radically changing the global climate, endangering all our futures by endangering the ecosystems our civilization depends upon. We have a society built around the car. Trucks carry a cornucopia of consumer goods thousands of kilometers for our use. We think cars and trucks are necessary, but why are gas-guzzling toys like ride-on mowers, snowmobiles, ATVs and dirt bikes still increasing in sales?
Canada and other developed countries that contribute the most to the global warming problem are having a hard time keeping their Kyoto commitments to limit fossil fuel use. Why are these obviously expendable, luxury CO2 producers not curtailed? Why, when increasing hurricanes and mudslides are already killing thousands of people, when coral reefs, salmon and boreal forests are already being negatively affected, are we still expanding luxury use?
Gas-guzzling toys arent the only luxury CO2 producers Canadians abuse.
Im a jock and I love the Canucks and watching hockey, but does it make sense to have a hundred pro-sport teams criss-crossing the continent by plane creating a horrendous CO2 footprint when we could support local teams in our local communities? Are pro-sports a sacrosanct luxury more important than human life and the environment?
We also have a greatly expanding airline industry. According to one European study, one Trans-Atlantic flight or the equivalent per lifetime would be a reasonable limitation in order to live within a sustainable ecological footprint. We have an expanding tourism industry that doesnt even consider its footprint. When you can go to the lake or even have tons of fun staying at home, why do we not consider that trip to Europe or Thailand as a luxury production of CO2 that vulnerable people and ecosystems world-wide can no longer afford?
Wake up and look around - These are just a few examples of unethical and wasteful behavior that we indulge in without consideration for the cumulative damage we do. We can enjoy life without the unnecessary luxuries and gas-guzzling toys. We can meet our Kyoto commitments and still live quality lives.
Summers almost here. Have fun swimming, playing softball, throwing a Frisbee, riding your bike, walking or reading, etc., etc., etc. You dont have to spew out noise and noxious gases to have fun.
For Commentary this is Bill Henderson in Gibsons, B.C.