Editor, The Times:
We seem to be having a difficult time dealing with our addiction to fossil fuel, but is this really surprising? What must have it been like 150 years ago for generations of people addicted to horse power of the four-legged, hay-burning type, to face the change to a series of machines burning fossil fuel?
Perhaps the prospect of walking knee deep in horse exhaust, of the solid and liquid kind, in our ever growing cities may have been part of the incentive to change. We, who are privileged to live in the uncrowded countryside, sometimes forget that the necessity for change usually occurs first in high-density cities. That, combined with the nearly 90 per cent of Canadians who live in cities where most functions are concentrated, may explain the pressure to change. Not that we country folks don’t do are part to foul our environment, but it is not as noticeable because of our lower numbers of people.
At some point we are going to have to make serious change to the way we power and develop our planet Earth or we might just as well bow out and leave it to the insects to fix, because they are the only living species that can tolerate the mess we have created.
Is the best way to alter human behaviour the stick or the carrot? Do we hit mankind with a stick, as in Mr. McNeill’s case the universal tax, or will it be the carrot in the form of affordable alternatives that are less polluting? Or will it be a combination of both approaches?
In conclusion, to do nothing and continue on our present course is to commit progressive suicide. That we need to change is not in doubt – we need to be openly engaged in discussion and debate on possible solutions.