years of prosperity takes its toll

Another view

If one’s life philosophy is that humans have every right in the world to chop, mine, develop, pollute, have easy access to all areas, and generally cash in on any and all resources that this planet holds, and happily bury one’s head in the sand regarding the proven facts of climate change, then all is well in the world. We should just blindly carry on as per usual and fight all those who dare stand in the way of profit, “growth”,  access demands, and development.

But if one’s life philosophy goes a little deeper than that and you somehow feel there is a greater connection between all things, and that life on all levels must be considered in our every day decisions then things can get a little murky. If one takes a closer look and really listens to what is being said about species depletions, disappearing wildernesses and jungles, Texas-sized islands of plastic floating in the Pacific, and dire warnings of eco-system collapses under the pretty waves by very credible scientists and organizations, then it makes you think. It should anyway. Perhaps all these years of prosperity and growth have taken a toll far greater than originally imagined. Perhaps this great planet of ours does have its limits and is not able to sustain our zest for more and easier at a never-ending rate.

The problem seems to be of scope and magnitude. Take for instance the extremely controversial resort development plan along the JDF trail.  First there was the secretive, undemocratic, uncompromising  (yet somehow legal) way these lands found their way onto the not so open market. Now the zoning fate of these vast lands lies in an ancient feudalistic style process where only five people get to vote on a monumental decision that will affect and dictate how this rural region gets carved up over the next 50 years. Right here, on our doorstep, we have our world’s environmental problems in a nutshell.  Two philosophies collide.

Do we fragment another small part of the wild world and introduce a human population into a rural wilderness area unnecessarily? Do we willingly plunk 250 homes, resort lodge, restaurant, and the sea of humanity associated with that, currently in the “middle of nowhere”  and then watch how it shatters the serenity and stresses our ecosystems even more?

Or do we act with caution and try to first fully understand the effect this development will have on both a local and global level.

On a local scale this development is huge and will have a large impact on animal and environmental conditions.

Even though we are being told this development will spare many acres, it will never the less introduce the beginnings of concrete foundations in an area known and enjoyed for its rural wilderness. And as we all know rules constantly change, by-laws and zoning statuses are at the mercy of the times and those in charge, so I see absolutely no guarantee that this development will be the end of it. In fact, it will foreshadow the beginning of what’s to come.

One must look at this momentous decision with magnified eyes and see the bigger picture. If these zoning changes are rammed through and a huge development allowed, then we will continue to see more of it all along our rural and wild coasts in the future.

On a planetary scale this development is small but it will continue to set precedent. If the term “Death by a thousand cuts” means nothing to you then think again. Each time we make unnecessary and poor environmental decisions for short term gains on a local level we bleed this entire planet just a little more.

At some point the philosophy of “man vs. environment” must change to “man is environment.” We must take our time and make land use decisions not based on what we want now but what we need for a future.  I and many others do not see this resort development as a future maker, but as a future breaker.

 

Tom Eberhardt

Otter Point

 

The Sooke News Mirror will, at its discretion, print longer “opinion” pieces from readers.