LETTER: Creating green jobs, energy is harsh reality

Weekly letters to the editor from within the Sooke community.

It’s time to face reality (Letters, Dec. 21st). It is indeed time to squarely face the reality that letter-writer Andy Nelmers chooses to ignore.

The reality that 2016 is the third successive hottest year globally in a row. (Even here on the Southern Vancouver Island record temperatures for the day were smashed in April, August and November.)

The reality that climate change is here and sea level rise has already begun and if unchecked will lead to serious inundation into major population centres around the world, including Vancouver and Victoria before the end of the century.

The reality that the oil and gas industry in Canada is already subsidized to the tune of $3.3 billion a year.

The reality that while wind turbines are known to kill birds, it is less than one tenth of a per cent of those killed by cellphone towers and tall buildings and the 1.4-3.7 billion bird deaths caused by domestic cats.

The reality of green jobs is that more Canadians are already employed in the alternative energy sector than in the tar sands. In the U.S. the numbers are even more impressive with 173,000 employed directly in solar energy jobs and a further 531,000 indirect jobs. In wind energy the numbers are 73,000 direct jobs with 17,000 of those in Texas, the largest current wind power producing state.

Finally the reality is Canada urgently needs to play catch up to countries like Germany and China who have the largest installed base of solar generating capacity in the world. China has over 60GW (that is gigawatts not megawatts) of installed solar generating capacity. As a result it employs hundreds of thousands in solar panel manufacture and solar power installation.

Canada must begin the switch to green jobs and alternate energy sources now or we will be facing the harsh reality of being stuck in a 19th century polluting energy economy that everyone else has long abandoned.

Roland Alcock