Bowen Island Official Community Plan Update Committee
February 28, 2010
Dear Members of the Committee:
My name is James Glave and I’m a father of two. Ours is a young commuter family, and my wife and I actively participate in many aspects of island life. I love this place, and I am proud to call it home.
My personal passion is climate change solutions, and the transportation, energy, and land-use strategies that have been shown to reduce per-capita greenhouse-gas emissions here in our region and around the world. We can talk about any number of issues, but in my mind, carbon is the ultimate deal-breaker. We simply don’t have an option other than finding ways to slash the stuff from our lives and community. If we don’t “act locally” on this “global” issue, it will eventually come home to our doorstop and find us where we live anyway.
The science suggests that climate change will, in the near-term, overwhelm our first responders and social services, exhaust our municipal budget, and place hardship on our population via skyrocketing food prices. In the long term (which is what community planning is all about, right?) it will ultimately result in waves of climate refugees flooding into Canada, and ultimately our community. This is not chicken-little stuff, it is exhaustively documented in reports by The Global Humanitarian Forum, the World Health Organization, Oxfam, and many other public agencies and non-government organizations.
Climate change is not an “environmental” issue, it is a civilization challenge. I believe we have a profound moral obligation to address it, wherever we live. I personally believe that we do not get an excuse or “opt out” pass to address climate just because we choose to live in a beautiful place that is “seen to be rural,” where fawns dance at the roadside and salmon thrash in the lagoon. We are not entitled to an exemption because we are surrounded by great natural beauty. This is not just “China’s problem.” We should see our emissions as an opportunity to lead, not barely squeak through our statutory obligations and hope nobody is noticing. That’s how we are not dealing with it now.