Looking north towards Willoughby, Walnut Grove, and even the Golden Ears mountain in Maple Ridge, the thick smoke from the U.S. wildfires obscure the normal view available from the 208th Street hill in the Uplands neighbourhood of Langley City. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

LETTER: Is it too late to reverse climate change?

Reader calls for an end to Canada’s excessive capitalism and consequent continental decay

Dear Editor,

[RE: VIDEO: Smoky skies from U.S. wildfires continue in Langley, Sept. 13, Langley Advance Times online]

Is anyone else looking up at our smoke filled skies and crying out “is it too late?”

Global greenhouse gas emissions listed by economic sector include things like transportation, industry, agriculture, etc.

Aviation accounts for more than two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Stefan Gössling, co-editor of “Climate Change and Aviation,” claims that this does not include other aviation emissions that have additional climate warming effects.

Who can be blamed for wanting to experience other cultures or see iconic landmarks – but at what cost?

A general estimate is that only five per cent of the world’s population has ever flown.

We can safely assume that the tragically large percentage of the world’s poor do not travel.

If travel and tourism were accessible to everyone, I daresay there wouldn’t be an environment left to travel in.

RELATED: Smoky skies expected through weekend in B.C. as 29 large wildfires burn across U.S. border

The average size of a home has increased from 1,000 square feet to 2,400 in the last several decades, not to mention families have become smaller. That’s a lot more space to heat for fewer people.

In addition to toxic materials used in industry, what about random household products like nail polish, oven cleaner, hair dye?

Where does all this noxious goop go?

Plus, we’re constantly being bombarded with advertising encouraging us to buy! Buy! Buy! We’re valued as consumers rather than workers. If we can’t afford something, credit is frighteningly accessible.

Two important tenets of capitalism are profit and growth, but natural resources are not limitless.

There is a growth threshold, and the smoky skies are telling us this.

If we are to consider sustainability, we need to question that sacred cow known as capitalism.

The prophetic words spoken by Alanis Obomsawin in 1972 come to mind: “Canada, the most affluent of countries, operates on a depletion economy, which leaves destruction in its wake. Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.”

Michelle Matich, Langley

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Do you have an opinion you’d like to share. Please send us a letter to the editor, include your first and last name, your address, and your phone number. Email to editor@langleyadvancetimes.com. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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