Letter to the Editor – Climate Change


Dear Editor,

Several “Letters to the Editor” in the August 11 edition of the NGT were emphatic as to the truth of “climate change”. The climate change advocates generally assert the government (at any level) “should do more”, or “has not done things correctly”, to reduce the carbon footprint in Canada. By page 17 of the NGT, I was somewhat heartened by the article “Sustainable Living”, in which some individuals took it upon themselves to actually do something about it at a personal and technological level. Those who lament the climate change crisis, for after all, all things are a “crisis” these days, from a housing crisis, housing affordability crisis, homelessness crisis, drug and debt crisis etc., might better ask, as an individual, what can I do to reduce my carbon footprint? What if the 37+ million people in Canada asked this question and did something personally. And it appears they have!

Stats Canada indicates that, of the 1,592,119 new motor vehicles sold in 2020, 330,295 were passenger cars and 1,261,824 were of the truck category (vans, SUV, trucks), while car sales have been steadily falling over the last three years and the truck class increasing. It seems the Canadian public is buying vehicles that produce more carbon emissions. Should the government step in and ban all vehicles that do not achieve at least 40mpg, and legislate against the Canadian consumer? During 2020, RV sales reached 53,175, a drop of 4.4% from 2019. Yet, in 2020, RV sales soared, according to news reports, and guess the vehicles required to pull these RV’s. Soaring demand for power boats witnessed inventories sold out by spring in 2021. It seems Canadians are “voting with their dollars” against climate change.

How many people in our community heat with natural gas? What if the government “did the right thing” and banned such heating systems and required all persons to install solar systems and heat pumps? Also, ban air conditioning. Perhaps mandate thermostats that will only allow a resident to heat to 15C? There are several new subdivisions being built in the Kemptville area, all heated by natural gas, the cheapest way to heat. Perhaps the government should “ban the gas company”, as it is a polluter, or invoke a higher “gas tax” to discourage gas home heating? But then again, the carbon tax has not deterred Canadian vehicle purchasers from purchasing gas guzzling vehicles. A recent article in the NGT had the Mayor of Merrickville-Wolford ecstatic over natural gas coming to the north end of the village, natural gas for 67 homes and businesses, a mere $37,313 per customer to start. North Grenville is also happy with population growth, but this, of necessity, increases the NG carbon footprint. It seems even local communities are voting against climate change in favour of economic development.

Stats Canada indicates that, from 2015 to 2019, the total number of air passengers rose by 21.5%. Perhaps all Canadians should stop flying in the future, as high altitude flight are more polluting due to the “rarified air”. Again, the Canadian public is monetarily voting against climate change. Should the climate warriors demand that the government legislate against the purchasing desires of the Canadian population? Let’s take a look at two well known climate eco warriors. Dr. David Suzuki, a leading Canadian climate activist, rails against air travel, oversized homes, etc., while he himself owns four residences in Canada worth an estimated 3.5 million in 2013, and a fifth home in Australia in 2017. Dr. Suzuki logs more annual air travel than the majority of Canadians. It seems he is also voting economically against climate change. Al Gore, the American climate crusader of “Inconvenient Truth” fame, owns a 20-room mansion, plus 8-bathroom home and three other homes. It appears he, also, is spending for investment purposes, and not climate preservation purposes. Perhaps what these climate activists preach is not congruent with what they actually do.

Willem Van Dam


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