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General News · 27th November 2009
norberto rodriguez dela vega
Let me share this Open letter

Hon. Barry Penner,
Minister of Environment,

Hon. Blair Lekstrom,
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Hon. John Yap,
Minister of State for Climate Action

Victoria, BC

I am writing to express my concern about the new Green Energy Advisory Task Force that has been announced by the BC Government. I have been trying to understand the reasoning behind this announcement and I have come to the conclusion that the core idea behind it is for more economic growth in BC.

No matter the way I read all this, none of the four task force groups that has been announced will be looking into ways for reducing our insatiable demand for energy, nor for making any improvement for the resiliency, nor the sustainability, of this province. To me, that should be priority number one for this Task Force, instead of being a leader in clean and renewable energy.

It is all about creating more resource development, more markets, more profits. And renewable or not, we all know that resource development always has a major impact on our natural environment.

As far as I understand it, this task force is creating a green juggernaut machine to justify more growth.

Let me share a few words from Dr. Richard Bruce Anderson that describes this situation very nicely. In his essay "Resisting the Juggernaut", he writes:

" the imperatives of growth and profit drive the behaviour of the whole system. Like a machine, the economy has all the awesome power of mechanism but also its inhuman indifference to consequences. The machine isn't evil, any more than a shovel or a hammer is evil, but it is complex enough to have its own agenda, which is not a human agenda. Because it's inhuman and because it has amassed so much power, it is, in mythic terms, the Juggernaut, beyond control, growing ever more vast and more destructive.

"To fulfill its simple imperatives for growth and profit, the machine must create insatiable desire. It must cause us to want more than we need, more than we've ever wanted before, and it must continue to do this forever in order to grow and generate profit.

"The influence of the machine is responsible for much of the psychic pain and dysfunction we encounter. Logic and reason have little effect on how it operates. To change our minds and hearts, the machine appeals to the worst aspects of human nature. Greed, pride, fear, sloth, lust the deadly sins are the openings, the doors to demand for more products. The machine exaggerates the normal human tendency towards materialism. It encourages narcissism and self-indulgence. It displaces and subtly discredits healthy human attributes and practices such as compassion and thrift. The influence is more than sufficient to account for the malaise in society, in the same way that the physical effects of the machine's operation are sufficient to explain the destruction of the natural world."

Dr. Anderson finishes the essay like this:

" and who's to say that nothing can be done, that we're helpless in the face of the Juggernaut? Our challenge in this time is to live with integrity, to face reality and to save and heal whatever we can"

Let me also send you the attached article How (not) to resolve the energy crisis. The introduction paragraph has this critical question I wish this task force take into serious consideration : "Why should we not be able to cope in 2030 with the amount of energy we consume today? "

This article presents the consequences of renewable energy development in Spain and the Netherlands. Their conclusion is that all efforts to build and develop renewable energy are useful and very necessary. However, by themselves they will not yield any results. To make them work, there must be in place an absolute limit for energy use.

I expect that a few of the members of this Green Energy Advisory Task Force still have integrity, compassion and thrift; that they care for future generations; that they show their reverence for life; that they recognize there are limits to growth, and that they will have enough courage and wisdom to recognize we need to stop this insatiable desire for more growth and for more energy in BC.


norberto rodriguez de la vega
Thanks for sharing
Comment by elinor on 29th November 2009
Well said, Norberto.