Letters to the Editor

Fundamental paradigm shift required

To the Editor,

Re: Continued growth comes at a price, Saturday Beat, Feb. 4.

Toby Gorman’s advice to our city council is good advice. Their response to him reflects the standard dinosaur thinking of many politicians, based on a nearly universal myth that peaked in the naive 1950s and ’60s. Think Frank Ney.

The mantra is that of ever-expanding ‘sustainable growth’ – an oxymoron for sure – and the erroneous premise behind it that, that ‘(all) growth is good.’

Gorman mentions the ill-fated Cable Bay project championed by former mayor Gary Korpan and recent mayoralty candidate and developer Roger McKinnon. They apparently (still) believe high-end enclaves and more golf courses is the answer for us.

Clearly our present economic, social and political systems are breaking down now and are completely unsustainable.

One cannot have continuous growth in a finite system. One cannot exploit resources endlessly. They either reach their limits (see: peak oil, Occupy movement, global warming, et al) or they become exponentially expensive.

Our present illusion of progress is only possible by borrowing from the future but the costs (economic, environmental, social, psychological and spiritual) are exorbitant.

Unfortunately, we have been brainwashed to believe that our present system is the only one that works despite the continually mounting evidence to the contrary.

Our leaders believe they can keep doing more of the same thing while expecting a different outcome. If we are not willing to fundamentally change what we truly value and how we measure progress, this cannot be fixed.

I have some sympathy.

Local and world population will continue to grow, urbanization will continue.  We all have to live somewhere.

The problem is bigger than our leaders’ ability to handle it without a fundamental shift in their and all humanity’s consciousness. Tweaking won’t get it done.

Jordan Ellis

Nanaimo

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