We suspect a lot of people are going to be angry that the Town of Westlock is spending $1.2 million on solar panels.
We’re also kind of waiting for the first person who will jump up and say “What about the roads?”
Here’s an answer: “Pipe down.”
There’s no sense in debating whether or not climate change is real and human-made --— it’s frankly a little stupid. Most of our readers knew about this stuff in the 1970s, but an unexpected tornado didn’t wipe out the province in the meantime so maybe it wasn’t real?
Accepting the reality of climate change allows us instead to have conversations about how serious that damage is, how to change for the future and make it better, how it might affect us in 10, 15, 20 years.
Some of us might be dead by then so the ‘us’ includes the younger generations, the 14 year olds who are concerned with the future of the planet because it’s inevitably their future too.
What are the steps forward?
The town has given one possible answer: let’s transition to renewable energy. It’s an upfront investment (only $600,000 in debentures though) which will result in savings over time.
Think of it like your pension fund.
The motivation to install solar panels might not have been climate change, we’re not suggesting that. It simply happens to be a decision which takes it into account implicitly.
No one’s talking about cow burps, tractor fuel, or the precious oil sands. Even suggesting that one of those has contributed to a warming of the planet might induce an agriculture minister Devin Dreeshen-esque rant about demonizing industries and farmers because people don’t eat cow meat as much. Be weary, he got his start on the Trump campaign down south with that kind of language.
This is simply an array of solar panels to replace the existing source of energy which, by the way, should save the town around $49,000 yearly.
It is entirely possible to make decisions about the future devoid of ideology and party affiliation. Solar panels are good. So are roads, but don’t assume it’s one at the cost of another.