Monday, April 22, 2024

We All Approach Life Differently, But it Shouldn’t Make Us Enemies

There has never been a time in my life that I have felt moved enough about an issue to protest. Even when an issue might be important to me personally, outrage is an emotion that I simply cannot muster. For me, I just don’t feel that there are many things worth the energy of outrage.

From my perspective, our time on this tiny blue ball in the vastness of space is fleeting, a micro-blip in time, and I have fewer years ahead of me than are already behind, so I just don’t have the desire to spend any of my precious little time in a state of anger over issues.

I am not everyone, however, and thankfully we humans are diverse in our approach to life, and there are many who will give of themselves as much time and energy as they can in order to fight for themselves and others, or against potentially catastrophic decisions. Often they are in the right, but sometimes their concerns are proven to be without merit. While I might not share the concerns of those most vocal and active on any given issue, I both applaud their dedication and am thankful that such people exist.

While folks like me, who might seem to not care about the significant concerns of others, can frustrate some folks, just as I think the fighters are necessary, I would also like to think that those not inclined to become worked up enough to march in the streets have value as well. After all, it can make us good journalists, investigators, or judges, or any number of professions where objectivity put before personal bias or fears can help to get to the root of issues without emotions getting in the way.

I would like to think that these two differently wired types of people help to maintain a balance in the world.

So I make no apologies for not being outraged at any given development proposal, or even a mega project like a pumped storage facility. I have written publicly about my opposition to the use of our nationally owned military bases for corporations to earn outrageous profits, and I have expressed concern in opinion columns about the upheaval and inconveniences that will be experienced in this community over the many years of construction of such an enormous project. But I don’t feel the need to protest, or put a sticker on my car, or to nod and agree with assertions or fears expressed by others for which I have no data as of yet to know if they are realistic fears and assertions.

At this point that is the extent of the concerns I have with the proposal, and I consider the military base aspect to be a major issue, but I don’t feel driven to yell from the rooftops. I have expressed my opinion, I am rational enough to understand that my opinion means nothing in the grand scheme of things, and whatever happens is going to happen no matter what my feelings might be.

Why not being visibly and vocally opposed to something that many others are clearly outraged about seems to make me a bad person in the eyes of some, I simply don’t understand. By not sharing 100 percent of the opinions of some you can be branded an enemy, a traitor, or worse, even though sharing 10 percent of someone else’s concerns can still put you on the same team, it just isn’t good enough for some.

But keep fighting your fight, those of you who have jumped in to distribute signs, or to protest outside the gates of the base, or whatever you feel is the best way for you to express your concerns, and to demonstrate your outrage. I support you 100 percent even if I only share a fraction of your concerns.

Should the pending environmental impact assessments identify likely or certain negative impacts on aquatic life, or the environment generally, then I will have some new items to add to my admittedly short list of concerns, and I will, but I refuse to stand on a soap box and insist that fish will die, or that the proposed reservoir could fail and flood the homes below when I don’t know that to be true, and my previous life and work experience makes me suspect of those claims – at least allow people the room to not rush to opinions before branding them enemies.

Am I opposed to pumped storage? No, I am in favour of it, as it is a tried and true method of energy storage that is used around the globe, and more are being constructed as we speak. As I have written, however, closed loop systems are preferable, in my opinion at least.

Don’t I think it is ‘old technology’ and therefore a waste of time and money? No, the wheel is ‘old technology’ and I would suggest that it has served us well and will continue to do so.

Am I in favour of the proposed pumped storage facility on the Meaford Tank Range? No, as I have written and publicly shared in this newspaper, I object to such use of our military bases, and even if that is my only objection (it isn’t, as mentioned I have some other minor concerns), it still means that I am opposed to the proposal even if not for the same reasons as you, or your neighbours, or the folks across town.

So yes, I oppose the proposal to put a major corporate power-storing facility on a military base, and if you do too, then we agree. If you have another 100 objections to the proposal that I dismiss, it doesn’t change the fact that we agree, so let’s stop creating enemies where they don’t exist.


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