Ignoring all the arguments

Hamilton Spectator, letter, Feb. 4, 2003

RE: 'New highway is a road to prosperity' (Jan. 30).

My initial reaction to this letter was to:

* List all the ways that the proposed mid-peninsula highway (MPH) will be environmentally damaging.

* Point out all the flaws in assuming that a highway brings economic prosperity.

* Cite material in the Transportation Ministry's own documents which appear to show it will be a toll road with a "private partner."

* List all the ways that a strip of pavement would have tremendous effects on the Niagara Escarpment.

But then it occurred to me that, based on the thrust of this letter, the writer is comfortable with the way we've treated the planet in the past and has chosen to ignore the increasingly apparent effects our society's actions have had on our environment.

I suspect that there is no argument strong enough to make some people realize that we can no longer keep proceeding with business as usual.

But our past actions are no longer suitable for future sustainability.

And there is no such thing as "not in my back yard" anymore. One has only to look at the melting polar ice caps to realize that our actions have global ramifications.

Lastly, I will say thanks. As a member of COPE (Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment) executive and one of those groups fighting the MPH, I find it extremely complimentary to be referred to as a "professional environmentalist." Our group is new to the activist life. To be perceived as professional when we have little experience is really gratifying. This writer would perhaps be disappointed to learn that COPE's world headquarters consists of several very messy dens and a dining-room table covered in correspondence.

-- Susan McMaster, Flamborough.

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