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Letter: Threatening, fear-mongering behaviour must not prevail

Letters to the editor
By Letters to the editor
April 30th, 2023

To The Editor:

An Open Letter to the RDCK Directors and fellow citizens:

Dear Directors:

I am writing to express my full support for the immediate implementation of the Climate Action Plan you have drafted.  I applaud the decision to take the plan to open houses around the district: that is crucial for public understanding and “buy-in” to the measures in the plan. 

It is my understanding that there is a small but very vocal and antagonistic group of organized people who are spreading misinformation about the plan AND are disrupting public meetings, shouting down people who are speaking in support of the plan and its goals.  

It is CRUCIAL that this fear-mongering and aggressive, threatening behaviour NOT PREVAIL over the democratic process the RDCK is engaged in.

“They” (plan opponents) have already had a success: the announced delay of the RDCK vote on the plan… this must be their LAST success and I encourage each and every one of you to speak out and speak up: through the media and in your respective communities. 

Thank you, Director Watson, for speaking to the local media. Without media coverage we citizens are left in our “silos” of often like-minded people and this is where rumours start and spread…

Bullying must not become a successful political tactic.  The 2022 debacles in Ottawa and at several border crossings should have made that clear. 

I appreciate that facing up to this sort of aggressive, misinformed, angry “mob” is a great challenge and even a personal risk. I fully support the use of my tax dollars to pay the required police overtime that may be required to ensure that public meetings can progress in a civil and safe manner for all concerned. We are not the first generation to face this sort of anger and hate: civil rights activists in the 1960s USA come to mind, as does the struggle of LGBTQ folks.  

We need to be steadfast in maintaining our democratic values and in our willingness to accept the reality of our situation: we can’t continue the fossil-fueled status quo. 

As the impacts of Climate Destabilization (the most accurate term I can think of) become ever more obvious – fires/smoke, floods, droughts, heat domes and extreme cold snaps – societal tensions and people’s mental health responses will worsen.  

The only way to lessen these tensions and address the despair/powerlessness that leads to violence is to ACT NOW on reducing the causes of Climate Destabilization. 

I applaud the first steps the RDCK has taken in compiling the Climate Actions and the accompanying Workbook. 

Please stay strong and continue your mission to provide good governance to – and with – the people of the RDCK. 

Sincerely, David Beringer, Nelson, BC

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