Does it really have to be all or nothing? — Letters to the Editor, Nov. 2, 2019

Does it really have to be all or nothing?

It saddens me that Patricia Burke chose to be “offended” by my suggestion (“Focus On Deeds Rather Than Words,” Oct. 26) that we focus on local efforts to preserve our environment, especially when she ended up listing pretty much the same local initiatives I suggested in my letter.

The main issue we seem to differ on is that I think it is counter-productive to shame working men and women who have no choice but to drive to and from work to feed their families. I believe such demands for ideological purity only fuels further polarization of our society, as if the only choices were either absolute adherence to some sect-like “climate wokeness” or burning old tires in the backyard just for the heck of it.

We don’t live in a perfect world, and thus we have to balance utopian goals against reality on the ground. Most people must use fossil fuels because modern life demands it, and until the next big technical breakthrough comes around that’s not likely to change.

In the meantime, we can all lead by example and do the kind of small efforts I outlined without provoking conflict with those who do not yet share our concern for the environment.

But apparently, being in 95 percent agreement isn’t enough anymore. Has it really come to this? Must it really be all or nothing, with zero tolerance for the slightest heresy to the Official Gospel of Climate Change?

I wonder though: How can anyone possibly hope to bridge the gap and reach the hearts and minds of “the other side” if a minor disagreement with someone already sharing all the same basic concerns manages to offend you?

—Matt Danielsson



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