Careful to avoid a greenwash

Open letter to Selkirk College and Dr. Mel Reasoner:

Open letter to Selkirk College and Dr. Mel Reasoner:

I recently came across a continuing education flyer for the short course “Understanding Climate Change Fact and Fiction” with Dr. Mel Reasoner (February 1 to March 22). I was wondering if you could forward me some information to support your claim in the opening statement: “Our local governments are making significant strides in addressing the issue of climate change”.

I have some concern about such a claim.

For example the Regional District of Central Kootenay is landfilling untreated septic sewage at the Salmo dump.

Will this not create methane? Is it possible Dr. Reasoner and Selkirk College could measure the methane production? Or is there no methane production? What about the efficacy of this untreated sewage to pollute ground and surface water as it seeps into Sheep Creek to the Salmo River? Or perhaps it is not?

The RDCK and the City of Nelson vetoed a proposal I made to a citizen committee several years back to instal a geo-thermal system to heat water for pool and cool water for ice rink at the Nelson and District Community Complex.

Weeks before we voted on a referendum for the tax hike to build the new recreation complex they mailed every household in the area with the geo-thermal system in place and than it disappeared, confusing and disappointing many. We now must raise fees to run these facilities.

The RDCK and city are now trying unsuccessfully (as I understand) to glean heat from the mechanics of our current facility to help heat the pool. Electricity costs are rising big time here in the next year. Can Selkirk College and/or Dr. Reasoner investigate the cost of retro-fitting these building with geo-thermal? It should have been done originally of course but better late than never. If not, why?

The building is not far from the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. We could run geo-thermal pipe there or dig up the large parking lot for geo-thermal piping. Which would be more cost effective? My fear is only well-off folk are going to learn to swim and skate.

My goal is not to cause discordance with local government and university, but encourage you not to greenwash. It is profligacy at its best. I simply do not believe “significant strides in addressing issue of climate change” or the many other environmental issues are being addressed by local governments. There is certainly a lot of rhetoric.

I would appreciate a response to my concerns and suggestions.

Tom Prior