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LETTER: Nelson’s entitlement and hypocrisy

From reader James Peters

Re: Bear euthanized after downtown Nelson encounter, Sept. 16

Like most Nelson residents, I hope, I am appalled that 12 bears were killed in our community because of resident entitlement. What gives us the right to live so negligently and indifferently and destructively? Nelson nurtures a fantasy about itself: Nelson cares about the environment. It obviously doesn’t, and it’s not just because 12 bears were killed in our backyards.

Look around at Nelson. The hypocrisy has no limit. Garages are overfilled with toys: monster mountain bikes, snow machines, dirt bikes, gear for every sport, gas powered everything to keep lawns trimmed at the peak of summer, and gas or diesel guzzling pick-ups everywhere. I suspect Nelson citizens have some of the highest carbon footprints in the world. Let’s not lie to ourselves: this outdoor lifestyle is not conducive to living in harmony with nature. It accomplishes the opposite.

Nelson’s virtue-signalling oozes, starting with parents towing kids around on financed electric bikes and homeowners’ composting, attracting vermin and bears to our neighbourhoods. Just because our $40 T-shirts and cloth co-op shopping bags say we care about the environment, they don’t actually mean we do care about anything except how people perceive us.

Ideally, we could live responsibly and coexist with our wild neighbours, but we have demonstrated overwhelmingly that we can’t live in peace with the natural wonders that surround and nurture us. Nelson needs political will to change the community’s destructive entitlement. Questions need to be asked: should there be enforced bylaws discouraging garbage being stored outdoors? Should residents be allowed to keep compost bins in their yards? Should fruit and nut trees be permitted within Nelson? Are all the fruit trees and composting bins in Nelson worth having an annual bear cull? Ask your kids.

James Peters