Letter: True Confessions – A Climate Change Action Groupie

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I want to do the right thing. It started with my small London Ontario Victorian cottage some dozen years ago. Being perhaps somewhat paranoid about keeping warm in the Winter, and also acknowledging my enduring passion for food, thus keeping the refrigerator going – I added emergency energy backup with two solar roof panels and a battery in the basement. It turns out it was never called for but it made me feel so much more secure. I slept better at night. Then I succumbed to the lure of the Bruce Peninsula.
Mercenary self-interest also informed a whole roof installation of solar panels on my next home in Johnson’s Harbour, this time spurred on by the tempting early days offer of 8.2 cents per kwh from Hydro One’s Microfit Program. I estimated maybe a less than decade payback on my capital investment, and besides, I needed a new roof anyway, so why not do both at once?
Then in my advancing age I downsized and moved into the lovely Tobermory village where the attraction of close services and being able to walk everywhere, rather than drive, was wonderful. Then Climate Change awareness really hit me over the head so to speak. Sure, a smaller retrofitted place to heat, (with propane), thanks to Gord Lawson’s thoughtful renovations, as well as less use of my car made sense economically and might be seen as doing my bit for addressing climate change. But it’s not enough any more. Not enough to ease my guilt as a contributor in a time of real crisis that threatens our very existence. I want to stop using fossil fuels – the greatest threat to survival.
What to do – what to do? First, I am saving up – to buy an electric car. Face it, for access to needed health care in my maturing years, family visits, and for goods and services, I admit I need a car. Increasing affordability is likely going to make this possible. We are fortunate to even have three charging stations in Tobermory. Problem solved. Next, I want to become self-sufficient for power – power to heat my home and operate necessary appliances. Solar with batteries or heat pumps seem like possible eventual solutions, although I need to get educated, to learn more about these and many other things.
Finally, a kitchen garden, preserves and shopping local and small farmers such as theeasyfarm@gmail.com, planting trees, car pooling, helping with energy efficient multi-unit affordable housing initiatives, encouraging a municipal climate change action plan and just sharing ideas, learning and talking, are my way forward for doing what I feel is doing the right thing.
So my next step is looking into how to go about buying an electrical vehicle that best suits my future needs and helps to get me off fossil fuels by 2030 at the latest. To be continued…
Arlene Kennedy,
Tobermory