The letter “Latest Enbridge 'protest' a charade for money” (Nov. 30) reminds me of the years I spent living in some small towns and rural places in Wisconsin. Those times represent more than half of my 65 years. I now spend half of my time in the Twin Cities and half in rural Wisconsin. It comes as no surprise to me that protesters are not welcome in Clearbrook. Although small towns are not free of modern-day technology and some current-day issues, there is a feeling that time goes by with less urgency and one can avoid stressful world affairs, if needed. I was in Clearbrook a couple months ago on Indigenous Day. What a lovely town and beautiful area.
With the clock ticking, the global climate crisis is now bringing into focus fossil fuel infrastructure, a central feature of Clearbrook. It is typical for people everywhere to resist change and people living in small towns in beautiful and quiet parts of the earth have all the more reason to do that. As Nathaniel Branden says, “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” I don’t doubt that we are heading into a stressful period for the people of Clearbrook and I do not wish that on them at all. Ever.
Only if we act to stop climate change will life settle back down again in Clearbrook. The unsustainable path we are presently on is aiming to disrupt the world financial markets, world peace, and the necessities needed even for quiet Clearbrook. Accepting change is not an option.
The good news is that there is an opportunity to create a more independent and sustainable economy and habitat for all communities and even allow more folks to live comfortably off-grid. The new technologies still require materials, manufacturing, service providers and replacement parts, and keep folks dependent on technology, but they are less centralized, freeing folks from dominant players such as Enbridge that have an outsized influence on Clearbrook’s well-being. There will be problems with these new technologies and the road will be bumpy, no doubt, so going down that road will take courage and patience.
Another opportunity is to see and nurture common values that predominate in both small towns and indigenous communities. A more sustainable future that uplifts everyone together is an opportunity that should not be missed and will exceed all expectations in the pursuit of happiness.