While I disagree with many of your positions - the TPP comes immediately to mind - I regret that you're not standing for council this year. Mainly that's because I believe in robust debate on the issues we face as a community, as a country, as inhabitants of the one planet we have, that supports intelligent life, whenever that emerges.
When you did stand for this last council, as part of a group of four, I was a bit apprehensive in that such a move was too reminiscent of the anti-democratic takeover of council by the so-called Vision team, which ultimately lead to profligacy and our subsequent penury. They, along with a former mayor, are mostly gone. The debt incurred, however, remains.
It was in particular your business expertise, for which I have previously expressed appreciation in this column, that invited my support of your voice at the council table. You had expressed reservations about the $40 million wastewater treatment plant as had some others of your group of four. I, too, had concerns, although the $10 million we received from the MHW company that built the failed plant alleviated some of my worry. Eventually, albeit reluctantly, you had to accept that the new plant was the only workable solution. Your acceptance helped others, like myself, to accept the bitter pill. And I have no doubt but that your influence helped shape the response of the wet industries to contribute their fair share.
Just as you allowed the facts of the WWTP to change your mind, I believe the facts on global warming should make you give consideration to a different approach than that you recently expressed. If I were to sum up your statements and characterise them, I'd have to say, with sorrow, that they are the ultimate in pessimism. In sum, you appear to say that global warming is inevitable and that as we can do little, we should do nothing. If I am wrong, please correct me.
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On the other hand, as a successful business person you are clearly enabled by ability to assess risk and the need for mitigation. The science on global warming is well established. Science, unlike religious belief, is tentative in its conclusions, but if there is a finite chance that the 97 per cent of climate scientists who say that man-made global warming is an existential threat to our continued existence, it would be sinful arrogance not to consider the probabilities and do all we can to preserve our earth.
As a conservative and a man of faith, I'm fairly certain you would agree with the proposition that as humans we have dominion over the other species on this planet. In that spirit we are stewards of this planet, taking care to preserve it for the generations. It is only in a godless alternative that we become nothing more than top predator, capable of dooming even ourselves to extinction. To do nothing, in the face of the global warming which our necessary industrial activities have created, is to commit suicide, surely a sin in this context.
I respectfully disagree with your reservations about the role council can play in mitigating global warming. Its contribution may be limited but words and resolutions do matter. To deal with a problem it must first be recognised. Truly if we're all, every one of us, not with the solution, we're part of the problem.
As a person with a track record of contribution to the community, I had hoped that your presence on council would facilitate finding such solutions to this over arching problem that threatens us, pragmatic and practical for each of us to take on.
Regrettably, you've decided not to stand. But as a person of influence I urge you to endorse and support the effort to find effective personal actions that will help. The stakes are too great to ignore. It's life, itself, as we know it.