Mother Nature is not a communist

Polarizing rhetoric not only sidetracks us, it provides an excuse for doing what’s easiest: Nothing.

Mark Walker’s column in the Dec. 16 Western was so far off in right field, it must still be baseball season in his world. Every disaster needs a fall guy. But communist peaceniks plotting to redistribute the wealth? I was waiting for “beware the socialist hoards.”

Without fear mongering and name calling to denigrate individuals and organizations that put people’s welfare over profits, how would those with the most to lose by change convince the rest of us that the status quo is working?

I’m as attached to free speech as the next writer and as fond of freedom of choice as anybody who doesn’t want to wear the same uniform as her comrades or drive a Zaporozhet. I like a free market almost as much as a farmers’ market. I’m not a communist. Unless the word, as is often the case, is right-speak for those who won’t pretend the planet has unlimited resources or that toxins spewed into the air and water are rendered harmless by wishful thinking. If that’s the case, paint me pinko or give me a pair of those rose-coloured glasses.

Perhaps “communists and socialists” is a euphemism for “little people and fairy folk” who, tired of their toxic toad stools, cast spells on economists and the hapless politicians who follow them to the end of the rainbow?

Or maybe it’s marketing terminology picked up from the south-of-the-border faction of the free market. Wall Street and the bankers spent a lot of “other people’s money” during their long ride on the gravy train. Is that how a society is built in Mr. Walker’s world? By pillaging it until a country’s economy is crippled, threatening global disaster without a bailout and, when it happens anyway, blaming a socialist plot to redistribute the wealth?

Sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it? But there really are individuals and organizations bent on changing the fact that half the world’s population goes hungry while the other half is overweight. Beware the socialist hoards! They’re after your canned goods. And not just at Christmas; 700,000 Canadians rely on food banks every month.

Polarizing rhetoric not only sidetracks us, it provides an excuse for doing what’s easiest: Nothing. The time we waste picking a team is better spent acting. Even small changes to the way we shop and our attitudes about air and water add up.

Unlike the economy or socialism, our environment is not a system we created and can pretend we control. If we continue to degrade it, the system we depend on for life crashes. In the meantime, incidents of cancer, allergies and lung disease climb.

Saving children and polar bears isn’t the worst thing humanity could do with its collective knowledge, resourcefulness and intellect. Nothing is.

You hit a foul ball, Mr. Walker. Time to part the Iron Curtain and step outside for some air. Get it while it’s still fresh, relatively speaking.

Sandra Vogel-Hockley


Penticton peacenik recycler



Just Posted

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton

The 26th ceremony welcomed powerful figures both on and off the ice

Peach Classic Triathlon

While Penticton contemplates changes in the long-distance triathlon community with Ironman returning… Continue reading

Armchair Book Club: Delving into the threat of big tech

Heather Allen is a book reviewer for Black Press that lives in the Okanagan

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

UPDATE: Penticton resident’s dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Okanagan e-scooter company foils robberies

OGO Scooters staff helped return stolen property three times in 1st week of operations in Kelowna

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to the Okanagan

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event in Kelowna

Column: Understanding weather patterns a key to a successful garden

Columnist dives into Okanagan urban agriculture

Most Read