It is refreshing to read a recent editorial offering practical insight on how to sustain the economy of Qualicum Beach.
It’s true – to support our community, we should be prepared to shop locally.
But it would be a better idea to have a full discussion and hopefully some agreement on what a future healthy economy might actually look like.
I suspect many would define it as the ongoing acquisition of more and more material goods, luxury items, bigger houses, and an ongoing increase in our standard of living.
The problem is all the signs globally, nationally, and locally point away from this as an attainable and sustainable goal.
The long consumer party based on resource extraction, real estate development, and third world exploitation is over.
Our children will never be able to replicate our lifestyle. Economists everywhere agree.
The focus now must be on creating a desirable quality of life, not an unachievable quantity of life.
In order to achieve this, we could start with a community dialogue addressing several key topics such as how many existing businesses, (the development of real estate sub-divisions for example) belong to an outmoded set of expectations?
What new businesses based on stability and service, not growth, should we be developing?
How can we encourage energy and food self-sufficiency?
Above all, each of us can ask ourselves “how much do I have, and, what do I really need?”
The reality is everything in the future must get smaller, not bigger, especially our appetites for land, food, energy, cars, and toys.
I suggest we start focusing on education, health and constructive town planning, so all the young people around us will have some cause for hope. Whether we like it or not, we have to change.
I suggest we begin talking as soon as possible about the future economy, rather than spend our time searching for band aids for a dying 20th century economy.
Don’t we owe them this?