Respect goes a long way

Sure enough, the election sign wars have begun and not just for candidates.

Vandals and thieves have already started their ritualistic campaign to deface, mutilate or abscond with signage. Complaints filed with Wellington County OPP prompted their election-season warning that such activity falls under the Criminal Code.

We could go on ad nauseum about this topic, reminding residents of the hard work that goes into a campaign and how important it is to respect people willing to run for office. We remain uncertain how rendering a sign useless delivers a sense of accomplishment but in some small circles it must.

Similarly, it would be a very small crowd that would positively embrace the unfortunate episode out west where a sizeable man reamed out Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and an elevator full of women.

Everyone, it seems, has a contribution to make, whether that takes the form of running for office, or bullying elected people who had the temerity to put their name on a ballot.

Unfortunately, civility suffers at the hand of immediacy and the current climate of short-term satisfaction only compounds the problem.

Much of the world today is so fast-paced, so quick to react and in many ways insular in the extreme, taking cues from social media and rage farmers. There is usually a larger picture worth considering.

Waiting that extra minute before speaking or leaving a letter sit for a moment or two before sending has always been good advice.

A functioning society depends on mutual respect – be that example to others.

Climate change

A few elections back, a challenge was issued to us to be allies in the fight against climate change through carbon taxes and other measures. The future of the planet was at stake apparently.

Likewise, those who consider that conversation bunk and believe measures to combat climate change are too punitive want their view validated. Some take it a step further, suggesting the whole notion of climate change as an existential threat is a hoax.

While it would be gratifying and noteworthy for a community newspaper like ours to solve the larger issues affecting the planet, that is just not realistic. To expect a reporting staff of five to delve into the volumes of material on the subject, along with their daily duties, and come to a conclusion that resolves issues the scientific community and far larger international news organizations cannot solve speaks for itself. This is not reality.

In recent weeks here we have seen a healthy degree of back and forth on the issue. Passion is obvious, as is the fact the views are quite disparate. We hazard to guess the two camps comprise 20 per cent of our readership – meaning 10% frantic on one side and 10% equally zealous on the other.

This leaves 80% – most of our readership – stuck somewhere between wanting to employ good environmental practices and a pre-disposed wariness of government overreach. Sadly, a fraction of that majority don’t care one way or the other and never will.

Fortunately, readers have been able to share a local conversation on the subject. Our editor Chris Daponte continues to do a commendable job trying to keep facts in order, so people can reflect on opinions of their peers and determine where they sit on the issue. Disinformation or misinformation remain something we will always address for the sake of clarity and truthfulness in these conversations.

As for climate change we find ourselves in league with many readers – wary of government over-reach, cautious about the headlong march to green initiatives reliant on technologies that have their own set of problems, yet entirely understanding and in support of the need to regulate certain activities and efforts to respect our natural environment.

Bright minds will eventually determine the best way forward for the planet and its inhabitants.