Friday, 18 July 2008

Inviting Your Input

Hello friends and members of the Green Party of Nova Scotia,

The three weeks since the leadership convention have been exciting, and very full. We've been working on all levels to build the strength of the party, and moving forward in multiple areas. I'm writing to ask for your input for the direction of our party on a critical issue.
Home Heating

For decades, environmentalists and Green Parties around the world have been warning us that that we must learn to live within the limits of the natural world. We are part of the natural world system, and damage to this system is damage to ourselves. And now, the results of unsustainable practices are beginning to come home to us and our families in drastic ways, right here in Nova Scotia.

Heating our homes with fossil fuel heating oil is an unsustainable practice. Yet this insecure energy source is crucial to many Nova Scotia families, and the situation is rapidly moving from a time of concern into one of emergency, and perhaps even crisis. On international markets last summer, heating oil price was in the range of $2 US per gallon. Since May of this year, it's been in a trading range a little under $4 US per gallon. If this trend continues, many Nova Scotians could be paying twice as much to heat their homes as last winter. How many family budgets can handle that?

I suggest that the Green Party needs a two pronged approach to this issue.

  1. We need to continue to emphasize the necessity of efficient, renewable energy powered homes. This is a clear imperative, and the only long term solution. But unfortunately, it will not do Nova Scotians much good for the next heating season, which may start in September, and will kick into high gear in December or January.

  2. We need to prepare for the fact that if heating oil prices continue at their present level or trend higher, some families will be unable to heat their homes this winter. How can we help these families, should this occur?

This urgent issue demands our attention, and I will be focusing on an energy/heating strategy as the first plank in the GPNS platform. If you would like to suggest a policy or platform approach to this issue, please get in touch or leave a comment on this post.

All the best,