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Challenging the challenge 

Dear Tim Bousquet,

Thank you for your timely and well-researched article ("The 17-tonne challenge," June 21). I wish your research could be presented to the Metro and provincial governments in a way that would put to action some of the changes you propose.

However, I have some comments on your piece. I realize I have a role to play in my individual decisions. I try to buy local, I eat no meat and keep my air travel to a minimum. But as a working-class student, there's only so much I can do. I think the majority of Coast readers already do not own cars and can't afford much air travel. If a federally funded auditor reviewed my home and concluded I needed a $50,000 solar water heater there's precious little I could do about it. Something should have to be put in place to make sure such audits did not just line the pockets of those who could afford such retrofitting, or who own houses. I would also support a line on my power bill that claims to go toward sustainable development, but only if I could be sure it was not going toward another ivory backscratcher for Emera.

The biggest impact can be made at the level of civil engineering, for example supporting public transit, using renewable ways of generating electricity and transporting goods by rail instead of truck, but these are precisely the areas in which I have the least impact. I would have liked to see in your article some direction on lobbying that I can do myself or in a citizen's group.

By Jen Stotland


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