Bob Needham and the Why

So, what qualifies me as a Fleet Consultant specializing in emission reduction?
I have 45 years experience as a Dual Ticket Mechanic working on everything from light vehicles and small engines, transport trucks, heavy mining equipment to aircraft engines.
I often get asked why someone at my age would want to start up a new business and why would I want to get involved in the emission wars? This is my why.
It started right out of high school in the 70’s when I went to work for a Ford Dealership. In those days, the complaint was there was a fuel shortage. Anyone who bought a new vehicle was looking for that magic 20 miles to the gallon. Quite often, I found myself out on the highway with a glass bottle of gasoline tied to the driver’s door while I calculated fuel mileage at 65 miles per hour (before the metric system). Talk about distracted driving! It did give me a lot of information on different ways to improve fuel mileage.
My next job took me north to my first Open Pit Coal Mine and the criticism that we were destroying pristine wilderness.
I took exception to this because I knew we were required by law to reclaim the land. I would take test drives out to reclaimed areas and to see the wildlife in abundance among the new grass and lake areas.

This criticism would be a recurring theme throughout my career as it moved through the years in transportation, aircraft engines, and finally into the oil sands.

So called environmentalists always quick to criticize and call for no more oil sands, no more mining, no more internal combustion engines and yet they themselves would use the technology and natural resources every day in their normal life.

I clearly remember one news cast from the Vancouver area with the environmental extremists lined up along the shore and there was a sign on a huge bridge saying “leave it in the ground” protesting the pipelines. At the end of the newscast, they all cheered, jumped onto their plastic kayaks and paddled out into the water. I wondered where they thought the plastic for their kayaks came from. I was offended by the hypocrisy. Did they want us to go back 125 years to wood heat and horses for transportation?

I live in the country the closest hospital is over 30 kilometers away and in the winter months it can get down to minus 40 degrees Celsius so “leaving it all in the ground” would not work for me.
I had to ask myself why these people and their cause have such an effect on me, at times it was all consuming. Why do I let this bother me to the point of ruining my day? It came to me that I had made a good living working in these industries and it had allowed me to raise my family in relative comfort but at what cost? When I watch my grandchildren, I wonder what their lives will be like if we don’t change what we’re doing. I do believe in climate change, but I also believe we are far better off now than we were 125 years ago.

We need to find a way forward that allows us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions on a continuous basis so we can move forward without destroying our way of life, in a way that will allow our children and future generations to prosper.