Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of August 17th


What are you doing to lower emissions?

I'm pleased that columnist Leslie Anthony (Pique, Range Rover, Aug.10) has connected the dots between anthropogenic climate change and B.C.'s wildfires.

But while he appeals to our Prime Minister to do something about it, is anyone actually making any voluntary reductions in personal fossil fuel consumption?

Motor traffic in this part of the province seems to be heavier than ever.

Tom Demarco


There's a new sheriff in town As a small nightly accommodation business for the past 25 years, we receive a commission from Whistler Blackcomb for the booking of our guest's lift tickets, equipment rentals and snow school.

Historically, we received our commissions promptly at the end of April in time to help offset property taxes, business licencing, etc.,etc. It is now approaching September and we still have not been paid for last winter's sales. After countless emails and phone calls, I was told the delay was due to the changeover to Vail Resort's systems. There was no contact from Whistler Blackcomb explaining or apologizing for the delay or, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience, payment will be made by... and as a gesture of goodwill we'll include a complimentary day ticket." I now discover, only after inquiring, that this guest-service program will be cancelled as of this upcoming winter.

However, at this late date there has been no official confirmation letter. If this is the attitude our new "big brother" I can only imagine what the local businesspeople can look forward to. Alan Lande Whistler

Wildfire response saves homes On behalf of the residents at Lillooet Lake Estates just outside of Pemberton, I would like to applaud the unbelievable reaction time of the airborne firefighting efforts on Sunday, Aug. 13 following the lightning strikes on the mountain immediately behind our homes.

Within 15 minutes of a very brief thunderstorm having passed, one helicopter was on scene loading its bucket from the lake and proceeding over our homes to dump on the fire.

Another helicopter was scouting in behind the mountain ridge and discovered a second blaze.

As we watched the efforts of continuous round trips from the lake to the fires over the next several hours, we kept commenting on the speedy reaction time and great coordination efforts of the pilots.

Given the extremely dry conditions, had this amazingly fast and ordered response not occurred some 150 homes would have been in rapidly escalating danger.

A helicopter returned the following day to ensure the fires had not re-ignited and it appears that the operation has been a success.

A heartfelt thank you to the helicopter pilots and all cogs in the coordinated wildfire response wheel!   Ralf Hornung Lillooet Lake Estates

Take action Cigarette butts are a good example of society's thinking now days, almost as good as the dog owners picking up the waste only to leave the bag trailside — wow — let it be somebody else's problem right, (Pique, Range Rover, July 20)?

The garbage and attitude of society is really because people don't care. There's no conscious decision to make that wrong choice — look at how many people still flip lit cigs out the car window — no clue. It's all about them, being first, being fast. It's about Facebook, gotta take that selfie, or jaywalk while on their electronic device, meanwhile a 10-ton garbage truck almost runs them over because they just happen to run in front of it at the last moment just to get across the street blah blah blah...but they don't care.

Honestly if I dumped that much garbage on some polluter's property wow, (think of) the backlash.

Or took a dump on the lawn at a dog-owner's house. I'd really like to flip that lit cigarette onto the smoker's dry, front lawn and just see how they feel.

Is this what our world is coming to? It sure looks like it.

People need to be responsible for their own problems and dealing with it, don't play the "poor me," or "it wasn't me attitude."

Stop having that careless attitude and see the consequences of bad choices.

We need the police to step up to start enforcing the laws to make it safe for everyone, and the courts need to back them up. I'm not sure what the police are doing nowadays, but I rarely see them out in the field enforcing laws.

We think we are compassionate caring Canadians, unless of course we are in a rush on our way to the city, or driving post ski on Highway 99, or post music festival, or just have to make that yellow light even though it may very well cost us our lives. Corporations like ICBC say they are stepping up with an aggressive online education action plan.

Really? Who do they think they are going to target? The jaywalker or the speed demon on Highway 99? Pretty sure these people are more obsessed with their own social media account than taking some online quiz on an already confusing website.

I'm a strong believer that enforcement is so much better than education. Just look at the actions of several families in Pitt Meadows last month after they accosted a Fire Dept. official who arrived on the scene of their bush fire on the banks of the river during a time of extreme fire danger. They accosted the official, spat on him and basically laughed at him in front of their kids. What message are we sending to our kids when this happens?

I really would like to have all of society, and government officials all the way down to the police and social workers step up and get these people to realize they can't do these kinds of actions or there will be severe consequences.

But unfortunately I don't see that as the case, and that's why these dirtbags are getting away with ruining our society and the very place we like to call home.

For me I'm looking for a place far away from the troubling actions of these uncaring and selfish individuals. A place that is warm, caring, and where people go out of their way to help thy neighbour — so if you know of a place like that please let me know, as I'm ready to go.

Michael Davison Vancouver

'Doominoes' approaching

Regarding your "Opening Remarks" (Pique, Aug.10) wildfires around the world are indeed everyone's problem.

They add CO2 to the atmosphere much more quickly than decaying vegetation not to mention smoke is impossible to breath. But they are just one of the "doominoes" we've set on end in a tight circle around global warming.

Another is what the World Wildlife Fund calls "Earth Overshoot Day." I prefer "Earth Deficit Day" or "Earth D-Day" for short because it has a double-barrel connotation everyone can relate to.

It is called "Earth Deficit Day" because nature gives us life supplies for a year and if we use them up before the end of the year we borrow next year's.

This year "Earth D-Day" was Aug. 2. Last year it was a couple weeks later. Next year's "Earth D-Day" will be a day in July because increasing temperatures are decreasing Nature's supplies and the number of us consuming them is still increasing. At this rate "Earth Doomsday" in the second barrel can't be too far ahead. 

Increasing heat is decreasing the amount of land we can inhabit on three fronts. The actual area is being decreased by rising oceans caused by the melting ice sheets covering less and less of both poles, Greenland and Iceland.

More of the land remaining is being baked beyond use or dried out as mountain glaciers disappear (I wonder how long it will be before Fitzsimmon's creek dries up?).

As temperatures increase so does the amount of methane released into the atmosphere from melting permafrost. It is estimated there is as much carbon trapped in the Arctic permafrost as is currently in the atmosphere.

Though released methane lasts only 10 years compared to the thousands for CO2, methane insulates 40 times more effectively so raises the earth's temperature 40 times faster. And to think a few years ago we were concerned with methane released from livestock poop. 

There could be a silver lining though in the melting permafrost. Microbiologists speculate it could release long forgotten plagues that will decimate humanity and thus reduce the pressure on our decreasing living space if it hasn't by then been reduced by the increasing heat.

There is a temperature beyond which we can't live and in parts of India that temperature has been reached.

While all this is happening on land the increasing heat is cooking marine life or helping to poison it with carbonic acid (CO2 dissolved in water) before our increasing population has a chance to finish depleting the stocks to the point of extinction.

These 'doominoes' are arranged on a shaky table everyone has their hands on and no one is paying attention to them.

Last week in a small town called Furnace Creek in California's Death Valley the temperature rose to 150 F, the hottest ever recorded on earth.

A spokesman was asked if it affected tourism. He laughed and replied, "people come to take pictures of the thermometer then drive off in their air-conditioned SUVs."

We are completely oblivious to the fact when the first "doomino" falls we'll begin the last episode of the amazing human race; and there'll be no reruns.

Doug Barr


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