Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Letters Aug. 9: Use of nuclear bombs a necessary evil; thanks for the Cook Street roundabout

Hiroshima, Japan, in October 1945, two months after the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb on the city. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Lest we forget: Those bombs saved lives

Once again a letter has decried the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, claiming they were “non-military targets,” implying that the 230,000 dead were unnecessary and demanding Canada “express regret for the death and suffering they caused.” Perhaps a little actual history is in order.

According to the memoirs of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley, the casualties taken during the occupation of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were significantly heavier due to civilian suicide attacks.

Based on that experience, the estimated casualties for an attack on the Japanese mainland were in excess of one million allied soldiers and at least 10 million civilians.

To make matters worse, the Japanese government refused to negotiate an end to the conflict it had started. The choice, therefore, was between 230,000 strictly enemy casualties and a minimum of 11 million, many of whom would be our own troops, and demonstrating our ability to destroy Japan without losing our own troops.

Should we regret the loss of those civilian lives? Of course, but we should be aware that their deaths brought the Japanese ruling elite to face reality and saved the lives of a million of our own citizens.

Given the circumstances, the use of the atomic bomb was strategically and morally justified. As someone whose own father was training for that attack when the war ended, I admit I may be biased, but I cannot be sorry he survived long enough to raise a family and (incidentally) enjoy a long career in the Colonist newsroom.

David Lowther
Mesachie Lake

Thanks, Victoria, for the Cook Street traffic circle

I have often been critical of Victoria’s council and the changes to local traffic patterns since we moved here in 2005, but have nothing but praise for the changes made to Cook Street within Cook Street Village.

The substitution of a traffic circle has greatly simplified egress from Southgate Street to Cook Street, most especially northbound but to the south as well. The occasional horn honk is heard as a driver experiences the new phenomenon for the first time, but the smooth flow is soon resumed.

The additional modification to the intersection of Cook Street at its southern intersection to Dallas Road has also done wonders to traffic at that location, with three-way stop signs allowing rapid progress both along the oceanfront or north on Cook Street.

Our plaudits to council for work well done.

Des Carpenter

Recyclers, deflators earn wrath of Raeside

Adrian Raeside has once again offended a great number of Victorians with his climate-change-denying cartoon, which lampooned our very own SUV tire deflators and at the same time that hardworking group bent on recycling.

He should be ashamed and exiled to Oak Bay!

Michael Faulkner
View Royal

Pseudo-religious zeal is the greatest threat

Re: “Expect more protests if we do not act on climate,” letter, Aug. 6.

It was interesting to read the writer’s assertion that “my children and grandchildren are not endangered by air being let out of a few tires. That’s an inconvenience.”

What if the ire of the eco-idealists was directed at those who procreate? If they showed up at the letter-writer’s home and did some ‘harmless protesting,” would that be rationalized away?

As it has ever been, our existence is most threatened by weak or malicious intellects driven by pseudo-religious zeal.

Thomas Maxwell

A childish way to get attention

Re: “Expect more protests if we do not act on climate,” letter, Aug. 6.

A letter intended to further climate consciousness instead created a diatribe against Dave Obee’s thought-provoking column in Thursday’s paper.

Obee wrote of the dangerous rift between extremists on both sides of big issues, and sought to point out that the real environmental change we do need must be relevant to our long-established culture.

He was not defending that status quo so much as explaining that there is no presto/change-o way to quickly transform society to fully conform to needful serious change.

But he does not downplay the seriousness. As a keen environmentalist, I am alarmed at misguided attempts to hijack the point of protest by malicious (senseless) means which end up effectively nullifying the issue.

The letter condones the vandalism of the “Tyre Extinguishers” and justifies further irresponsible resistance. This stance mirrors the so-called Freedom Convoy and environmentalists who go to extreme lengths to block highways, and Fairy Creek extremists, a disgrace to fellow environmentalists.

Obee rightly calls this kind of thing theatre. It seems a childish way to get attention.

G.M. Jackson
View Royal

Breaking the law destroys the message

Re: “Expect more protests if we do not act on climate,” letter, Aug. 6.

The irony of this letter is astonishing. Advocating or defending the crime of mischief in the name of climate action amounts to the same moral argument used by those behind the fossil-fuel industry: The ends justify the means.

There is no doubt that fossil-fuel industries have knowingly and criminally induced the current climate crisis for the sake of immense profits. But this letter similarly infers that people objecting to the profound effects of fossil-fuel should also break the law, claiming the oxymoron of “peaceful” resistance. Breaking the law and protesting are not synonymous.

Such a manifesto presents a bleak dichotomy: An increasingly deadly climate crisis or the end of civil society. The argument that the ends justify the means — whether by industry, politicians, government, climate activists or anyone else — becomes “might equals right” when translated into action.

Even if nihilistic climate activists could save the planet by rejecting of the rule of law, which is doubtful, then human existence would become as intolerable as a world on fire. Law-breaking climate activists are to be trusted no more than those running law-breaking fossil-fuel industries.

Protest and fight for a climate-safe future, for sure. But breaking the law doing it will only undercut the cause, play into the hands of the climate deniers and make the whole exercise pointless.

Paul Walton

Canada leads the world in carbon-capture ideas

Re: “Expect more protests if we do not act on climate,” letter, Aug. 6.

To suggest that Canada is “dangerous” is outrageous in the extreme, and to suggest that we are “running out of time” displays the infantile mentality of the Tyre Extinguishers and their like.

If they had a single clue as to what is going on in the world today, they would be truly dangerous.

They, and their academic friends, never mention the thousands of coal-fired generators being manufactured annually by China and other Asian countries. Are these countries worried about climate change ? No, it is Canadians who will save the planet, and destroy our economy in that pursuit.

What unadulterated rubbish they spout.

Canada produces the most ethically and emission controlled energy in the world. We have LNG plants that will be electrically operated.

Canada leads the world in carbon-capture ingenuity, spending billions each year to improve the science.

Accept the fact that fossil fuels will be with us for decades, and Canada is in a position to replace coal-fired generators in Asia, and gas and oil from disparate countries like Russia, which, regrettably, the EU has become so dependent on for their livelihood.

H.J. Rice

Showing a weak grasp of science and economics

Re: “Expect more protests if we do not act on climate,” letter, Aug. 6.

Blackmailing Canadians with the ongoing vandalism of vehicles, until we embrace some destructive and undefined poverty pact, is as nonsensical as it is dangerous.

Firstly, describing the vandalism of private property as a “protest” cheapens our most precious democratic institutions. I support your right to protest, however ridiculous your ideas, but if your protest consists of committing crimes, I can only conclude that you have no ideas.

Secondly, the assessment that we have not even “30 years to gently transition to a zero-carbon world” is defeatist hyperbole. If Canada transitions to a “zero-carbon world” tomorrow, the rest of the world will nevertheless use more carbon in 2052 than it did in 2022. If your plan for adapting to that is to plunge our nation into poverty, I can only conclude that you have no plan.

Finally, the colourful description of “rivers and oceans ris[ing]” amid “drought and food insecurity” shows a tenuous grasp of both science and economics. The oceans are indeed rising — about one foot every 400 years at the Victoria harbour — but that’s not going to flood us out anytime soon.

The more imminent threat is a political war on our energy industry that will destroy supply chains, undermine food security, and compromise our ability to adapt.

It is disconcerting that the economic effects of climate change are being aggravating by a dystopian cult of alarmists who continually insist that the only way to avoid poverty and starvation is through poverty and starvation itself.

Jeremy Maddock

Vandalism will not help their cause

Re: “Eco group takes credit for mass deflation of tires,” Aug. 3.

‚Äč”Credit” can surely not be a word one uses to apply to vandalism. This group of tire-deflating activists has given zero consideration to the personal or financial impacts of their little spree, though they claim that their actions would harm no one.

How can they possibly know that? What if there were an emergency of some sort and the vehicle was needed?

I can see that this group wants to raise awareness about climate change, but vandalism in the name of activism is hardly the way.

Tish Woodley

Health-care heroes saved this man’s life

I have just spent the past week in the Royal Jubilee Hospital cardiac ward. The staff including technicians, nurses, doctors were all very competent, friendly and caring people.

They did save my life as I had a tricky heart procedure done. I can not overstate the wonderful care I received!

I have seen and read many negative things about our health care. I feel compelled to say how fortunate we Canadians are.

The entire staff are under stress because of staff shortages, long shifts, etc. Yet I never heard one complaint, just good-natured smiles and laughter and great camaraderie. These individuals are true heroes and I will always be grateful to have been in their care.

David English

More heartfelt thanks for our health-care system

I recently spent a couple of days at Royal Jubilee Hospital for prostate surgery. I cannot adequately express my appreciation for the excellent care given me by the many nurses, doctors and other medical staff during my stay.

And this appreciation extends to the housekeeping and kitchen staff as well. I do not remember all of their names, but I know that everyone who entered Room 759S at the Jubilee last week was a devoted and caring individual who provided excellent care to this senior.

I thank you all.

Ken Broadhead

Cheaper alternatives to the proposed railway

I tend to agree with Premier John Horgan that restoring the railway line on the Island is no longer economically feasible.

Why not instead turn the existing railway bed into a hiking/biking trail such as was done with the highly popular P’tit Train du Nord linear park running through the Laurentians in Quebec?

This would not only provide more opportunity for islanders to exercise and enjoy healthier and longer lives, but also serve to attract more tourists to the island, especially with the growing popularity of e-bikes.

As for providing alternative means of travel for folks not wanting to use cars to move up and down the island for various reasons, how about providing an electric bus service to make use of existing roads and highways? That surely would be a lot cheaper than restoring the rail line.

David M. Bird
North Saanich

Tired of having to look over his shoulder

Re: “City police see new spike in youth turmoil,” Aug. 5.

Enough is enough. Wake up, Victoria council.

How often do we need to be reminded of the call for help by Police Chief Del Manak: “I regret cancelling the school liaison program … I regret shutting down our crime prevention unit, which was targeting prolific property offenders … but I had no choice. We needed officers on our front lines.”

Short-staffing police is a threat to our health and safety — two of the most important aspects of life. Without them, there is no life.

To read that there is a “new spike in youth turmoil” is beyond disturbing. Between the crime caused by mental illness, drug addiction and marauding youths, we no longer feel safe in our neighbourhood.

We have lived in James Bay for 15 years and loved it. But we are looking to move to Sidney. I am tired of paying taxes for fluff and looking over my shoulder to see who is a potential threat.

Bill Currie


• Email:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.