Letters Dec. 22: Renewable power; COVID regulations; pressure on small business

Wind, solar power both have problems

Re: “Weak arguments for natural gas,” letter, Dec. 17.

A recent letter took exception to Gwyn Morgan’s views on energy. Well, I applaud the Times Colonist for publishing an alternative to the popular views presented by journalists with little knowledge or experience of the subject matter.

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We need to hear all sides of an argument if we are to stand a chance of making informed, balanced decisions.

The letter-writer cited the “obvious and increasing commercial success” of wind and solar power.

Not so. Both would fail without large research and development and operating subsidies.

Wind is particularly problematic due to its very low energy density, high energy and materials inputs during construction, and the decommissioning nightmare (for the taxpayer) at the end of a turbine’s short life-span.

Solar is somewhat more promising, but mainly at the residential level. Both wind and solar are unable to produce energy when we need it most. We should be investing in inventing new technologies instead.

Stringent pollution controls in the west caused manufacturing to move to countries with less stringent controls – we simply exported our pollution. While the west is ramping down its coal-fired power stations, China is building around 300 new ones. Burning natural gas would be much better.

Anyone who is open to informed opinions that differ from their own could start with Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School.

Martyn Ward

Selfishness yes, selfishness no

The provincial government announced that it intends to increase enforcement efforts to ensure that those who “put their own selfishness above public health” are punished.

Ironic in the extreme coming from the same government that unhesitatingly put British Columbians in harm’s way by orchestrating a second-wave pandemic election.

Roxanne P. Helme

We want the city we have always had

Victorians, it’s time to take our city back.

No more high-rise buildings downtown. If we wanted to live in the Manhattan of the West Coast, we would have moved to Vancouver. These behemoths don’t offer lower-cost housing for young families; instead, they represent a cynical tax grab by council.

No more blocking views of the water. No more plunking modern buildings on top of old ones or parking them behind leftover facades and calling it heritage preservation.

No more taking city-owned green space andallowing developers to build housing on it (Vic High). That’s recreational land that will never come back to us.

No more allowing developers to cut down 20 bylaw-protected trees at a time in order to build town houses (902 Foul Bay).

No more expensive and pointless public works projects like the sidewalk on the north side of May Street.

No more lecturing citizens about what they should want. What we want is the city we have always lived in.

Barbara Abercrombie

Extreme pressure for local retailers

I have been a staunch supporter of Dr. Bonnie Henry throughout this horrible ordeal. She has brought hope and calmness and I thank her for that.

But I wish she had not dictated the rule to not enjoy Christmas with your adult family who live in their own homes, or not even go for dinner with anyone who doesn’t live under your roof.

That change, lasting until Jan. 8, is going to put a lot of small businesses under extreme financial pressure. I was in retail for 30 years and if we didn’t have a great October, November and especially December, we would have had to find ways to cut costs for the rest of the year. Staff reductions would have been the quickest way to cut costs, but we never did that because we always had a really successful fall.

This dictate is going to severely affect restaurants and small local businesses — many of which will not survive into the New Year — especially if the tourism industry takes another huge hit next summer.

Meanwhile, if you are not allowed to meet with your family and friends at your home, you can just meet with them at Costco with the other 300 strangers crammed into the store.

Paul Arnold

An indignity to those on the autism spectrum

As the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, I was appalled by the argument being used to defend the man who drove a van down a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 innocent people and injuring 16 others in 2018.

Perhaps the attempt to prove the defendant was psychotic at the time of these offences needed more corroboration than their expert witnesses could provide, so they have now added ASD to their evidence.

To even suggest that people on the autism spectrum are capable of these heinous crimes is not only a poor legal argument, it is an indignity and hurtful to all those with ASD.

I expect these lawyers are grasping at straws, however, it is evident they know very little about autism and the millions of wonderful people who truly have this diagnosis.

David Mansell

Arvay’s based his life on service to others

Before reading about the death of Joe Arvay, I had been unaware of this man and his work as a tireless advocate for human rights.

This is the sort of person about whom I would prefer to read: celebrating the life of a man who gave his all for other people.

He accomplished so much more in his life than someone who was in a movie or made a recording of what passes for music but is in fact just unpleasant noise.

Entertaining people is not the most worthy goal in life — service to others improves the lives of many people and is a more laudable goal.

Jean McClennan

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