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Letters Dec. 8: Call it a log; bikes getting too much space; lower speed limits are ludicrous

Logs are seen in an aerial view stacked at the Interfor sawmill, in Grand Forks, B.C., on May 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Next time, just call a log a log

Re: “B.C. moves to reduce raw log exports,” Dec. 6.

Upon reading this article, I was struck by the concept of “raw.” “Raw” may refer to something that is not cooked.

I suspect that these logs are not well-done, or medium, or dare I say, medium-rare, as with a beef steak. On the other hand, “raw” could also refer to a part of the body that is red and painful, as from an abrasion.

Now, are the logs referred to in this article uncooked, or have they suffered an abrasion?

Granted, a log, which is a piece of a tree bole produced by sawing, could suffer an abrasion, either from the sawing or being moved from the forest, and thus be diagnosed as “raw.”

It is also possible that the logs in question are raw in the sense that they are uncooked. After all, a log may be “cooked” in hot water or steam, in order to soften the fibres to facilitate peeling to produce veneers, either for plywood or finishing veneers.

Some zealots would like to consider a log, destined for export, is a “raw” log. I suspect that they have not considered whether the log is uncooked, or has suffered an abrasion.

Rather, they would most likely consider a “raw” log as a log that has not undergone further manufacturing processes, such as sawing to produce lumber, or peeling to produce veneer, or splitting to produce shakes and shingles.

However, if a log has undergone a further manufacturing process, is it still considered a “log”? At what point does a “raw” log become a log? If a “raw” log is deemed to be a product not to be exported, is a log deemed to be a product which may be exported?

Given that the use of the term “raw” when referring to a log could be subject to misinterpretations, would it not be more appropriate, and dare I say, precise and accurate, to simply refer to things as they are?

After all, and to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, “a log is a log is a log.”

John Stephen

Retired Professional Forester

View Royal

No confusion about where money is going

Re: “Near empty bike lanes? 74,000 trips a day!” letter Dec. 5.

As I was sitting here bemoaning the power of the few over the many, I realized that the idea of 74,000 bicycle trips on Wharf Street would surely prove that I am getting too cynical in my middle age.

Then I read the 2023 city budget and noted $11.7 million allotted for road maintenance. The “multi-modal corridor” improvement budget is $22.1 million.

The 1,600 daily bike trips on Wharf Street compare to 13,000 car trips (6,500 car count southbound in October 2021, as per the Capital Regional District.

Assuming four lanes are available for sharing, my calculation indicates that 12 per cent of traffic is occupying 25 per cent of the space and 66 per cent of the transportation budget. At least my confusion about whether my bemoaning is valid or not has been cleared up.

David Cook


Speed limit in Saanich is a ludicrous idea

The pathetic voter turnout at our municipal elections has given us lazy voters the local government we deserve, a consortium of zealots bound and determined to social engineer us into a brave new world where common sense is replaced with utopian fantasies.

Just try trundling along at 18.64 mph (30 km/h) on one of Saanich’s newly designated roads.

Just don’t expect to win any popularity contests as you crawl along with an army of very ticked off drivers fuming up your self-righteous tail. I pity the police who will have to enforce such a ludicrous speed, handing out stern lectures and tickets to those scofflaws shattering the limit.

Safer streets? Yeah, sure.

Jamie Masters

(a skeptical Saanich curmudgeon)


Developing countries should go to court

Re: “In a serious climate crisis, we need serious solutions,” commentary, Dec. 5.

The real solution to climate change could be through international law. Recently the United Nation General Assembly sought a legal opinion from the International Court of Justice on climate change

The response was the following: not only what states are required to do under international law to avert further climate change through both now and in the future, they also have to assess the legal consequences under these obligations both through what they do and fail to do have caused significant harm to climate systems in other parts of the environment and harm to future generations as well as for those countries by virtue of geographical circumstances are vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change.

However a legal opinion from the court is not legally binding.

The court can, however, provide interpretations of international law via customs or treaties such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC.

All states are party to the UNFCCC. The objective of the convention is stabilization of greenhouse gases at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. “Such a level should be achieved within a time frame to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to ensure food production is not threatened and to enable economic development is done in a sustainable way.”

Under convention principles, “The parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent and minimize any adverse effects on developing countries. Lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures.”

Given that the developing countries are the most affected but least responsible for climate change, perhaps developing countries could launch a case at the international court.

Joan Russow


Climate change worries by the numbers

We had a nice 22 days visiting Mexico, which has a population of about 140 million. Canada has about 40 million people.

Canada has several means of generating electricity: nuclear, hydro, coal, gas, wind etc., but Mexico has oil, coal and gas. Electricity costs in Mexico are high according to their annual earnings per person.

There are very few electric vehicles in Mexico due to the costs and availability of service.

Mexico will continue with driving on diesel and gasoline vehicles, no change there. Therefore, our 40 million people will make no effect on saving climate change since there are over 3.5 Mexicans for each Canadian.

J.I. Hansen

North Saanich


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