Letters June 18: Charting the climate, Ben Kilmer, bus passes and Crystal Pool

Real meaning behind statistics

Re: “Rise and fall of economics and climate,” comment, June 13.

It is an intriguing proposal to publish CO2 levels with market figures and I wish it well.

article continues below

But don’t the economic numbers published daily actually distort the actual survival situations experienced by a growing number? The GDP aside, we are bombarded with stock market values and unemployment figures.

Instead of reflecting productivity in goods and services, do not market values primarily indicate the vagaries of investments? Instead of reflecting the general prosperity of all, are not unemployment figures now indicating the rise of partial employment and the struggles of so-called independent contractors? Don’t average salary figures actually reflect the “sports star” incomes of senior executives and not the stagnant actual wages of most?

Don’t we really need figures instead that reflect the challenges faced by actual widening income gaps, and figures that put more emphasis on actual productive work by people versus automation and investment?

Would it not be now more instructive to distinguish between the clean energy economy and resource extractive industries, creators of our climate crisis and growing extinctions? Let’s drop the prosperity illusions of current economic figures and instead use numbers that make it easy to see the misery that a growing number of everyday workers are suffering.

I find it disgusting that simple averages can manipulate minds and politics so effectively, by everyday repetition in our media.

Doug Seeley


Disputing thoughts on global warming

Re: “Rise and fall of economics and climate,” comment, June 13.

The author has bought into the Al Gore theory of global warming, or apologetically, climate change.

He is another epouser of CO2 and its effect on Earth, again like other doom sayers, there is not a mention of where that magic number should be.

There are good people who talk of the real science behind this natural phenomenon called climate change.

One view of an early paper that was published dealt with computer models that have been proven as false. But the false data is then used on further models that can only produce erroneous material and further it.

The author says “Global warming and climate instability are the outcomes of our economic systems’ activity.”

It tells me he has bought into the United Nations target regarding climate change, as released in February. It, basically, said the way the UN is wanting to fight global warming is to make the wealthy pay the poor of the world, the wealthy being persons, companies and governments.

But, again, where do they want CO2 levels to be? The rise in those levels over the past 40 years has produced a greener Earth, in the tropics and grasslands. The statement of “human-induced global warming” is another “the sky is falling “ prediction of catastrophe.

Jim Anderson


Action needed on climate change

Re: “Rise and fall of economics and climate,” comment, June 13.

The commentary suggesting that we report daily the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, much like we have the daily stock market report, is a good idea. It may very well alert the public to the ongoing atmospheric pollution with carbon dioxide. I would also suggest similar monitoring of methane gas levels.

We may have just 10 years to eliminate production of greenhouse gases to right this catastrophic climate change trajectory we’re on. Much of what we see and hear about climate change is how it will affect us. Little is said of what we need to do about it.

There is no template on how to manage the climate crisis we are in. We need to start somewhere and I would suggest an escalating carbon and methane gas tax of five per cent every six months. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and there should be similar carbon tax on logging them.

The money from these taxes should go to the communities where the tax was collected for public transport, subsidies for insulation and heating buildings.

The federal government should impose these taxes. We need leadership from our federal government and a provincial-global collaboration to combat our climate change crisis. Time is running out. We need action now.

Bob Browett


New nickname for U.S. president

Re: “Trump gaffe puts Prince of Whales in the spotlight,” June 14.

In view of the anguish Trump’s policies and behaviour has caused for so many people, he could legitimately give himself the title of The Prince of Wails.

Tony Keble


Kilmer decision should be private

Re: “Wife seeks halt to releasing details of death,” June 15.

The B.C. Coroners Service has stated it will publish details of the death of Ben Kilmer, despite pleas from his family not to do so, and warnings details may cause further harm to those who knew him.

The coroner is required to balance all interests in coming to a decision to make these details public. In my view, the coroner has not adequately considered what public interest really means.

Public interest does not simply mean the public may be interested. Public interest is served if there is information that will help protect the public or prevent harm to the public. Publishing the details of this unfortunate death is unlikely to meet that test.

The coroner should look to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for guidance and rulings related to determining public interest versus personal privacy. It deals with this issue every day and has a vast store of rulings to rely on for decision making.

Until the coroner makes a more informed decision, details should not be made public.

Doug Wilson


Invoke compassion, not curiosity

Re: “Wife seeks halt to releasing details of death,” June 15.

Personally, I would gladly give up my curiosity on how Ben Kilmer died if it meant that his children would be spared the trauma and horror of knowing how their beloved father died.

It’s called compassion.

Lia Fraser


Plenty of ways to spend $2 million

Re: “It’s back to square one for a new Crystal Pool,” June 14.

I’m certain if the public is being told that $2 million and three years have been wasted trying to figure out how and where to build a swimming pool, that the numbers are larger than we want to hear. It’s no wonder Coun. Ben Isitt is trying to claw back nickels from every ill-conceived corner.

Here are some other things that could be done for the good of Victoria with $2 million.

Pressure wash the filthy sidewalks. Support the police department. Clean up Pandora which is quickly becoming Victoria’s East Hastings. Paint over all the dirty-coloured crosswalks with fresh white paint. Remove the bicycle-barrier lanes and provide free helmets and training to kids who ride bikes. Close the tourist part of Government Street to cars. Provide proper moorage floats for visiting boats in the Gorge waterway.

Pay unemployed homeless people to pick garbage off the beaches. Develop a route for horse-drawn carriages that is safe for horses and the driving public.

I could go on.

C. Scott Stofer


User’s plan for Crystal Pool

Re: “It’s back to square one for a new Crystal Pool,” June 14.

As a regular patron of Crystal Pool for 40 years, it has been my home away from home. It is where I see my friends, including staff.

The new pool should be built in Central Park where it has been a community hub since 1971. What about building it in the northeast corner of the park which is all grass?

You would not have to take away the popular basketball and tennis courts, baseball diamond and beautiful tree canopy.

The existing pool could be demolished after the new one was built behind it, reclaiming green space.

There are three-storey apartment buildings in the area, so there is no reason why a new pool, which is also going to be a wellness and community centre, could not be a three-or-four storey building with underground parking

Colin Craig


Price paid for free passes

Re: “Free bus rides not for everyone,” letter, June 15.

The writer claims it is unfair that motorists from outside Victoria, who now pay for parking on Sundays, are subsidizing free youth transit passes that are only available to Victoria residents.

That is not what is happening.

Previously, Victoria was giving a subsidy to those out-of-town motorists by offering them “free” parking on Sundays. Now, the city has decided to no longer subsidize those motorists, and instead subsidize the cost of transit for some of its own citizens.

If residents from outside Victoria want subsidized passes for their children, they should ask their own mayor and council to put up the money to do this, just as the City of Victoria has done.

Steven Murray


Send us your letters

• Email: letters@timescolonist.com

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, B.C. V8T 4M2.

Letters should be no longer than 250 words and may be edited for length, legality or clarity. Include your full name, address and telephone number. Copyright of letters or other material accepted for publication remains with the author, but the publisher and its licensees may freely reproduce them in print, electronic and other forms.

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist