Letters Oct. 6: Bridge vs. tunnel, eating meat, gun laws

Build a bridge instead of a tunnel

The decision by the mayors’ task force to build an eight-lane tunnel to replace the four-lane Massey Tunnel may be a tad rash. Two factors that would nix a tunnel may not have been considered.

One, claustrophobia. This is a very real factor that may not affect everyone but should be considered. My passage through the tunnel has been marked by slowdowns because someone ahead of me invariably realizes he or she is in a hole with a lot of water overhead and panic sets in, the brake lights come on and voila you have a back up.

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Two, climate change and the Big One. As Greenland, the permafrost, and the polar ice caps melt there’s an equal reaction of rising water on coastal flood plains where the Massey Tunnel is located. Ergo, the tunnels would flood. Equally worrisome is the expected big earthquake that would cause liquefaction on the flood plain resulting in massive damage to low-lying structures, including the tunnels.

A bridge would alleviate the first reason and would solve number two if seismic specifications were in place.

Steve Hoffman

Young people are making big changes

Young climate action protesters have received dismissive comments for their lifestyles not being perfect. For their lives not having zero environmental impact. They are critiqued for sometimes driving cars (despite inadequate public transit) or leaving lights on, for sometimes flying, or not being vegan.

To me, that’s the equivalent of attacking healthcare advocates for being overweight. Or for exercising too infrequently, or not eating enough greens. Each of us as individuals can do more. But we need policy changes to support us and to go beyond individual action.

I know from my own kids and their friends that many of them have indeed made big changes — from never eating meat to cycling, busing and carpooling. They are rejecting fast fashion and choosing more reusable products. They are becoming the change. It’s a journey and at least they’ve taken first steps.

Those who marched last week may not be perfect yet, but they still have the right and even a responsibility to tell governments to lead courageously on climate.

Catherine Haynes

Blaming meat-eating for so many things

Re: “Criticism of meat study hysterical, doctor says,” Oct. 4.

Dr. Gordon Guyatt et al conclude that “cutting back on red meat wouldn’t be worth it for people who really enjoy meat” based on the poor evidence for significant reduction in cancer risk. Seems pretty simple.

The objections of Dr. David Jenkins that the study does not consider climate change, environmental destruction or the humane treatment of animals are absurd.

Dr. Jenkins is a professor of nutritional sciences and medicine, clearly not an expert in any of the areas of his objection. Is his research merely aimed at nutritional recommendations that solve climate change, environmental destruction and the humane treatment of animals? Sounds trendy, but likely to drive confirmation bias.

If you think a diet excluding meat will solve all the world’s problems, you will likely recommend a vegetarian diet. But this is propaganda, not science. Good for Dr. Guyatt for doing actual science.

James Campbell

‘Assault rifles’ cause very few deaths

With 12,000 deaths due to fentanyl and approximately 1,600 deaths due to beatings and stabbing during the last four years, making the handful of deaths by “assault rifles” almost minuscule, I have to wonder why the federal Liberals chose this time to announce a promise to ban the scary-looking AR15 “weapon of war” (which is merely a semi-automatic deer rifle dressed up and painted black to look like a real military rifle).

Canadian gun laws — unlike in the U.S., where high-capacity magazines have been used in mass shootings — prohibit ANY semi-automatic from having a magazine holding more than five bullets.

The actual number of firearms deaths after taking out suicides is 30 per cent of overall deaths, further reduced by “targeted” organized crime, for which the RCMP say the public is not at risk.

Why then the much-publicized ban on the AR15, which accounted for about as many deaths as you could count on your fingers and toes?

Very simply, it gets votes. If Justin Trudeau was serious about making our communities safer, he would ban baseball bats and steak knives.

Peter M. Clarke

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