Letters Sept. 10: The real climate-change election issue; support for James Bay cruise ships

Climate change demands new realities

If, as Jack Knox suggests, climate change is at the top of the list of election concerns, then it’s appropriate to mention a few realities that don’t get discussed very often.

First, yes, climate change is an existential threat. And yes, addressing it requires the world community to co-operate to reduce carbon emissions.

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But I still hear people who think that by reducing carbon emissions in Victoria, or in Canada, it will have an effect on our local weather, and more broadly, on our climate.

The truth is that the effects of carbon emissions are expressed globally, not locally, so no matter what we do, it will not affect local weather, or long-term climate trends here in Victoria.

Also, since Canada’s annual contribution of carbon emissions is about two per cent of total global annual emissions, it doesn’t really matter what we do in Canada.

As long as China, India, the United States, Brazil, Russia, and other big emitters do not substantially reduce their emissions, our efforts will have minimal to zero effect.

But, and this is key, unless Canada takes meaningful action at home, we can’t apply pressure on the big emitters to also take meaningful action.

There are two elements missing in the plans of the major parties to address climate change.

First, taking meaningful action on climate change is going to inconvenience us all. Nobody is admitting that.

Second, the main effort that Canada should be making is to put enormous pressure on the big emitters to reduce their emissions. Neither of these points are discussed by the candidates.

Brian Wilkes

Support for cruise ships from James Bay

Re: “Building back better as cruise ships return,” commentary, Sept. 7.

Good to read about what the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is doing to mitigate concerns about the cruise-ship industry.

If you only listened to the James Bay Neighbourhood Association, you would not have had the complete picture. We live in James Bay and we are not against the cruise-ship industry.

Contrary to what the JBNA would like you to believe, not everyone living in James Bay is against cruise ships. We live in a tourism town, if you don’t like it, you are free to move.

Bill Currie
James Bay

Dr. Henry’s clarity tightened the knickers

Have always admired the cool, calm and collected way that provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presented pandemic facts and figures to the citizens of British Columbia.

As the virus and its variants evolved, she changed tactics on several occasions to match circumstances. When health orders were altered, she never ducked a question from the media, always willing to explain how and why new paths taken were consequential of evolving science.

This was most evident on Sept. 7 when she ordered that everyone who has been vaccinated must obtain the vaccine card to enter certain establishments for the foreseeable future.

Her presentation was so absolutely crystal clear, and easy to understand; it’s so simple to obtain a vaccine card, even for people like me who have never owned a smartphone.

Everyone had ample advance warning that this was the next step being taken, in a concerted effort for the hesitant ones among us to wake up, smell the roses and get inoculated, if they want a return to some kind of normalcy during this ongoing pandemic.

Strident anti-vaxxers have spent about 20 months listening to influencers on Facebook and other sources filling their gullible heads with disinformation.

Literally millions of their fraudulent and often crazy claims have been discredited on an hourly basis, yet they persist in spreading vicious, vile, virulent accusations all through cyberspace.

Throughout it all Henry has maintained a quiet dignity, and her latest excellent presentation must have caused the knotted knickers of the anti-vaxxers to tighten to an even more excruciating painful level.

Bernie Smith

Critical thinking and an analytical mind

To the writer who said trying to convince anti-vaxxers is as useless as trying to convince fundamentalists to become atheists: You’ve given me my smile for the day! Seriously!

I don’t fit the anti-vaxxer part (firm believer in vaccines) but yes, I’m “stuck” as I’m an evangelical. So why am I smiling?

Because back in 1967, my only fear was my newfound faith wouldn’t last. Age 15, I had no idea, it depended solely on Christ not reneging on me; not my attachment to Him, as you suggested.

Dismiss me as illogical, unreasonable, etc. That’s OK. But look at the Book of Romans. (Sixth book in the New Testament).

The Apostle Paul’s critical thinking and brilliant analytical mind shines through every chapter. We’re not all blockheads!

Sarah Clarke

It’s time we acted like Canadians again

Now the “Trump Mob” mentality has reached our shores. The fact that anyone has harassed or spat on a caretaker, nurse or doctor is beyond my belief.

Since when does anyone have complete self-rights over the general health of the country? How many other vaccines are mandatory for the good of the whole?

Also, If you don’t like our government or Trudeau, that’s fine. Vote them out!

But since when do we Canadians throw gravel at our prime minister? This country is fast going down to the level of the insane to our south.

Walter Hill

Freedom in making medical decisions

The definition of civility is: formal politeness and courtesy in behaviour, or speech.

One of your standards in submitting letters is civility, but sadly, any civility has been thrown out the window when it comes to those who are unvaccinated.

Unfortunately, anyone who supports the other side is labelled as an anti-vaxxer, conspiracy theorist and un-educated.

What about those people who for medical reasons cannot get vaccinated? Or simply those who want to wait and see if the vaccine actually works, and if there are long-term health effects caused by the vaccine?

Real-world evidence has proven that the mRNA vaccine doesn’t prevent you from contracting COVID-19, then spreading it to others. While it does prevent severe illness, and hospitalization, even that is not guaranteed.

To villainize those who simply want freedom in making their own medical decisions is reprehensible for any media outlet to support.

Judy Zelmer

Maybe Trudeau can learn from his father

Justin Trudeau might consider responding to the anti-vaxers and anti-maskers demonstrators throwing stones, insults and obscenities with his dad’s Salmon Arm salute.

I think 90 per cent of the country would agree with him.

D.J. Laine

Trust us, we can build things

Moments ago I listened to U.S. President Joe Biden address a meeting of heads of labour unions, in which he made a major point about his government pledging to “Buy American.”

Meanwhile, B.C. Ferries wants us to celebrate the arrival of six puny ferries built in Romania, little ships we could have built here in B.C. in our sleep!

Now, I understand that the government, and our premier, are gun-shy after the fast ferries fiasco, but I think by now we have learned to trust engineers and marine architects instead of government bureaucrats with their political agenda (note: plural of agendum).

I have seen over the decades government support for manufacturing and innovation descend into indifference, if not interference, as B.C. industry is replaced by people selling hamburgers to each other and property to foreigners. The motivation for this I just don’t understand.

Does the NDP government believe the people of B.C. are the ones too incompetent to create and build? Or is it the government that doesn’t trust us?

John Hutchinson

Cutting old growth here hurts the Interior

Big trees in ancient forests recycle rain via transpiration, such that the same rainwater falls and is transpired many times, progressively further inland each time.

Deforestation, otherwise known as clearcutting, interrupts this cycle by replacing transpiration with runoff. This worsens droughts and wildfires and increases desertification inland.

These processes have been studied extensively in the Amazon and are equally applicable to the temperate rainforests of B.C., which have been almost entirely eradicated by clearcutting.

Clearcutting ancient rainforests intensifies drought and wildfires in the Interior valleys of B.C. by preventing rainfall on the coast from being transpired and falling again and again progressively further inland.

Bill Appledorf

Cameron Lake stretch hampers Port Alberni

The City of Port Alberni has approved a 2,800-home development.

Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino are served by an economically stifling, speed-restricted, two-lane road through a park at Cameron Lake.

Did the City of Port Alberni considered the ramifications of such a development with this restriction to access the city and the coast?

If tourism is to be a prime driver of the economy of B.C., then the problem of traffic congestion has to be addressed.

Allan Winks


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