Letters to the editor

Readers write about Thanksgiving delight and the need for mature climate change conversation

Dear Editor,

My husband and I feel compelled to share our elated feelings with the readers of the Journal!

This past Thanksgiving weekend was truly a celebration of all that is good in life for us. Our son and grandson came from Calgary to join us, and we took a trip out to Desert Hills on Thanksgiving Sunday, to show them Ashcroft’s pride and joy. What greeted us there was the most impressive celebration of the Thanksgiving weekend!

The rich bounty of amazing produce, at incredibly fair prices, the colours, the happy Mexican music, the laughter, the delicious Mexican tacos, the huge amounts of people (even though Sunday was very cool and damp), the fun hay rides to and from our vehicles, the organization of everything, and for those of us who were into it, the thrill of the pumpkin cannons! Our son, who has been to many corners of the world, was truly impressed … it was so much fun!

All of the staff members at Desert Hills seem to be happy and enjoy their work, with big smiles and lovely manners. We think that is wonderful, the way that the Porters have brought the best of Mexico here, to our little town of Ashcroft. We had to go out there again on Thanksgiving Monday, just to pick up a few more things, and to revel once more in the happy colour.

I’m a little hesitant to admit this, but as we once more prepared to leave, I felt myself dancing to the music, and had tears trickling down my cheeks. Thank you, Desert Hills, for all of your hard work, and for bringing the true feeling of Thanksgiving to everyone who came!

Heather and Terry Philpott

Ashcroft, B.C.

Dear Editor,

I was not aware of Ashcroft’s recent Climate Strike until I drove past the park where they were assembled and saw all the vehicles and read the signs. I applaud the young adults who organized it. We need them. They are an important part of the conversation. But we need to mature the conversation around climate change.

We, as adults, must take their energy and build on it.

It’s not black and white, and it’s not a simple conversation. Shutting down oil and gas isn’t going to happen anytime soon: as the second and third worlds fight to join our standard of living, their demand will rise. Are we so arrogant that we want to keep the second and third worlds in poverty? The correlation between access to energy and quality of life, and life expectancy, can’t be disputed. It’s well documented.

Climate change denial is tiresome, and not what this letter is about at all.

The discussion around LNG exports is a good example of the absurdity. China is building two coal-fired energy plants per week for the next two years. Coal plants being built in 2019 is sickening! In B.C. we have the solution with LNG. Exporting LNG to China, displacing coal, lowers global CO2. We must think globally to get through the transition. Doing it with our resources that support Canadian social programs is a win-win.

The examples of silliness are many. Why is Canada importing USD$1.5 billion of oil from Saudi Arabia when we sit on the third-largest oil reserves in the world? Saudi Arabia is a regime we should not be supporting. This is a regime that is, among other things, anti-LGBT+ and worse. Women there were only recently afforded the right to drive! Yet Canada makes the choice to support them, while starving our social programs of royalties. Not one drop less of oil is consumed.

Recently Adam Stirling, a Victoria radio personality, reported on the transit of oil from Alberta, via pipe and rail, to Galveston, Texas. The oil was then loaded into a ship called New Dream: a newer tanker that is so large (at 333 metres) that it doesn’t fit through the Panama Canal. Because of that, the New Dream had to sail around the southern tip of Africa to reach Qingdaio, China. What was the CO2 footprint of all those extra miles at sea-burning high-sulphur Bunker C? Worried about a spill? But exporting that risk to Galveston is somehow better?

For those not tuned in, Canada exports oil at a discount. Our pipelines are oversubscribed, meaning they have—in the case of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline—40 per cent more demand than space in the pipeline. Because of this, Canadian oil exported to the USA is discounted. The U.S. receives this oil, then does nothing to it but add profit and then export it.

The U.S. is setting new oil export records every month, supporting the U.S. economy that grows at three times the pace of Canada’s. Canadians love to hate Donald Trump, but we are handing his economy this gift? Why? What is gained? Not one less barrel of oil is used worldwide.

Are we ready to mature the conversation? I fear not.

Ryan Lake

Ashcroft, B.C.


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