Do we need treated water for irrigation?

Dear Editor:

As I turn on my new drip irrigation system I have installed this spring in an effort to reduce water waste in my yard, it occurs to me this water I am spilling into the dirt around my trees and shrubs is amongst the best drinking water available in the world. Not only is it fresh and clean Rutland well water, but has undergone treatment and testing to the highest standards.

I wonder, what is the expense of treating this water? And what is the capacity? At some point, surely as the population increases, so does the need for added capacity to treat this exceptional drinking water. So I wonder, why is it we are dumping this drinking water onto the ground?

I wonder if anyone has considered the idea of providing a secondary water main for irrigation, water that could fall from the watershed above, through some filters and direct to an irrigation connection at the corner of each property.

At first the idea sounds like an enormous and expensive undertaking. But I wonder what the future benefits would be to our infrastructure if we only treated the water that enters our homes.

I would think that the system could be built into new construction at little cost, with the city then just biting off small chunks every year, building outward from the source over the next few decades to fully complete.

Something just does not feel right about dumping this pristine water on the ground, but at the same time I do not want to live in a concrete jungle or a dust bowl.

Jeff Frank, Rutland

Hypocritical of PM to attend protest

Dear Editor:

I understand, and appreciate, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who used to think nothing about appearing in black face, has had an epiphany and now eschews such dress-up costumes.

Often, people have done things in the past which they now, with maturity, deem regrettable. However his appearance at a recent protest does not fall into that category of regret.

Why do I say that? Because Trudeau joins a massive protest during a COVID-19 protest and doesn’t social distance.

Apparently when it is a good cause, which provides him with a politically expedient photo op, it is OK to come out of his lair in which he has supposedly confined himself for the past three months.

On the other hand he refuses to let Parliament resume in a meaningful way, using the excuse of “social distancing.” Pure sophistry and utter hypocrisy.

No one is discounting the need for attitude changes regarding racism, but Trudeau needs to have an attitude change regarding democracy and the absolute necessity of a fully functioning of Parliament.

You know, a Parliament where he is fully held to account for how he is managing (some would say mismanaging) the country.

In the absence of such accountability it can be truthfully argued that Trudeau is more in favour of operating as an egomaniacal, self-serving dictator than the leader of a democracy.

Jim Church, Kelowna

NOAA scientists aren’t up to the job

Dear Editor:

The “News Briefing” column of the June 5 edition of The Daily Courier contained an interesting Associated Press report on carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Apparently, the May measurements taken by the Mauna Loa, Hawaii measurement site of the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Association (NOAA), found that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were still increasing in spite of huge coronavirus-forced decreases in human emissions from hydro-carbon fuel consumption.

While NOAA marches in step with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the report is still mealy-mouthed. This might be due to editing by The Associated Press.

Nevertheless, there is no evidence of a scientific principle in the version printed in The Daily Courier.

Atmospheric scientists generally agree that atmospheric turbulence will distribute everything emitted into the atmosphere evenly over the planet in about six weeks. There are eight measurement stations spread around the globe.

Seven of them, including Mauna Loa, are located in areas of active volcanos and/or regions of deep sea vents. The eighth, in northern Alaska may be an exception; however, neither land or sea is sufficiently known in that region.

The situation in Mauna Loa is not in doubt. It is one of the most active volcanic and sea vent regions in the world.

Real scientists (as opposed to IPCC puppets) would take a second look at their thesis if they found that the dependent variable is not noticeably affected by huge changes in the independent variable.

There are probably a dozen reasons why the huge drop in human emissions did not show some influence on the atmospheric burden, but it is simply unscientific to turn your face away and posture an excuse to ignore it.

William Taylor, Westbank

U.S.-style attack ads have no place here

Dear Editor:

U.S. political campaign expenditures defy belief. Billions of dollars are spent annually, primarily by the Democratic and Republican political party machineries with virtually no spending caps. If caps exist, political action committees (PACs) will overcome these minor irritations.

Much of this effort is devoted to personal attack ads. The strategy is to attack a candidate’s personal character, often with fictitious claims. Discussions regarding substantive policy issues are forgotten.

I’m sure this will be on full display this fall.

In Canada, we have forged a more civil political discourse, but I fear it is being threatened by the U.S. system. The U.S. attack ad machinery will be migrating north to Canada as long as there is the funding to hire their attack ad aficionados.

Will some of our Canadian political parties fund personal attack ads? Yes. Is this corrosive to democracy? Yes. Will Canadian taxpayers be paying for much of this? Yes.

Our major parties get reimbursed by taxpayers for 50-60% of their campaign expenditures incurred in the last election. Much of this is spent on stuff like office rentals, computers, databases, pencils and papers. But some of this funding is being devoted to personal attack ads and it’s bound to get worse.

Now the federal Liberals, Conservatives and NDP want to tap into COVID-19 financial support ostensibly to keep their staff employed. Directly or indirectly this provides funding for personal attack ads for any party that incorporates this in their next campaign.

I will not support any political party that endorses personal political attack ads. Will you?

Steve Burke, West Kelowna

Email: letters@ok.bc.ca