Pace of climate change is what’s alarming

Dear Editor:

Re: “Heat wave shouldn’t be causing alarm bells,” (letter, July 9).

Responding to Jim Church’s letter again reminds me of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s statement that the most underestimated data they found was the capacity of human denial.

Church puts forth a convincing argument about 200-300 year-long periods of droughts, and a 500-year-long period known as “the little ice age,” and the subsequent 400 year-long “medieval warm period,” all the while missing the point.

It is the pace at which these changes are taking place that is alarming.

Not in 200-500 years, but in 20.

I have personally seen 1,200 year old reefs die, right before my eyes — in 20 years. I have personally seen the horizon change from pink to brown at sunset, and if you've ever flown into Toronto and seen the smog rise to 40,000 feet, 800 miles away from that airport, then you’ve seen it too.

All of these events are unnatural and show the cause and effects of climate change.

As I’ve written before, the futility of denying climate change will become apparent soon enough, however, it seems that even with evidence, some can still not see the obvious.

Patricia Reid, West Kelowna

Praise for Kelowna’s considerate drivers

Dear Editor:

Thank you to the person in the big, black, pickup truck for not honking at me as I entered the roundabout on Butt Road (too soon), and for stopping (very close to my vehicle) and enabling me to proceed through and on my way.

My error and your common sense — thanks.

Also, thank you to the person (or persons) for giving me a smooth merge from Boucherie onto Highway 97 (very difficult at the best of times).

Always a lot of complaints about bad or inconsiderate drivers. Here’s thanks to the majority of the polite and considerate ones. Be the reason someone smiles today. I am so very thankful.

Jean Farina, West Kelowna

Fate of our seniors left to profit motive

Dear Editor:

Re: “Is it rest homes or rest-in-peace homes?” Letters, July 7 

The common yet questionable refrain still prevails in Western capitalist nation governments and corporate circles: Best business practices, including what’s best for the consumers, are best decided by business decision makers.

Clearly evidenced by, as a good example, the many needless care-home deaths, big business does not always practice what’s best for its consumers, including the most vulnerable.

Maximizing profits by risking the health or lives of product consumers will likely always be a significant part of the nature of the big business beast. Therefore, families may still have reason to worry over their loved-ones being left vulnerable by measures taken by some long-term care-home businesses to maximize profits.

Like with some U.S. states, there was nursing home neglect in Canada before COVID-19, although the actual extent was made horrifically clear when the pandemic really hit. (Resultantly, I must admire some non-Western cultures for their general practice of not placing their aged family members in seniors care homes.)

A most morbid example was the CHSLD Résidence Herron long-term care home in Quebec about 11 months ago, where 47 residents perished. The neglect had become so extreme that the Canadian Armed Forces got involved. 

Western business mentality and, by extension, collective society, allowed the well-being of our oldest family members to be decided by corporate profit-margin measures. And our governments mostly dared not to intervene, perhaps because they feared being labelled as anti-business.

I find astonishing that our society still allows the blatant commercialization of our dear senior citizens, even after the care-home COVID horrors. Is nothing off limits to big business interests?! 

Frank Sterle Jr., White Rock 

Let’s hope new GG not like predecessors

Dear Editor:

I didn’t know an awful lot about Mary Simon when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced her as his choice to become Canada’s 30th governor-general. After online research and watching television interviews, I learned Simon has been a broadcaster, diplomat, Inuit activist and advocate, and sits on numerous boards of directors. Born in Northern Quebec to a non-Indigenous father who was manager at a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post and an Inuk mother, her new job is largely ceremonial.

However, it has made unwanted headlines quite a few times, most recently when Julie Payette left office prematurely due to a toxic work environment, allegedly caused by her bullying and harassment.

Interest is stirred among Canadian plebeians and the Great Unwashed because the GG’s annual salary is in excess of $300,000, and comes with a mansion called Rideau Hall.

There’s also a yearly expense account of over $200,000 that can be accessed for rest of their lives, and even six months after death. All that is topped off with a pension of about $150,000 per year.

My ears pricked up in a television interview that named Mary Simon as one of 59 “prominent Canadians” who had accompanied former Gov.-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson on a circumpolar trip to Iceland, Finland and Russia in 2003. Can well remember the hullaballoo at the time when the free-spending Clarkson racked up an enormous bill of over $5.3-million on that junket, whose $1-million budget was already thought to be extremely extravagant.

Let’s hope the new GG will not be making headlines for all the wrong reasons like these two predecessors, and that she will immediately advise the Prime Minister that this country has fixed federal election dates — should he drop by Rideau Hall anytime soon requesting an early election, as current polling numbers may put his party into majority territory.

As a courteous reminder to Simon, the fixed date is the third Monday in October in the fourth calendar year after the last poll.

Bernie Smith, Parksville