Blame Horgan if old-growth forests destroyed

Dear Editor:

Shame on John Horgan.

He will go down in history as the B.C. premier who allowed the remaining unsaved ancient forests to be demolished.

He has a choice — go down in history as the premier who legislated a moratorium of all logging in old-growth forests.

These forests comprise between 5-8 per cent of B.C.’s forests and some of them are around 800 years old.

A moratorium would mean we would never again witness the disgraceful and appalling debacle that has been taking place at Fairy Creek.

Most of us have been lucky enough to visit an old forest and know the feelings of quiet peace, of hope for humanity; the absolute magic that rejuvenates the spirit and feeds the soul. More life changing than any of the greatest cathedrals of the world — and we would allow it to be cut down for a few piles of lumber.

The people manning the line at Fairy Creek are brave and courageous and they are standing there for all of us attempting to stop the logging equipment with the only tool they have — their bodies. They are not against all logging. They are there to save the old-growth forests.

And what of our native peoples who are laying the spirits of their lost children to rest. Can he justify demolishing these forests that are sacred and spiritual places for them.

Where is your heart Mr. Horgan? And all of us will bear the collective guilt if this should happen.

This is the time for all of us to stand up and be counted. Bad things happen when good people do nothing. Shame on all of us if we allow these forests to be cut down.

This world desperately needs places of peace and generations to come will always need spaces that are sacred and spiritual. We await your decision Mr. Premier. Make us proud!

To all of you who are in favour of a moratorium on logging the old growth forests, send this article with your agreement to the following people. As well send it to your friends, your MP, your MLA — in fact everyone.

John Horgan, Premier@gov.bc.ca, P.O. Box 9041, Stn. Prov. Gov’t., Victoria, B.C., V8W 9E1

Minster of Forests- Katrine Conroy, FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resources Nathan Cullen — Nathan.Cullen.MLA@leg.bc.ca.

Estelle Noakes, Enderby

Lifestyle changes needed to save our planet

Dear Editor:

As one who has been concerned about environmental issues for a few decades now, the first point I would like to bring up is the fact that approximately one quarter of the world’s population, First World countries like Canada, consume roughly 80% of the Earth’s resources.

In light of the Earth’s limited resources, I think it is imperative that countries like ours understand this and work toward curbing the rate of our consumption.

As the Earth’s resources dwindle, as is constantly occurring,  those resources could become a source for competition between rival nations to maintain the rate of consumption their economies rely on.

Meaning, if we do not work together to manage and share our finite resources, tensions between nations may grow.

I wonder how many people have heard of the term “factory farming,” in regard to the manner in which animals we eat are raised and slaughtered. It is our responsibility to understand how the meat we eat ends up on our kitchen tables.

Becoming vegetarian, I learned quite a while ago, is likely the single greatest thing we could do to maintain our survival on planet Earth.

Actually, there are many reasons to support vegetarianism.

It takes roughly 10 pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, a ratio that is drastically unbalanced. Think of how many loaves of bread could be made to feed people, as opposed to killing livestock.

The amount of fresh water these animals consume is immense as well, while the preservation of fresh water in the future is going to be a necessity due to its finite amount.

Also, the amount of methane gas these animals produce through defecation is the leading agricultural contributor of greenhouse gases increasing on the planet.

The ethical consideration of not killing animals should be noted here as well, as perhaps we should practice not killing them the way we do, or by any other method, for that matter.

Indigenous people had much more respect for the lives of the animals they had to kill to survive. They would offer the spirit of the animals they had to kill up to the creator in a manner of deep appreciation.

It’s clear that we could learn, as always, from the understanding Indigenous peoples have always had for nature.

There is also the effect of biomagnification that should be taken into account.

This term refers to the magnification of toxins within the food chain which increase in percentage the higher up the food chain they go.

This means the pound of beef we get for the 10 pounds of grain is actually a lot more poisonous to eat than the grain is.

Then there’s the issue of genetic modification. We certainly should have learned by now that messing around with the natural functioning of mother nature eventually comes back to bite us in the ass.

Much of what we have done in the past in an attempt to control or influence nature has not proven to be beneficial, but disastrous — like  the introduction of non-native species to environments where they don’t belong.

So I’m wondering how many people are ready to make decisions in their lifestyles to accommodate a more sustainable and sane future.

After all, it’s going to take the education and action of all of us consumers to ensure effective change and progress for a more sustainable future.

Jason Roberts, Kelowna

Trudeau’s apology doesn’t mean a thing

Dear Editor:

Insincere apologies are worthless

Prime Minister Trudeau apologized for not responding to Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation’s invitation to visit with them on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

He was to meet with them Monday in Kamloops.

He is doing this, not because he wants to, but because it is politically expedient to do so. If the Pope ever gets around to coming to Canada to apologize for the horrendous misdeeds committed by the Catholic Church at some of the residential schools, it won’t be because he wants to; it will be because it is deemed expedient to do so from a public relations point of view.

If anyone has to be pressured into apologizing, there is neither sincerity nor value in such an apology. Such acts of contrition are nothing more than calculated, disingenuous showboating, i.e., another example of talking the talk but not walking the walk.

Lloyd Atkins, Vernon

Mink farms in B.C. need to be shut down

Dear Editor:

How many more mink farm COVID-19 outbreaks will it take for British Columbia’s lawmakers to listen to infectious disease doctors and shut down these virus factories? Exploiting nature and wildlife got us into this mess. Continuing to do so is a great way to keep it going.

Minks are solitary animals who are fearful of humans and naturally embrace social distancing. But fur farms cram thousands of sick, stressed animals into small, filthy cages — essentially sending diseases an invitation to mutate and spread.

Breeding animals to tear their fur off their bodies is a violent and vile business that no one still supports — except those who profit from it. But greed has overruled public health and common decency for too long. The fur industry is dying. If we’re wise, we’ll let it.

Michelle Kretzer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Norfolk, Va.

China wants to beat us, not be like us

Dear Editor:

Trading with China, exposing it to Western democracy and culture, then China would want to be like us. This belief was embraced by both Liberal and Conservative prime ministers, including Justin Trudeau.

But, China doesn’t have a very high opinion of capitalism and western democracy. While Canadians believe in value-based trade agreements. China sees no connection between the values of human rights and democracy and the hard interests of strong economics and trade. China welcomes Western technology, but not Western values, their path forward, they have said, has only “Chinese characters.”

U.S. president Bill Clinton welcomed China into the World Trade Organization in 2000. China took to world trade like a duck to water and is set to eclipse America.

China trades with 64 countries, while the U.S. trades with only 36 countries. China’s GDP in 1989 was $90 billion. Today, it is over $12 trillion. The world has not seen such economic growth in so short a time before.

That China dreams of global hegemony is well documented in Michael Pillsbury’s 2016 book “The Hundred Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as a Global Superpower” — a 50-year-old strategy of the People’s Liberation Army to surpass the United States by 2049 — the centennial year of the Chinese Revolution.

Now that the two Michaels are safe at home, the free ride given by allies is at an end and Canada must decide on Huawei and our 5G network. Ottawa has moved slowly. Both the Liberals and Global Affairs Canada are not blind to the power dynamics playing out between emerging and declining empire.

Canada must stand with its allies, but is nobody’s fool. Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives and our American and Australian allies in particular, still suspect China of being responsible for COVID and continue to accuse China of technological theft — even though American intelligence and the WHO both have already investigated Wuhan — and found only speculation.

As for technological innovation, the Chinese have always been good at replicating and looking back. It was only when China threatened to supplant America’s supremacy in semi-conductors, did Silicon Valley prevail upon former president Donald Trump who, in his ham-fisted way, soured future relations by starting a trade war with China.

Like American hawks and moderates, China too has hawks and moderates. With Xi Jinping in charge, Chinese hawks are ascendant. Joe Biden’s election was supposed to end the China-bashing of the Trump era, but the Biden administration is still acting tough, keeping Trump-era tariffs and reaffirming support for Taiwan.

This has angered the Chinese, which sees that America will not gracefully accept what China considers historically inevitable — the surrender of the superpower mantle.

Even empires have problems letting go.  In the aftermath of war in 1945, when allied leaders met, U.S. president Roosevelt favoured self-rule, but France wanted its old colonies of Vietnam and Algiers back, while Britain pragmatically allowed the independence of its colonies and was able to form a Commonwealth of trading partners.

France, trying to retain the prestige of empire, ended up fighting two decade long bloody civil wars over self-rule in Vietnam and Algeria — and lost both.

 Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna

Climate warriors looking in the wrong direction

Dear Editor:

In a recent BBC interview, Prince Charles addressed protesters of Extinction Rebellion and the many youngsters from all over the globe who have become jet-fuel junkies following their Swedish Pigtailed Pied Piper around Europe in a buildup to November’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The future king fully acknowledged the protesters’ right to feel frustrated with global extreme weather events and a call for action on climate change, but suggested constructive ideas will always be better than destructive ones. Listening to some climate warriors demanding an immediate end to fossil fuel use, reminds me of those who protest against police brutality by vandalizing monuments and burning buildings.

Maybe climate warriors should look at the unprecedented amount of huge container vessels anchored and awaiting berths at every major port in the Western world, all bringing cargoes to consumers from the factories in Asia, most notably China.

The factories there are the main polluters as they produce steel from imported iron ore to build the ships that carry their products. Everything imaginable that used to be made in Western democracies is now made in the Asian factories. They also construct huge gantry cranes; load them on specialized ships they build, and install them in ports all over the world to discharge their containers.

That’s a very simplified primer for the climate warriors on how the Asian factory and shipping monopoly has taken a vice-like grip on the economies of Western nations. A sad state of affairs, but as long as the Western world relies on the cheaper labour in Asia to produce every consumer item it needs, Greta Thunberg and many others will get to repeat their rather futile and meaningless statements, such as her “Blah, Blah, Blah.”

Bernie Smith, Parksville