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Environmental activist David Suzuki appears at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 2010. (Fernando Morales/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)
Environmental activist David Suzuki appears at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 2010. (Fernando Morales/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

WHAT READERS THINK

April 16: Letters to the editor Add to ...

The agony of David Suzuki

How comforting to have Margaret Wente assure us ( The Agony Of David Suzuki – April 14) that Mr. Suzuki is just the spokesman of another doomsday cult. It worries me just a little that the cult includes all the world’s best scientists.

Jamie Thompson, Edmonton

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I could not help but see the links between this article and Richard Poplak’s piece about the long-term economic vision of extracting oil and gas. Stephen Harper’s government has decided that our economic future should be founded primarily on marketing our non-renewable energy, with decreasing regard to any negative economic, social or environmental consequences. In effect, Canada is betting that the financial gain of extracting as much of our natural resources as possible will outweigh the increasing environmental costs of global climate change and environmental degradation.

Mr. Suzuki is not the only one currently feeling bitter about the recent defeats of the environmental movement, but unlike our current government, he and other environmentalists are still presenting Canadians with a sustainable Plan B.

Derek Allerton, Wolfville, N.S.

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When it comes to combusting all that lovely oil in our new petro-ized Canada, the cash is small comfort. It is akin to congratulating ourselves on gaining admittance to the first-class dining room on Titanic’s maiden voyage. We are not all environmentalists, but we are all passengers or crew – and on R.M.S. Earth, there are no lifeboats at all.

Peter Denton, Winnipeg

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Speaking of which

For me, the story of the Titanic ( Canadians Share Tales Of Valour, Duty, Heartbreak And Serendipity – April 14) has always been tied to Thomas Hardy’s remarkable poem The Convergence of the Twain, in which he has “moon-eyed fishes” wondering about the ship lying on the bottom of the ocean. Hardy describes the creation of the ship and the iceberg as two halves of “one august event,” driven by the Immanent Will. The last verse says:

Till the Spinner of the Years Said “Now!” And each one hears, And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

Jarring indeed, as we talk about it 100 years later.

Nigel Brachi, Edmonton

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Korean takeaway

The lesson learned by North Korea ( Failed Rocket Pyongyang’s Moment Of Truth – April 14) is that if you have a nuclear weapon and a million-man army, the big powers will do a lot of protesting and hand-wringing but they won’t invade your country or launch air strikes. Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi abandoned his nuclear research and we all know what happened to him.

On a related matter, it’s unlikely that Iran will abandon its nuclear program.

Trevor Amon, Victoria

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That old argy-bargy

Living in a country where the money reminds me that I am a British subject, it comes as no surprise to read The Globe’s staunch editorial support for London’s 180-year-old claim over the Falkland Islands, or Islas Malvinas as they are known in Spanish ( Kirchner’s Last Stand – April 14).

What is most surprising and absurd is to equate by ways of geography a hypothetical Canadian claim to Greenland (a colony of Denmark since 1814 after being under the rule of Denmark and Norway for several centuries) and to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (first made a French possession in 1536) with Argentina’s rightful claim to a territory taken by force by the British crown in 1833.

Lee L’Clerc, Toronto

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When a country has serious internal problems, the surest way to deflect criticism of the government is to rally the population around an external threat. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is doing precisely that when she resurrects the Falklands debate.

Stephen Dreezer, Toronto

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Saudi Augustia

Bryan Davies’s letter ( Gender Games – April 14) notes that Augusta National Golf Club is a private club, free to set anachronistic membership rules, but Saudi Arabia is an Olympic nation, and therefore must not discriminate by gender.

Surely we would want our federal government to do something about gender discrimination in Saudi Arabia. But why task it to fix gender discrimination abroad when we have much work to do at home?

Asad Ansari, Oakville, Ont.

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Senior style

As a 65-plus retired professional woman, I find myself bemused by the new fashion magazine included with Saturday’s paper. As a growing (and financially resented) segment of the Canadian demographic, it seems strange to turn the pages and find not one picture, article or thought given to the style of an older woman (or man).

Many of your daily readers are men and women of a “certain” age – why, again, are we made invisible even though our buying power remains strong? I still love to look fashionable and chic. Give us some space, please.

Sally Blyth, Windsor, Ont.

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Every rose has its thorns

Wildrose candidate Dustin Nau says he is “basically a psychologist,” although not registered because he “hasn’t had a need for it” ( The Wildrose Bunch – Focus, April 14).

Registration by the College of Alberta Psychologists is a rigorous process involving the evaluation of academic preparation, a written exam and an oral exam. Registration serves many purposes, first and foremost to protect the public from potential harm and unscrupulous practices by so-called “psychologists.”

Mr. Nau may not have felt a need for it, but he fails to appreciate that it’s not about him. Would the general public accept a surgeon who practised without proper credentials because they “didn’t feel a need for it”?

Candace Konnert, PhD, RPsych, associate professor, University of Calgary

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The cover story in Focus ( Right Cross – April 14) suggests Wildrose is ready to bring Alberta into a national conversation, but nothing could be further from the truth. The party platform is isolationist, displaying remnants of the Firewallers of the old Reform Party.

Wildrose has a problem with transfer payments. It says Alberta gives without getting anything back. Libertarians to the core, they see no role for government in building strong communities or nations. They want Alberta to have its own immigration policy and pension plan, among other things, opting out of national strategies rather than into them. Wildrose will flaunt Alberta’s wealth in natural resources and try to dictate the terms of national participation. This isn’t what Albertans want.

Jane Cawthorne, Calgary

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Blue baboons

I question the wisdom of teaching four-letter words to teenaged baboons ( Reading’s So Easy, A Monkey Can Do It). Most teenagers I have encountered are quite capable of learning four-letter words all on their own.

Graham Duncan, Mahone Bay, N.S.

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