Energy, big bets
I was astonished to read of the Chinese state-backed oil company’s offer to purchase Calgary-based Nexen – and the likelihood of Ottawa’s approval (China Bets Big On Canadian Oil – July 24). Our government is ostensibly right-wing and staunchly conservative. How can it possibly approve the sale of an important national resource to a communist country?
Stephen Barker, Hanover, Ont.
Would the Chinese government permit a Canadian company to take over the Chinese counterpart to Nexen? If not, then no deal.
Ron Freedman, Toronto
Your editorial (Nexen Takeover Must Be Good For Canada – July 24) states that the resources “belong to the Crown in the right of Alberta.” In fact, the company has as many wells in Saskatchewan as Alberta.
In particular, Nexen acquired the former SaskOil after this Crown corporation was privatized. The resources still belong to the people of Saskatchewan, but ownership of the production assets has drifted from the provincial government to a foreign government – perhaps not what the apostles of “privatization” intended.
Erin Weir, economist, United Steelworkers, Regina
The Green River (oil shale) Formation in the Midwest is not economically or practically recoverable (The New Energy Revolution – July 24). Oil shale is neither oil, nor shale, it’s a solid waxy substance called kerogen. There are currently no economical ways to extract kerogen or refine it. As kerogen is a precursor in the oil-creation process to the bitumen that is mined in the Canadian oil sands, we can readily imagine the scale of environmental damage involved in any future extraction process.
The U.S. consumes 19 million barrels per day (bpd) and produces only five to nine million bpd (depending on whether you include natural gas plant liquids). Most U.S. oil fields are in decline, yet no major oil company is developing oil shale deposits.
Margaret Wente’s unrealistically rosy view of energy abundance discourages the necessary policy discussion regarding limits to resource consumption in a finite world. It is ironic that her optimistic view of more dirty oil availability was placed beside an account of what burning carbon-based fuels is doing to our food supply (Climate Change’s Costs Hit The Plate – July 24).
Greg Payne, John Cook, Toronto
Failing their own
In response to the conviction of a Penn State assistant coach for sexually abusing minors, and the university’s long-term efforts to cover his actions, the NCAA applied severe penalties that will warn other institutions to avoid making similar decisions in the name of protecting their own programs and the reputation of hallowed coaches (Penn State Pays High Price For Sex Scandal – July 24).
The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s message is clear: Sports is not life, but merely an element of life. Among other things, life includes defining and adhering to ethical standards, protecting those unable to protect themselves, and recognizing the significance of individual rights to safety over the perceived rights of institutions to earn profits and safeguard heroes.
Bravo to the NCAA.
What’s new at the NHL?
John Lawrence Reynolds, Burlington, Ont.
It seems odd to me that the university is fined $60-million, shut out from the postseason and its scholarships capped below the normal limits for four years – all of it hurting students, and seemingly doing very little about the people in management who allowed all this to happen.
Vince Devries, Ladysmith, B.C.
No face time
What was The Globe thinking when it decided to put the face of the accused Colorado killer on the front page (The Face Of An American Outrage – July 24)? Giving him that kind of publicity and prominence will only inspire other sick cowards to aspire to such infamy.
J.D. Sterling, Surrey, B.C.
Given the number of guns in America (America Has Surrendered To The NRA – July 24), the biggest surprise of the Colorado shooting was that no theatre patrons shot back.
Terry Parsonage, Winnipeg
Canadian pundits decry the Second Amendment right of Americans to bear arms. And yet Canada’s much stricter gun laws have not prevented Toronto from becoming a public shooting gallery of late.
Joe Baar, Avon, Ohio
Why is the right so obsessed with making sure citizens have the right to bear arms – and why is the left so obsessed with disarming the population?
History shows that any citizenry that was not armed eventually fell into bondage. Freedom unquestionably depends on the right to bear arms.
Instead of banning guns, let’s ban the assault on the family, let’s bring morality back into the home, integrity back into business and honesty into the marketplace. Then, let’s see if gun violence doesn’t decrease.
If you’re on the left, you might be saying, “Over my dead body!” Without a gun, you just might be right.
J. Winston Struss, Headingley, Man.
IOC president Jacques Rogge won’t commemorate the Munich massacre during the Games’ opening ceremony, saying “the opening ceremony is an atmosphere which is not fit to remember such a tragic case” (IOC Says Security Is Locked Up – July 23).
Yet the 2002 Salt Lake opening ceremony was an appropriate “atmosphere” in which to parade a tattered American flag recovered from the World Trade Center after 9/11? In a complete departure from Olympic protocol, the IOC permitted an external event – however tragic – to be commemorated, an event that had no connection whatsoever to the Olympic movement, or to the Salt Lake Games.
Meanwhile and incomprehensibly, the IOC continues to refuse appropriate recognition of a significant event in the history of the modern Games, and one that continues to affect 1972 Olympians.
Presumably Mr. Rogge hopes the world will be mollified with the moment of silence he led in the Olympic Village on Monday and by his feeble justification of IOC actions.
Mollie Cartmell, Peterborough, Ont.
Bikes, coming up
“It is unclear, given our severe winters, that Canada could rival European countries for bike commuting” (Separate Bike Lanes – editorial, July 23). Two major bike-riding countries are Denmark and Holland, neither exactly a tropical paradise.
While the heavily populated regions around Osaka and Tokyo don’t see much snow in winter, they have lots of very heavy rains in the summer which don’t dampen the enthusiasm of cyclists. There are so many bike riders in Japanese cities, several hundred bikes are often parked on streets near a transit station. To save space, they even have automated bike parking that looks like a small cubicle at ground level. It store bikes in an underground vertical tube and retrieves them as needed.
J-L Brussac, Coquitlam, B.C.