Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re How Canada Could Strike A Grand Bargain On Climate And Energy (Report on Business, Feb. 5): There can be no grand bargain because there looks to be no possible path to net-zero emissions from an oil sands mine by 2050. Both Teck Frontier’s production systems and the burning of 260,000 barrels a day would produce massive amounts of carbon. The climate doesn’t care about political horsetrading – it cares about emissions, and a promise to reduce them 30 years from now shouldn’t justify increasing them today.
Constant attacks on climate policy by oil and gas companies also help undermine potential emission reductions from cars, houses and industrial methane leaks, thereby reducing Canada’s ability to offset increases in emissions coming from the oil sands themselves.
Tim Gray executive director, Environmental Defence; Toronto
Contributor Edward Greenspon asks those worried sick about the climate crisis to believe that fossil fuel expansion is desirable if companies such as Teck Resources say they will reduce carbon emissions to zero, some decades in the future. This seems like a convenient argument for the industry.
The Teck Frontier mine would cover 292 square kilometres, producing 260,000 barrels of oil a day and four million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – for decades to come. Last year, 11,000 scientists warned of untold suffering if we do not radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the Trudeau government appears poised to lock Canada into this megaproject. That would be a great calamity.
The path to GHG reduction should be to reduce GHG emissions. Period. A “grand bargain” with the oil industry seems more like a grand illusion.
Jan McQuay Mindemoya, Ont.
Paper or plastic?
Re Single-use Plastic Ban On Track For 2021 Target: Ottawa (Jan. 31): Those plastic poop bags that dog walkers use? They are single-use. Ban them and say goodbye to poop and scoop. Paper bags leak and no one wants to be stuck washing poop out of cloth bags.
And those single-use plastic grocery bags? I reuse them for garbage, especially wet garbage. Ban them and I don’t know what I’ll use for garbage disposal.
In short, I think banning plastic bags is a bad idea.
Michael Feld Vancouver
Re Field Of Dreams: How Iowa Finds Itself At The Heart Of The American Presidential Race (Opinion, Feb. 1): One of the great pieces of popular culture that features the people of Iowa centre stage is Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. There is a telling moment in the jaunty first-act tune, Iowa Stubborn, when the music slows and the chorus turns to face the audience full front with the lyric: “But we’ll give you our shirt, and a back to go with it, if your crops should happen to die.”
Many of those farmers did lose their crops as a result of Donald Trump’s tariff and trade wars. As a result, they’ve got trouble down there in Iowa. Lots and lots of trouble!
Robin Breon Toronto
New world order
Re The Lies That Shaped Russia Now Shape Our World (Opinion, Feb. 1): In my view, the West bungled its Cold War victory and forgot the lessons of the Second World War: the Marshall Plan approach that helped former foes in Germany and Japan rebuild and become free, democratic, powerful allies. Instead, the West watched as post-Soviet Russia stumbled out of communism and into kleptocracy, oligarchy and a new kind of despotism. We seem to only have ourselves to blame.
Patrick Winter Toronto
In and out
Re Jail Time (Letters, Feb. 6): A letter-writer argues that if a group representing 4 per cent of Canadians, such as Indigenous people do, constitutes 28 per cent of the prison population, then there should exist some nefarious discrimination lurking in the justice system. I believe such analysis is flawed.
This approach seems to believe a group’s rate of inclusion in the general population should reflect the rate of incarceration. What data support that argument? And by that logic, wouldn’t there also be many other injustices? For example, white, middle-class, middle-aged, highly educated, employed females seldom appear in prison statistics, yet they are a significant percentage of the wider population. Is it time to throw some of these scofflaws in jail?
If 4 per cent of the population actually commits 28 per cent of the crimes, then I find they are right where they deserve to be.
Gary Vickers Nepean, Ont.
We now look back and shake our heads at the wrongdoings of previous generations, such as slavery and persecution. Future generations should have nothing but harsh words for our prison system’s near-brutal emphasis on punishment.
Catherine Sinclair Thornbury, Ont.
Re ‘We Have To Act Collectively’: Desmond Cole Is Speaking His Reality (Arts & Books, Feb. 1): I have been following black activist Desmond Cole’s writing for some time. I won’t pretend to know the racism and prejudice he has endured, but I know his message is important, especially now. I hope he continues to speak truth to power.
Gerrard Weedon Toronto
Re A Family Affair (Arts & Books, Feb. 1) I knew Irma Rombauer, the original author of Joy of Cooking. I am a native of St. Louis, Mo., born in the 1940s, and she was a family friend of my mother.
When I was young, we went to Irma’s for supper on a few occasions. It was always understood that the visit was “Dutch treat,” in which we would bring along a component of the meal. Irma had spent so much time in kitchens, in connection with her famous cookbook, that she didn’t care to cook any more if it could be avoided.
Doug Chaudron Toronto
Stick it to 'em
Re A Sticky Situation (Pursuits, Feb. 1): I share reporter Gayle MacDonald’s irritation with the proliferation of stubborn, sticky labels that mar the appearance of products of all sorts. However, there is a foolproof solution for removal: butane, or lighter fluid.
My mother shared this household advice with me decades ago, and I always keep some under the sink. It can be applied directly to the offending label, on a tissue or, for really stubborn stickers, soaked into a cotton ball (its fibres suspend, as oppose to absorb, butane and give more traction). No elbow grease required.
Because butane is highly volatile, any residual evaporates quickly, leaving zero marks or odour. And it’s 100-per-cent effective. Now tell that to Winners!
Lesley Watson Victoria
Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.