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Supporters of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and who oppose the Costal Gaslink pipeline take part in a rally in Smithers, B.C., on Friday, January 10, 2020. The Wet'suwet'en peoples are occupying their land and trying to prevent a pipeline from going through it.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

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Tragedy in Iran

Re The Painful Truth About Flight 752 (Editorial, Jan. 10): I appreciate The Globe and Mail’s editorial because it boldly and accurately outlines the cause of this monumental tragedy. As a direct result of “military posturing,” 176 beautiful people died. Could anything be sadder? I don’t feel quite so alone in my sadness because of The Globe’s acknowledgment of the enormity and recklessness of this tragic event.

Beverly Harris Courtenay, B.C.

What a tragedy. At least 57 talented Canadian citizens killed as apparent collateral damage in a scenario of bellicose threats and military actions and reactions devoid of any coherent diplomatic strategy.

The Air India terrorist bombing in 1985 was the worst example of Canadian air passengers paying the ultimate price. Less remembered, a Soviet fighter jet in 1983 shot down a Korean Air Lines flight killing 269 people, including eight Canadians. Pierre Trudeau was so alarmed by the lack of diplomacy between Moscow and Washington – and the resultant risk of a nuclear war starting by accident or miscalculation – he launched a personal peace initiative, visiting 16 world leaders to encourage political dialogue and confidence-building measures.

Now with the death of dozens of our citizens and hundreds of Canadian soldiers in the Middle East, we should have a similar full-court diplomatic press – even though we are hampered, regrettably, by no direct diplomatic representation in Iran and by recent governments having gutted our corps of professional diplomats.

Gary Smith Former Canadian ambassador, Perth, Ont.

Why did the Canadian cross the road? Answer: to get to the middle. Well, that may not be the safest place for us.

First, the United States has a dispute with China related to Huawei, and our citizens pay the price by being incarcerated in China. Now, the U.S. has a violent confrontation with Iran, and our citizens tragically get killed while flying home.

Irv Salit Toronto

Re On Iran, Donald Trump Is Right (Jan. 9): Any hope for sustainable regime change in Iran would come from within, and there had been real signs that many Iranians were ready for this. As recently as November, thousands of people in the country protested against their own government. To argue for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, who was immediately replaced by another hardliner, sounds like the dumbest thing I ever heard.

I believe Donald Trump couldn’t have given Tehran a bigger gift: a martyr. Now the streets in Iran have been crowded with people full of hate for the United States. With one reckless act, the potential for regime change has likely been set back years. And if anyone thinks a new governance structure can be brought about militarily, just remember how Iraq turned out.

Neil Matheson Victoria

Re Air Safety Should Never be Politicized – But It Is (Jan. 9): It’s been said that the first casualty of war is truth. What a sad and senseless tragedy. And in reality, we may never know the whole truth.

Art Dewan Kentville, N.S.

Protests in B.C.

Re B.C.'s Gas-pipeline Protest Will End In A Whimper, Not A Bang (Jan. 10): Columnist Gary Mason’s assertion that there is zero chance the Coastal GasLink pipeline will be jeopardized makes me sad.

I am sad because I believe the project is terrible for the world’s climate, for reconciliation with Indigenous people and for the water in northeastern British Columbia that will be sacrificed to fracking.

I’m sad because we know what continued dependence on fossil fuels would mean: floods, drought, wildfires, inundated coastal cities and unprecedented human migration. Yet, with the exception of Wet’suwet’en sympathizers protesting across the country, we do not seem to respect those whose wisdom might still save the planet.

Donna Sinclair North Bay

When it comes to the standoff over Coastal GasLink’s pipeline project, we should take notice of how easily we revert to our colonial frameworks of laws, elections, corporate agreements, markets and so on. I don’t believe we can move forward if we keep doing this.

We should be leaving fossil fuels in the ground. We won’t be able to cut down our consumption until we limit supply. Wet’suwet’en land is a place to start, and to begin to honour our existing agreements with Indigenous people.

Sally McLean Toronto

Changes in the West

Re In Search Of A Less Partisan Approach: Let’s Use Agreed-upon Conservative Climate Targets (Jan. 6): Elizabeth May, in challenging Conservatives, advocates for “boosting investment in geothermal, wind, solar, and district energy” to meet emissions targets, and also chides Alberta and Saskatchewan for increasing their emissions since 2009. If we are going to seriously talk about tackling emissions, then I am willing to chide her for not including nuclear energy in her list of alternative energy sources.

Yes, nuclear waste would still exist and need to be dealt with, but advances in design and safety have made nuclear much more than just a viable alternative. I believe it is time for many of those who carry the environmental banner to acknowledge that, as some of their colleagues have already.

I have no doubts about the reality of climate change. Bold and innovative leadership is what we need, not dogmatic attachment to old ideologies on the left or the right. Any politician out there up to that challenge?

Wayne Stangle Ottawa

Elizabeth May is undoubtedly sincere in her desire to mitigate climate change, but one has to question whether she has a full appreciation of the various measures that she proposes.

To mention just one, Ms. May calls for an immediate end to fracking. Doing so would essentially destroy Canada’s natural gas industry, and by extension Alberta’s petrochemical industry. The worst scenario: Our needs would then be supplied from U.S. production, likely derived from the very fracking Ms. May seeks to stop. There is also no guarantee that such a ban would result in any stimulus to wind or solar investment.

What Ms. May proposes would result in major economic dislocation. Difficult measures may be needed, but suggesting they can be imposed without social and economic cost does no favours to anyone.

John Sutherland Victoria

Family feud in Britain

Re Harry, Meghan Face Criticism In Britain (Jan. 10): Princess Diana tried to instill in her two boys a sense of what it means to be “normal,” as difficult as that may be in the Royal Family. I think Diana would be proud that one of her sons has had the courage to step away and do his own thing. More power to Harry and Meghan!

Robert Stedwill Regina

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