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Climate change: clean energy
Re Scheer’s Energy Corridor Will Never Happen (Oct. 2): The number of visionary energy projects that could provide the wealth Canada needs over the next half-century is close to zero. The exception would be a national energy corridor that delivers hydroelectric power to all regions of Canada and drives the emerging electrification of transportation.
The concept of an energy corridor that captures the full value of Canada’s energy resources is an exciting vision of the calibre that Peter Lougheed introduced in 1974 with the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority, an initiative Globe contributor Jim Balsillie described, in 2015, as Canada’s best example of mission-oriented economic development. Canada’s most successful projects tend to be wide-sweeping: the Rideau Canal, the Canadian Pacific railway expansion, the James Bay hydroelectric project.
But more so, Canada needs visionaries who can help create our future.
Clement W. Bowman Editor, Canada: Winning as a Sustainable Energy Superpower; Sarnia, Ont.
Canada should be shifting billions of dollars each year in government subsidies from fossil-fuel industries to the renewable-energy sector. Is it reasonable to support industries that continue to exacerbate the climate emergency that was just declared? It seems like pouring water on a fire with one hand, and pouring gasoline on it with the other.
John Pope Victoria
Climate change: off-target
Re Conservatives, Liberals And Climate Change (Editorial, Oct. 2): Politicians of all stripes are competing with each other on how to deal with climate change. The goal is ambitious: zero emissions. Who can get there fastest seems to be the question. Will it be achieved by 2030, 2040 or 2050? However, tackling climate change should not be a horse race with a reckless sprint to the finish.
Given the complexities, a climate plan should be more like a marathon, requiring steady and sustained effort. Negotiating with provincial governments, corporations, municipalities and other stakeholders will be a slow process. As we know, not all of them are onside – yet.
Climate change is an undeniable fact. But promising a swift resolution to the problem is nothing but a pipe dream.
Nini Pal Ottawa
Climate change: whose burden?
Re All Talk, No Action (Opinion, Sept. 28): I agree with columnist Gary Mason when he says this election should be focused on the climate emergency. I lay the fault for this not yet happening at the feet of the fossil-fuel industry.
I believe they have lobbied against action and denied long-known science proving the link between fossil-fuel burning and climate degradation. Climate change looks to be the biggest threat to humanity we have ever faced, and we need to mobilize the way people did during the First and Second world wars.
Since our political leaders seem handcuffed, we should boycott this industry in any way we can: walk, bike, take transit, buy electric vehicles, avoid single-use plastics. It won’t be easy to make these changes, but nothing about fighting climate change, or a war, is easy – just necessary for survival.
Deborah Frketich Denman Island, B.C.
Canada’s contribution to atmospheric carbon is just a few per cent of the world’s total – the Canadian climate effort would do little to address the emergency at large.
Greta Thunberg and other climate activists need to be convincing the truly big emitters, such as China and India, of the urgency of the climate crisis. We need to see her in the Great Hall of the People, with President Xi Jinping, discussing the Chinese climate plan.
Although perhaps it is unfair to blame China or India – after all, they would like to have natural gas from Canada to replace coal-fired power, if we could provide it.
David Morrow Calgary
I personally support all activities that focus on reducing our contribution to the climate crisis. I do, however, want to point out that rural Canadians would bear the brunt of many of these initiatives.
While it is easy for those in larger centres to take the subway to their air-conditioned offices to call for reductions in vehicle use and many other climate-saving ideas, it has been a long time since food was grown along most of Yonge Street. The more costs and restrictions that are placed on rural Canadians, the greater the risk to our own sustainable food security.
I am still waiting for the subway extension to eastern Ontario. Heck, I’ll take a train if offered.
Ken Duff Vankleek Hill, Ont.
Climate change: follow the money
Re Too Little Coverage Of Climate Change, Too Much Coverage Of Blackface, Or Just The Right Amount? (Public Editor, Sept. 28): One area of coverage that I believe is missing: the fiscal responsibility of governments, individuals and businesses toward the future of this globe.
We are in an economic mess the likes of which have never been experienced, and it is volatile and looks directly tied to climate change. Should we plan to spur economic spending with helicopter money, further monetize increasing debt, utilize modern monetary theory to simply print more money – or worse? We are turning a blind eye to leaving our children with insurmountable debt. The global financial situation is perhaps the largest challenge of all.
Ted Hanlon Kelowna, B.C.
Climate change: tree hugging
Re If A Tree Grows In A Forest (Opinion, Sept. 28): Contributor Michael Christie calls for a national tree-planting program, saying that trees have no political affiliations. However, this raises the question of how Canada can achieve this objective.
In Ontario, for example, government support for tree planting has waxed and waned for more than a century. The New Democrats passed sustainable forest legislation in the 1990s, yet they also closed some of the province’s tree nurseries. This year, the Progressive Conservatives cancelled a program to plant 50 million trees brought in by the Liberals, and also closed the Tree Seed Plant in Angus.
Foresters and others professionals have the knowledge and expertise to implement any major tree-planting program, but it still requires sustained support from government. This is where the short-sighted objectives of many politicians often render such long-term commitments unachievable.
Kenneth Armson OC, RPF, Ontario forester (retired); Toronto
Scotland planted 22 million trees over the past year. Ethiopia planted 224 million trees in one day. And Canada?
As an 86-year-old grandmother of eight grandchildren, I say: Get off your butt and do something! I am planting 86 trees tomorrow, one for each year of my life on this planet. But even one tree will do.
Nancy Thomson Toronto
Climate change: the kids
Re The Kids Are Not Alright (Sept. 28): When I saw the photo of thousands of students marching for climate action, I imagined them on the upper decks of a Viking ship (named Climate Action Or Bust) and shouting, “Go! Go! Row! Row!” with no one at the oars.
We will probably have to wait for these young people to become old enough to man the oars before any significant change takes place. I hope that we have that time.
Peter Fedirchuk Kanata, Ont.
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