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Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milei gestures, as he visits a polling station to cast his vote, during Argentina's runoff presidential election, in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Nov. 19.AGUSTIN MARCARIAN/Reuters

Blowing up

Re “The Manning report is part and parcel of Danielle Smith’s promised reckoning” (Nov. 20) If the Alberta government accepts the recommendation of the panel to consider alternative scientific narratives for future health emergencies, will it extend that practice into other areas?

Perhaps we will see legislation allowing workers to smoke while exploring for natural gas.

Jack Strawbridge Victoria

Growing pains

Re “If we’re not going to use carbon taxes to reduce our emissions, it may be better to do nothing” (Opinion, Nov. 11): The social cost of emissions is estimated to be US$51 a tonne, implying that we should not be paying more than the harm those emissions cause.

The social cost includes property and infrastructure damage and lives lost by events directly attributable to climate change. The rise in global temperature increases the frequency and intensity of droughts, floods, forest fires and resulting pollution, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, etc. Also included are negative health effects, such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, psychological stresses, reduced agricultural output and disruptions to the daily lives of people.

A value of more than US$300/tonne has been mentioned by many experts, as discussed in a 2021 study by Jarmo Kikstra et al, “The social cost of carbon dioxide under climate-economy feedbacks and temperature variability.”

Unless we properly take into account the full costs, we will end up with a wrong answer.

Jagjit Khosla Ottawa

Re “Natural gas is a dying commodity, and Canada needs to stop supporting it” (Report on Business, Nov. 8): “The rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated” is a phase often attributed to Mark Twain. In our view, natural gas is not dead nor dying.

Delivering almost 40 per cent of end-use energy in Canada – principally for heat in homes, businesses and industry - its consumption is rising. Our allies in Europe and Asia regularly ask us for it and, when we fail to deliver, they buy it from others or use large quantities of higher-emitting fuel. Increasingly, it is the “go-to” for electric power generation, including in hydroelectric-rich provinces such as British Columbia and Quebec that rely on it to meet peak electricity demand.

The past three years should have taught us not to make strong claims about what the future will look like. Instead, we should focus on the concrete things we can do now to meet energy demands and reduce emissions.

Shannon Joseph Chair, Energy for a Secure Future; Ottawa

Re “Europe’s electricity grids are becoming a green power growth bottleneck, industry warns” (Online, Nov. 16): This made me wonder about the lessons for Ontario.

A homeowner generating solar energy with a long-term feed-in tariff contract sells it into the grid at a premium. They purchase power back at the going consumer rate.

That premium may have been necessary to kickstart home generation, but perhaps it is time to cut that umbilical cord for everyone and use all home power directly. There are at least a few good reasons: A contribution to the grid “bottleneck” is removed.

As well, direct uses by homeowners tolerate sporadic generation: heating and air conditioning, charging electric cars, hot water. These can take place incrementally.

Even if the cumulative impact is insufficient, what is provided can reduce demand on general supply. Right now, it is more of a costly complication.

Thomas Stevens Toronto

Re “EV battery subsidy deals to cost $5.8-billion more than government projections, PBO report says” (Report on Business, Nov. 18): Electric-vehicle battery subsidies could cost taxpayers more than $40-billion. All to put more cars on the road, using a technology that may very well be obsolete in 20 years.

Shouldn’t that money be put toward getting cars off the road in our major centres? How far would $40-billion go toward improving public transit in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver?

John Philip Monckton-Arundell Viscount Galway, Toronto

Insurance policy

Re “GIC alternatives for investors who put safety first.” (Newsletter, Nov. 17): Readers may find the following footnotes of use.

A plurality of Canada’s major banks each have multiple memberships with Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. So in addition to CDIC rules that allow for $100,000 in coverage per eligible depositor at a member institution, this can be multiplied by the number of memberships a given institution holds.

For example, Toronto-Dominion Bank has four memberships under its umbrella. A depositor can request four GICs from TD, with each from a different TD-related, CDIC-insured issuer.

Additionally in Ontario (and similarly in other provinces), credit unions are covered under the Deposit Insurance Reserve Fund, which covers unregistered deposits up to $250,000 and without limits for registered deposits such as RRSPs and TFSAs.

Sometimes there are angels in the details.

Dennis Maslo Toronto

Crisis response

Re “Social workers and paramedics team up to offer alternative to ERs for mental health calls in Ottawa” (Nov. 16): Toronto city council recently approved an expansion to the Toronto Community Crisis Service to make it the fourth component of emergency response.

The latest numbers show that crisis teams have responded to 5,868 calls. Only 8 per cent resulted in a visit to hospital emergency departments and only 4 per cent required emergency medical services.

After three years, there will be a capacity to respond to 46,205 calls, according to the plan approved by council. Community-based crisis response services can provide effective alternatives to police and hospital emergency departments.

Toronto and Ottawa are providing real leadership on this.

Steve Lurie CM; former chair, Toronto Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee

Right stuff

Re “Fiery right-wing populist Javier Milei wins Argentina’s presidency amid discontent over economy” (Nov. 20): Argentina’s President-elect is a world-class economist with libertarian open-market ideals, yet he’s often depicted as a lunatic and a far-right danger to society. Yet 56 per cent of Argentina’s highly educated and politically astute population voted for him. As they say there, he won by a paliza descomunal, a beating of epic proportion to the leftists and centrists and 20-plus years of failed policies.

High approval ratings for politicians are rare. But in El Salvador and Italy there are similar situations, and in the United States, one potentially in the making. When will the democratic will of the people not be depicted as demonic signs of the right wing?

Jorge Stathos Toronto

Still ticking

Re “Newly minted” (Letters, Nov. 19): A letter-writer states that “the head of a foreign king continues to enface our precious currency.”

When compared to the governance systems of many other countries, I have little doubt that the “diverse, dynamic, egalitarian and multicultural country that is Canada” has been well served by our (sometimes quaint) constitutional monarchy.

Michael Colborne Toronto

Editor’s note: A letter discussing home solar power generation refers to Ontario's feed-in tariff programs, which are no longer accepting applications.

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Keep letters to 150 words or fewer. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here:

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