Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/12/2011 (2080 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Chilling with Werier
When I read Val Werier's Dec. 12 column, Celebrate our place in the sun, I almost shouted with joy. Finally, someone who agrees with me about the windchill.
For years I've stated that windchill is a subjective measurement that only encourages hyperbole. There is nothing more annoying than listening to a Winnipegger bemoan the weather and quote windchill as if they were quoting holy scripture.
Now, instead of inwardly cursing whenever windchill is brought up, I can mention "apricity." Perhaps between Werier and myself, we can revive this archaic word (meaning "the warmth of the sun in winter"), and Winnipeggers can learn to embrace our most dominant season.
Best test available
I shuddered when I read Dr. W. Gifford Jones's Dec. 9 article, Admit it or not, mammography unreliable, and shook my head with grief for the women he just scared away from having a screening mammogram forever. Those poor women are taking his words to heart just because he has an M.D. after his name.
In this mammography-bashing article, he brought up valid points about how mammography is not a perfect test. No person working in the field of mammography would ever try to say that it is. What medical test is perfect? Mammography is the best test available at the present time, just like colonoscopies are the best available for colon cancer and pap tests are the best available for cervical cancer.
Mammograms might not provide a "cellular diagnosis" immediately, as a pap test does, but to say there is no way to obtain cells from breast tissue is untrue. That cellular diagnosis can be achieved during a breast biopsy.
When I think about the benefits and the risks of mammography, it always comes down to this for me: I spend five minutes in a mammography room every two years because the earlier any cancer is found, the better the chances of simpler treatment and long-term survival. I will take the discomfort gladly if it means I get to watch my children get married or meet my first grandchild.
HBC cut out of deal
Re: Many Métis deprived of the promised land (Dec. 12). According to this Canadian Press article, "Sovereignty over the vast prairies west of Ontario was still uncertain in the immediate years after Confederation as the federal government negotiated with the Hudson's Bay Co. for control over half a continent." That is incorrect.
The Imperial Parliament in London, England, passed the Rupert's Land Act in July 1868. This act authorized the Crown to expropriate land owned by the HBC and give it to the government of Canada. The remaining lands of the North West Territories, all under the control of Britain, were likewise passed to Canada.
Discussions between the Province of Canada and Britain for these acquisitions began in early 1865, two years before Confederation. Neither party in these discussions had to consult with the HBC, or anyone else.
Chock full of holes
Gerald Machnee's argument in his Dec. 12 letter, A little science, is chock full of holes and misinformation. He claims "only" 79 climate scientists were surveyed to come up with the 97 per cent of those who have concluded human activity is the primary reason for global warming.
This is but one survey. Another study with the same results surveyed nearly 1,400 climate scientists. And scientists don't "believe," as Machnee put it; they theorize or conclude based on their results.
Machnee also claims wrongly that 30,000 scientists signed the Oregon Petition. But only 39 of the signatories were actual climate scientists, rendering the petition irrelevant, especially since they solicited responses from anyone with a B.Sc.
As for our current temperatures, they are about 0.6 degrees Celsius warmer than those during the Medieval Warm Period, not cooler, as Machnee claims. The year 2010 was also essentially tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record, meaning the planet has not cooled over the past decade.
First we had the climate change crowd suggesting we could feed the Hudson Bay polar bears seal meat from Newfoundland, and now Cathy Orlando, a member of something called Greater Sudbury's Climate Change Consortium, would have us believe it was high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that caused the demise of the dinosaurs (Costing carbon, Letters, Dec. 9).
This kind of fear-mongering and misrepresentation is typical of climate-change advocates. I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise, though, if we keep in mind that this whole climate-change fiasco is sponsored by the world's most corrupt and useless organization, the United Nations.
Dinosaurs were thriving in their CO2-heavy climate until a massive meteorite strike killed off most of the world's vegetation. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if Orlando had been alive back then, she likely would not have survived.
Re: Fiery, misguided (Letters, Dec. 9). While Don Hermiston sought to discredit Brigette Depape's points, he actually helped prove them by noting Canada produces less than two per cent of worldwide CO2 emissions.
With the world population at seven billion, 34 million Canadians make up only 0.49 per cent of the total. Having such a relatively small population make up almost two per cent of emissions translates into a very large carbon footprint for our country.
Of course, 1.3 billion Chinese, 1.2 billion Indians, and 312 million Americans collectively spew more carbon dioxide than a mere 34 million Canadians. But by doing "a little more research," as Hermiston suggests, the per capita carbon dioxide emissions shows a more accurate picture.
In 2008, Canadians emitted 16.4 tonnes of CO2 per capita, compared to 5.3 tonnes per China resident, 1.4 per Indian and 1.9 per Brazilian. In fact, Canada's per capita carbon-dioxide rate is only slightly lower than the U.S. rate of 17.5. Hermiston may plead that Canada is an "easy target," but the numbers speak for themselves, and Depape is right to alert her fellow Canadians about our emissions excess.
Too few people?
The Dec. 9 story Alberta firm recruited to advance bipole talks reports on the announcement by the provincial government of the engagement of an Alberta firm to facilitate consultations with about 20 First Nations communities whose traditional lands may be affected by the Bipole III transmission line.
In the article, Premier Greg Selinger is quoted as saying: "We just don't see the land as large and unoccupied, (we) see the land as peopled by our First Nations citizens."
Considering how the government and Manitoba Hydro are running Bipole III over hundreds of farms in southern Manitoba without regard for the people who live there, is it fair to ask if Selinger and his government see southern Manitoba as large and unoccupied?