Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/1/2012 (2037 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Anyone believing the temporary suspension of the Keystone XL pipeline project will have anything but the most minuscule effect on oil sands development, fossil fuel consumption or carbon emissions is deluding himself (Debating pipeline interests, Letters, Jan. 23).
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the American population is predicted to rise to 390 million by 2035 from 308 million in 2009. So despite steadily improving fuel efficiencies and an increase in the number of alternate-energy conveyances during that period, four per cent more fuel will be burned and emissions will increase by 16 per cent, largely because there will be more vehicles on the road.
In addition, just before Keystone was put on hold, the President's Council on Jobs called for aggressive expansion of domestic oil, natural gas and coal production. This will encourage companies to exploit the vast reserves of previously inaccessible fossil fuel supplies in North Dakota, Texas and Ohio using new extraction technologies such as fracking. The number of jobs created will far exceed those of any pipeline construction.
If and when Keystone proceeds, it would move only six per cent of the U.S. crude oil supply and add a mere one per cent to the existing quarter-million kilometres of pipelines that already crisscross the continent. Meanwhile, in 2010 alone, China's carbon dioxide emissions rose by a figure 40 times greater than all the oil eventually flowing annually through Keystone.
So if the Greens are really concerned about pollution problems, let them take on that country, and good luck.
12 steps to help
Re: The cost of calories (Jan. 21). Overweight is due to an inability to say "no" to all of the advertising out there. We are bombarded with TV ads that implore us to try the new menu item at our local fast food joint.
Psychologists have studied how to get consumers to part with their hard-earned shekels. The antidote? Either go for counselling or join one of the 12-step, 12-tradition groups that will help you get your life back on track. You will learn to say "no" to all of the sneaky ways retailers use when you're out shopping.
I'd like to see the Free Press do an article about all the 12-step groups. The only place I read about them is in your Miss Lonelyhearts column. That's not good enough.
All talk, no action
As your Jan. 22 article on the Rick Hansen Relay, Man in Motion still on a roll, mentions, the world has changed greatly. According to Hansen, "There is now hope in the laboratory that the newly injured will walk away or that there will even be a cure for spinal-cord injury."
But this hope for a cure, which is backed up by science and proven in animal studies, will not happen without funding.
A study of the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) and its research arm leaves one sorely unimpressed with their funding of translational research for central nervous system (CNS) regeneration, i.e., a cure for paralysis.
This concern is what led about 300 people from around the world to write to the RHF. Sadly, this question was never addressed in the foundation's answers.
The real story is not about how Hansen motivates people to believe, but rather why 25 years later Hansen does not believe that funding, not words or parades, is necessary for a cure.
I truly hate to make such a statement, but when Hansen's organization fails to openly answer such a question to his own constituents, one cannot help but doubt his own commitment to the cure that he raises funds for.
Re: Canadian badly beaten in Mexican resort (Jan. 24). My family has been going to Mexico for many years. My younger son went to school there for almost two years. We built and maintain a house in Puerto Vallarta. There are a lot of ex-pats living and working there.
I know some of my neighbours' names and would call upon them and they would do the same. They aren't gangsters or movie stars. They're just like my neighbours here. They go to work and they take a holiday once in a while. They watch the news and shake their heads just like we do.
Saying "stay out of Mexico" is like saying "stay out of (enter name of favourite town, restaurant or public space)." But your statement could have a devastating impact. My neighbours in Mexico who trek down to the beach each day to hawk their wares would miss you and the few pesos you might spend. They won't be in the welfare line, because there isn't one. It's Mexico.
JORDAN VAN SEWELL
Warning signs absent
Re: Senseless barrier (Letters, Jan. 23). I, too, have encountered this Kenaston Boulevard barrier while coming back into town late at night. There are no warning signs nor lights to indicate that it is there, and you are not aware of it until you are within approximately 25 feet.
It scares the life out of you, and a lightning-quick decision with a quick check for traffic behind you must be made. I still wake up at night scared at what might have happened.
In her Jan. 21 letter, Legitimate grievances, Florence Wiens appears concerned that citizen lobbies of our elected representatives do not garner publicity. The objective of any protest, however expressed, is to initiate change. Many protests do generate publicity, as evidenced by the current Canadian Taxpayers Federation lobby on MP pensions.
The occupiers generated considerable publicity but not public support needed to make the occupation influential. Publicity without public support is meaningless. Wiens suggests that the occupiers were promoting "fairness" and "justice," but those are subjective and descriptive terms, not legitimate grievances or issues for protest.
In his informative column No health-care funding remedy in sight (Jan. 21), Dan Lett indicates that technology and innovation can be good for the health-care system but implies that they always increase the costs.
Technology-based products exist that can help individuals with their daily health issues, at home or at work. If the were widely deployed, they would have the potential to improve health and save millions of dollars.
Regarding the FYI Images picture Rein of terror (Jan. 21), it is peculiar and disturbing that some Spaniards would honour Anthony, the patron saint of animals, by riding a horse through a raging fire.
Animal abuse is not an appropriate way to honour someone who cared deeply for the welfare of all living beings.