Letters to the Editor for Feb. 4

Letters to the Editor this week focus on Trudeau's rosy view, carbon emissions and climate change.

Letter to the Editor re: A view through rose coloured glasses

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his “sunny ways” philosophy likes viewing all things through rose coloured glasses to avoid some of the stark realities which might upset this congenial if false view of today’s world. Accordingly he has decided naively to  follow the world in lifting sanctions on  Iran believing the so called landmark deal between Iran and six leading world powers will actually prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

There are more than a few that believe far too high a price was paid by the Americans for the deal. The billions of dollars wired to the Islamic Republic were referred by an Iranian general as essentially a ransom payment even though the four American hostages were completely innocent. The U.S. also released seven Iranian prisoners who had been convicted of sanctions violations. Iranian-American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, for example had been held imprisoned for more than three years because he had converted from Islam to Christianity.

It is at best an assumption to believe Iran is acting on good faith and can be trusted. Religious and ethnic minorities and particularly Christians are highly likely to continue to be persecuted as they face dangers and risks daily and most likely will continue to be held hostage and used as bargaining chips.

Iran is a state sponsor of global terrorism and was rightly designated as one by the previous Conservative government under federal legislation. Many Iranian-Canadians have expressed concern about normalizing relations with a country with such a poor human rights record. Iran continues to call for the destruction of Israel. And let’s not forget that our own late Ken Taylor, Ambassador to Iran in 1979, risked his life with other Canadian diplomats to rescue six American hostages.

Justin Trudeau’s unbridled optimism in praise of the deal with Iran is naive at best and ignores Iran’s dubious and deceptive track record. It remains to be seen whether this deal is one to be cheered or feared and far too soon to view it “as a victory for quiet diplomacy.”

Gerald HallNanoose Bay, B.C.


Letter to the Editor re: Carbon Emissions

At the Paris Climate Agreement, 190 countries promised to pursue limiting temperature increase of 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.

Already ominous milestones have been met.  November 2015 saw not only a 1C rise in global temperatures, but CO2 levels hitting 400 parts per million (ppm).  Scientific data strongly suggests that the safe level is 350 ppm.

Professor Reinhardt of Harvard Business Review sees a regulatory system as necessary, creating incentives for companies to emit less CO2,  “sustainability comes down to pricing- put a price on resources we used to see as free, so that people have incentives to use them as wisely as they do other private resources”.

There are a number of ways to price carbon. Caution is warranted.  Human Rights Attorney Alberto Salamando, sees schemes like “carbon offset” as “fraudulent, providing a mechanism for developed countries to launder their carbon pollution on the backs of the global south.

What is needed in Canada is a national rising fee on CO2 that is integrated with provincial carbon pricing mechanisms, coupled with rebates to households and tariffs on imports. This will provide the economic incentive to drive the emissions reductions needed to ward off catastrophic climate change while stimulating the economy.

Donna GraceKaslo, B.C.


Letter to the Editor re: Climate Leadership

I do a very good job of household budgeting, making cash flow adjustments as needed in order to keep on track.

After looking through the 2016 version of the BC Government’s Climate Leadership Plan, I sensed a certain departure from reality.  From what I have read, the Government is currently not on track to meet their emission reduction targets.  That suggests to me that if nothing different is done our province will have failed.When I read about “clean energy” coming from the proposed site C dam, the energy presumably designed to support a new LNG industry, I start to get confused about reduction targets.

If we are currently off track to meet our targets, how will developing and exporting the majority of our LNG help to reach our reduction targets?  There are new carbon emissions going in to the development, transport, processing and shipping of the LNG.  Whether burned locally or somewhere else on the planet, we are looking at a new set of emissions.  When doing my carbon budget, the reconciliation seems impossible.

Johanna SandkuhlNelson, B.C.