letter to the editor369

Harper’s folly I resent the authoritarian manner Stephen Harper is using when dealing with the issue of our troops to Afghanistan.

Harper’s folly

I resent the authoritarian manner Stephen Harper is using when dealing with the issue of our troops to Afghanistan.

When we first went there, we were to help stabilize the country so it could be rebuilt. Harper seems to think he has the unfettered power to declare war without the permission and approval of Parliament — in fact, without even a debate.

Canadians didn’t vote to turn Canada’s armed forces and its historic peacemaking and peacekeeping role into a warfighting army.

Isn’t this a betrayal of our troops? Let’s get out before they start shipping large numbers of body bags home — instead of after.

Diana van Eyk

Whitehorse

A greyer shade of green

Open letter to Al Pope,

I am writing in response to your column When will they ever learn, (The News, March 13).

“Your article states: “On the southern approach to Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike gold mining region, kilometres of environmental devastation greet the traveller.

“The drive to Dawson City is a lesson in real economics and true costs.”

In order for you drive to Dawson City so that you can call dredge tailings “environmental devastation,” you had to put a non-renewable environmentally damaging fossil fuel in your car made of materials that had to be mined from somewhere and drive north for six hours, contributing to atmospheric pollution and furthering the need for companies like Syncrude to develop petroleum deposits in places like Fort McMurray.

You speak of dredge tailings where forests once stood.

In order for me to read your article about “environmental devastation,” I had to purchase a newspaper that was made from trees, contributing to the need for logging companies like MacMillan Bloedel to create fields of stumps where forest once thrived.

Fossil fuels had to be burned in order to transport once living trees to “environmentally devastating” pulp mills.

I see nothing in your article about the environmental nightmare that is created by turning trees into paper.

More pollution was created in order to get newsprint thousands of kilometres from the pulp mill to the printing presses of the Yukon News.

What do you heat your house with during these cold Yukon winters? Firewood that was once part of a living forest, or heating oil that could have come from the North Slope of Alaska? Or Fort McMurray?

Perhaps you use electricity to heat your home, hence the need for hydroelectric projects that flood large areas of wilderness and create lakes where mighty rivers once flowed, permanently scarring thousands of kilometres of once pristine wilderness with power transmission lines.

I have had many, many visitors to Dawson City comment on the unique appearance of those “environmentally devastating” dredge tailings.

The gold-mining dredge that is responsible for much of the “devastation” that greets the visitor to Dawson City is as world famous national historic site and a huge tourist attraction.

If it were not for the “devastation” of the mining industry, Dawson City would have no tourism industry.

I have never heard of a visitor to Dawson City say that that they won’t be back because of all the “environmental devastation” that greets them when they arrive.

In “environmentally devastated” Dawson City, the rivers still flow, the fish still swim, the birds still fly, the wildlife is still wild, the air is still clean and the children still play.

The ponds created by “the devastation” of gold dredging support a large variety of wildlife, such as grayling, pike, beavers, muskrats, loons, ducks, geese and moose.

The next time you decide to pump gasoline in your car to travel to Dawson City so you can write an article criticizing the appearance of the supposedly “devastated” Klondike Valley, I suggest that you look at your own contribution towards the “devastation” of the environment.

After all, you say in your article “the drive to Dawson City is a lesson in real economics and true cost.”

How much did it cost you to contribute to the economies of the oil, mining, and logging industry by filling your car that’s made out of mined minerals with a polluting substance that comes from oil so that you can drive to my hometown and write a pro-environmental article for a newspaper that is made from trees?

You article offers no solutions to the problems created by the industries that you are so much dependent on every day, so just what is your solution to these environmental issues that are of such great concern to you anyway?

When will you ever learn the meaning of the word hypocrisy? 

Jon Wilkie

Dawson City

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