Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 16, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
April LETHMIDQE World threatened by famine next year By Nigel Hawkes, London Observer commentator By this time next year the world could be staring famine in the face. Growing populations, a desperate shortage of fertilizer and small but significant shifts in the world's climate could combine, some experts fear, to create the worst food shortage ever. Already the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has warned of the threat of massive starvation "later this year or in years to come." And agricultural economists who were optimists at the time of the last food scare in the late sixties are taking a less bullish line this time. One of them, Profesor Ge'orge Allen of the University of Aberdeen, has made estimates of the likely shortage of fertilizer over the next few years. His results are not encouraging. "I don't scare he said last week, "but I think the prospects for 1975, 1976 and 1977 are simply appalling." The crisis is the result of a combination of circum- stances: 1. A shortage of fertilizer because of low investment in new plant at the end of the sixties. BERRY'S WORLD 2. Dangerously low stock levels; by June, the FAO estimates, world wheat stocks will be equal to only three weeks' consumption. 3. The energy crisis, which has spilled over into fertilizers by putting up costs and making feedstock for fertilizer production extremely scarce. 4. Climatic changes which have already caused severe famine in Africa and could increasingly affect other parts of the world. 5. Growing world populations, which mean that food output must increase every year just to maintain levels of consumption. Estimates of how serious the food crisis may vary. Last year's harvests were good, postponing the shortages but not eliminating them altogether. And the British fertilizer manufacturers believe that, barring a rush by farmers to hoard fertilizer, home demand be met this year, though with little to spare. The worst hit will probably be the developing countries, which use less than 10 per cent of the world's fertilizer but to 1974 by NEA, Inc "John, you are the best secretary I've ever had, and I would like to confide a personal problem in you. You see. my husband doesn't understand me..." whom it is of crucial importance. The so-called "Green Revolution" in Asia depends on crops which need ample amounts of fertilizer to give of their best: every ton of fertilizer spread on the soil in India increases the wheat yield by 10 tons. If Professor Allen's estimates are right, the shortage of fertilizer this year will be tons, enough to produce 35 million tons of grain in the developing world. By 1976 he expects a shortfall of tons, increasing to five million tons by 1977. The bulk of this shortage will come in the nitrogen element in fertilizers, produced from oil, gas or coal feedstock. In the late sixties profits were so low that manufacturers saw no virtue in investing money in nitrogen plants. Now investment is going ahead, but it will be several years before it has any effect. A million plant announced bv ICI in Januarv this year will not be on stream until 1976. if it FAO experts fear that with fertilizer in short supply, manufacturers will look first to their home market, leaving the developing countries to fend for themselves. At an FAO meeting last month, fertilizer producers admitted that all production for the next few months had been sold in advance, so there was little that could be done to help the developing countries. This year India is budgeting for a shortage of one million tons of fertilizer, which is expected to cut grain production by 100 million tons. With world reserves low, India can ill afford a bad harvest and can now only hope for good weather to make up in part for the shortage of fertilizer. In the United States 25 million acres have been brought back into production to try to build up wheat stocks. The immediate effect has been to tighten the screw on fertilizer supplies, turning the U.S. from a net exporter to a net importer of fertilizer. But the extra acreage could help to meet shortages elsewhere in the world. American grain reserves are now at their lowest level for 40 years, according to Senator Hubert Humphrey, the former vice-president and now chairman of the Senate Agricultural Policy Committee. As the U.S. produces 50 per cent of all wheat exports, 60 per cent of all feed grain exports and 90- per-cent of all soya bean exports, the situation is critical. To add to the alarm, there is growing evidence of changes in climate that will make Book review increased food production harder to achieve. The climatic shifts in Africa which have caused devastating drought in the Sahelian region and famine in Ethiopia seem unlikely to reverse. Less publicised but equally important is evidence that the corn and wheat belt of the U.S. is entering the poor part of its 20-year weather cycle. This could seriously affect the prospects of massive harvests in the only region of the world capable of producing surpluses big enough to replenish the world's larder. Pioneering life reprint "Pack Saddles to Tete Jaune Cache" by James G. MacGregor (Hurtig Publishers, Canadians reprint series, 264 This is a welcome reprint of one of James G. MacGregor's best studies of pioneering life in Alberta. Originally publish- ed in 1962, the book contains the fascinating life story of James Shand Harvey, an educated Britisher who came to Canada in the early twentieth century. MacGregor uses Shand Harvey, who worked at a variety of jobs from pack sad- dle guide and forest ranger to interpreter and trapper, as the central figure around which he tells a number of in- teresting and colorful anec- dotes about the early days in the region west'of Edmonton. After a full life, Shand retired to a lonely log cabin on the Athabasca River north of Jasper. The cabin shelves held books in the original Greek as well as the English classics. The author found him here in the wilderness and gave per- manent form to his memories. The book abounds in fine scenic descriptions and pleas- ing informative accounts of this bachelor recluse and his work. Since the Alberta foothills were his permanent home since 1906, the book con- stitutes a sort of informal history of this lovely country. A CUT CABLE CAN HURT SO MANY WAYS If you cut a buried telephone cable, it could hamstring a hospital or cripple a com- munity. It does more than cut off telephone service. It can sever medical service, ambulance service, police emergency service, firefighting service, telecommunications service vital to every aspect of home and community life. It's frightening when you think about it. It can be even more frightening if it actually happens. Don't let it happen because of you. Here's an easy way not to be a "cable FREE CABLE-SAVER SERVICE DIAL '0' (ZERO) AND ASK FOR ZENITH 07128 AGT's BURIED CABLE LOCATION SERVICE. Do it well in advance, for a Cable Locator to get to the scene fast. No charge lor the call or the service we're grateful you called. Thank You) Keeps you in touch with service Shand often recounts the ex- perience of .a still earlier generation going back to the fur-trading days in the Jasper Park district. MacGregor, the sympathetic author-recorder, has saved a part of the oral traditions and personal memories of a group of people who have left little in the way of written records. The introduction is written by Ken Liddell, the well- known Calgary author and journalist. In it he completes the life story of Shand Harvey who died in 1968. Long before his death, he had put aside for his burial so that he could maintain his in- dependence even in death which he had cherished for so many years. This book, with the author's North West by Sixteen, may well become a classic in the history of western settlement. Pack Saddles to Tete Jaune Cache is strongly recommend- ed as most enjoyable light reading for anyone interested in knowing more about the pioneering days in the province. Why this Scottish- born gentleman, who had been educated at Eton and knew Queen Victoria, should have chosen to spend his life in the wilderness still remains a mystery. However. MacGregor recalls the epic labors of unknown men and women who opened up this vast region of the foothills of the Rockies with a vividness that stimulates the imagina- tion of the reader. E. GEORGE MARDON Books in brief "Famous Custom Show Cars" by George Harris Jack Scagnetti (Clarke, Irwin Company Limited, 136 pages, Car enthusiasts should enjoy this book. Authors Harris and Scagnetti have compiled photographs and descriptions of more than 80 customized cars by different designers. There are cars made to resemble a magic carpet, a phone booth, a hard hat, and even a V-8 Roadster that dispenses gas for the car and vegetable juice for thirsty admirers. No matter how far- fetched an idea may seem, it can be turned into a car provided you have the time, money. imagination, devotion, and technical skill. A short but informative introduction plus an index add to the value of this fascinating book. TERRY MORRIS "The Vacancy" by Patrick Mann (Longman Canada Limited, 318 pages, Government intrigue in Washington is what The Vacancy is all about. The president of the U.S.A. has to fill a high court vacancy and uses his immense power to try to get a personal friend appointed. The only problem is that a rare political mortal, an honest man, gets involved in the selection procedure and then the trouble begins. It's a very exciting story and likely to please those who feel that politics, treachery, and su: -icnse make a good mix. TERRY MORRIS So They Say The universities are a very special kind of place. They are fragile as truth itself is fragile. They exist by public sul France, and it is a marvel that the public at large supports with its dollars an institution that is independent, free-standing, openly critical of the conventional wisdom. Harold L. Enarson, president of Ohio State University. Ideas of a non-corporate bum By Eva Brewster, free-lance writer The majority of ordinary Canadians must be mesmerized as well as mystified by the international monetary and trading crises that have brought the world to the brink of a disastrous recession. This state of affairs, compounded by inflated oil prices and unilateral economic actions of European Common Market members, is becoming more dangerous as inequality between haves and have-nots grows out of all proportion. To deal with this intolerable disparity, it has been proposed that oil-consuming countries should borrow back money paid to producers for the purchase of future supplies. If such a seriously considered manoeuvre appears confusing at first, try working it out at the individual's level of budgeting. It is, in fact, so comprehensible a scheme, I wonder why it hadn't been dreamed up long ago. One avenue of thought, bandied about for years, maintains that the time is fast approaching when nobody would handle cash anymore. The first suggestion of money going out of fashion some day soon, should have set the wheels turning in my cerebrum then. But, I suppose, that section of my brain dealing with high finance must have been retarded in infancy. Still, there is a saying: "Even a blind hen finds the odd grain." Well, I have found one. For what it is worth, I present it to all others who wondered how to keep a step ahead of galloping inflation and bankruptcy. Just about every banking institution and innumerable commercial giants offer, nay, beg their clients and prospective customers to accept charge cards. Whether some inherent distaste for borrowing prevents you from entering the deal or not, you have probably by now collected dozens of these means to "Open Sesame." As far as I can see, there is absolutely nothing to prevent you making maximum use of the unbelievable opportunity to never again deplete your bank account. Let's presume the ceiling on your different credit cards averages 1500 and you spend, today. Sometime next month you'll receive your bill and use a second charge card to pay for it. When this amount is due, you'll cover it with your third card and so on, ad infinitum. Eventually, having exhausted the circle, you again come back to your first benefactor. There should be no complaints since all creditors have, in rotation, been paid puctually and conscientiously. By this means, your nest egg can grow undisturbed, gathering no moss but considerable interest while you are sitting pretty in a fool-proof capsule of financial security. Obviously, the same benefits accrue to the oil consuming countries. What is to prevent them borrowing from Saudi Arabia to pay Iran, from Iran to pay Venezuela, from the latter to reimburse Canada and from us to settle debts with some other oil sheikhs? 'Until recently, there would have been a drawback in this lucid scheme: Only those people or nations with good credit ratings would have been offered free charge accounts while the poor continued to get poorer. However, it seems to be getting increasingly easier for even the underprivileged to receive loans simply because the rich can find no other outlet for their accumulated wealth What will happen though when the world suddenly wakes up and finds that, in this modern adaptation of "Musical no debtor is, in reality, paying anybody? This thought just brought the animated wheels in my far from logical mind to a grinding halt. Can anybody enlighten me as to where my marvellous theory broke down? Whoever finds the answer to this riddle deserves a seat on the International Monetary Fund in Rome which, after months of deliberation, are still years away from finding a solution to the world's financial troubles. Freedom to be a woman By Norma Shologan, local writer "You are living in a man's The speaker's eloquence was punctuated by much flourishing of hands that sparkled with fiery splashes of brilliance diamonds no doubt, I thought as I looked down at my own red, rough, unadorned hands. Her voice was harsh and brittle, but her words rang out over the auditorium with the urgency of a fire bell. She tossed her head of bright red hair that had been tormented into chic sophistication. In spite of all the glittering facade the speaker was definitely "past her prime." However, the topic she expounded on with such fierce conviction was very thought- provoking and had certainly been stirring female minds for some time. During the course of her talk, she went on to explain how men had created a world for themselves and for their own comfort let the chips fall as they would if they landed heavily on our shoulders "Who really The words were hurled at us with a vehemence that made me shudder. Did we realize that the only issue that the great political leaders had ever agreed upon was to keep women in their place, as second- class citizens by creating a sexist system? Try as she might any woman who struggled against this system was faced with a gargantuan task, because the rules have been laid down by men and women must abide by those rules. Men are put in managerial positions in business, in industry, in government, and women's roles are clearly defined as housekeepers, child-raisers, and toys strictly for man's pleasure. "Do not let yourselves be brain-washed by any mere The svelte figure stomped a high-booted foot. These were indeed stimulating, penetrating words, designed to hit us where it hurt the most in our complacency. How many of us that listened to the speaker that evening were sufficiently aroused to go forth from that night forward, and start a new way of living for ourselves? I can speak only for myself. That lecture made me do more than my quota of thinking on a personal evaluation theme. Now I have some definite conclusions to offer. I really do not want to be on an equal footing with any man. I like to be treated with deferance; I like having the door held open, and having my chair held, being offered a seat on a bus it makes me feel rather special and cherished yes cherished! In fact I like being me! If that sounds smug, I apologize to the feminists but it's true. I have lived my life as wife, mother and homemaker to the fullest. I have the love and gratitude of my children and the respect of my husband. I do not want or need any more if it is a case of rights, please spare me I already have the right to use any vehicle. car. truck, tractor, or wheelbarrow I want to. I am allowed to use at my own discretion the lawnmower, the roto-tiller, hedge-clippers or the calf-puller. Quite frankly, if they liberate me any further I won't be able to stand it. I would probably take the first spade I could grab and dig my own grave. On the other hand, the men in my life also have free access to the mixer, blender, washer and vacuum, and often after a hard days work will help whip up a quick meal. As far as equal pay for equal work, doesn't a nice comfortable home count or is it considered something to be taken for granted? When the refrigerator gave up the ghost it was replaced by a new one. When the tractor needed to be replaced this was looked after. There were no gripes from anyone. The bank accounts are in both names. There is never the question of yours and mine. I'm considered a full fledged partner in our small operation. I once heard a little girl crying to her mother, "I want to be a boy.'1 It seems some of these girls grew up. and are still crying "I want to be a boy." They have howled and clawed and scratched their way to get attention; but along the way they lost something so infinitely precious it cannot be replaced their femininity. Gone is the warmth that is so essentially female. Gone is the compassion, the understanding, the softness that each one of us is endowed with. They've traded it off for selfishness. They will vehemently deny this but it is true. Personally I really do not want to be a man. I'm a man's women and I find it enormously rewarding. My opinions are requested and often acted upon. I have my own individuality I am first of all female and respected for it. I have found the time to be creative, and my efforts have not been ignored on the contrary, they are admired most by the people that truly count my own family. If I never do another thing, if I were to die tomorrow. I've left my mark not on the world, but on my family and this is, I feel exactly what I was created for. I'll admit there can be much improvement for a woman who must work in the business world. She should have equal pay. I too was appalled by the Irene Murdoch case that has recently received so much publicity and I would heartly vote for a repeal of laws that are so unjust to women. But the fact remains, some of those who are trying to change these things are going too far. They have tarnished their image; and many women like myself are antagonized. Why should it be considered belittling to be proud of being a woman? Why not accept the role we were born to and build on it making it rewarding and satisfying? Why should we be made to feel guilty because there are those of us who are truly happy making homes and rearing children? What is wrong with womanly arts of cooking, sewing and creative handicrafts? Is working with a jackhammer so much more gratifying? There has been too much merging of the sexes. It has only lead to more confusion and less communication. Man and woman are fundamentally different. These differences aren't anything new, they are universally recognized. If they try to understand and accept these differences, taking the good with the bad, the bitter with the sweet, the feminists would still be female, instead they have lost their true identity. Perhaps I'm just lucky because I'm happy with my lot; and maybe the feminists would call me deluded and chide me for not wanting more out of life. Turning off the tap By Doug Walker There are two noises that I find particularly aggravating: the throb of an idling car motor and the drip of a leaky faucet. Everybody in our family is thoroughly cognizant of my high irritability point regarding these sounds of civilization. When we sat down to supper one night and there was a lull in the conversation I detected the unmistakable sou .id of a drip at the kitchen sink. "Somebody left the tap I reprovingly announced, expecting the culprit to get up and stop the drip. Immediately Judi responded, "Turn on the light while you're up, Dad."