Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDG6 HERALD Friday, April 26, 1974 New regime in Portugal Another military regime has come into existence, this time in Portugal. The junta taking over control, following the coup, may not seem to warrant the usual right wing label only because it would be hard to be more right wing than the government overthrown. But it could prove to be something other than right wing on its own merits. The fact that deposed General Antonio de Spinola has been invited to head the junta is an indication that a different outlook will prevail. General de Spinola is the author of a sensational book advocating that Portugal get out of the war business and take a new approach to its African territories. That certainly represents a break with the past. Another indication of a different attitude is that General de Spinola has rejected the notion that the Portuguese are engaged in a holy war against communism. He sees the African independence movements in a more realistic light. So even if the junta is right wing by most definitions, it is not likely to be hard-line in the tradition of Salazar. Portugal has been impoverished because of the determination of its leaders to cling to its colonial empire. For 10 years or more it has been engaged in trying to suppress the independence movements in a losing effort. With 40 per cent of the budget now being devoted to the military cause and growing loss of young men slipping out of the country in disillusionment to avoid the draft, the country would appear to be benefitted by a radical change in policy. The world, anxious about the festering sore in Africa, will await with keen interest the statements issuing from the new regime. Hopefully, they will reflect the enlightened attitude of General de Spinola. Hoarding vs sharing A meat sale in a local supermarket chain last week provided an adequate demonstration of the shortcomings of mankind. The scene was one of shopping carts piled high with packages of meat, of empty meat bins and customers standing three deep waiting for meat to be cut and wrapped while others shrugged and turned away because they could see that there would not be enough to satisfy all. A daily observer concluded that people were stocking their freezers and that the amounts they bought were determined by how much money they had to spend, the freezer space available to them and the time they had at their disposal to wait at the meat counter. There was no strong evidence that customers were moved to limit their purchases to what they considered to be a fair share, considering the numbers of people waiting. It was a "me first" demonstration par excellence. Those who swept up armloads of meat packages when there were not enough to go around did so to provide for their own families. In this, they had the blessing of the provincial minister of agriculture and the unspoken blessing of the store. A spokesman for the chain said they were not encouraging people to buy in bulk but no limitation was put on the amount of meat each customer could buy over the counter during the sale. That amount was determined, instead, by what he could physically acquire under competitive conditions, and pay for at the checkout stand. Hoarding is not a civilized ethic. It is not a pleasant technique for survival because it means survival at someone else's expense. Poets and economists agree that no man is an island. Joint survival is the best, if not the only, hope for mankind. While it is not improper to provide prudently for one's family, it does not fit the vision of man's collective destiny to do this at the expense of some other family. This is a major problem in the world today. Some customer nations have been consuming more than their share of resources in the same thoughtless way in which meat buyers claimed more than their share at the counter. The situation cannot continue. Sharing is not just some altruistic notion. It is the only rational approach to survival and it is a matter that concerns every individual conscience every day. A plus for pets As North Americans become more acutely aware of the food shortage throughout the world they are realizing that consumer habits will have to change. One area in which a cutting back may have to occur is the keeping of pets. A huge and growing pet population requires quantities of protein that might possibly be useful in sustaining human beings elsewhere. This is something that is almost certain to precipitate a considerable debate and cause some anguish. Pets can definitely enhance the quality of living. Those who have become attached to them know that life without them is almost inconceivable An interesting experiment in the use of dogs in treating mental illness has been described in a recent issue of Science magazine. Twenty "feeling heart" dogs, chosen for their warmth and friendliness, were used to treat patients who had not responded to conventional therapy. Eighteen of them were successful in eliciting a response from the patients leading to improvement in their condition. Dog lovers will not be surprised at this. They might even suspect that a good deal of preventive therapy is done by dog friendship for persons. Even if this should mean that society is implicitly condemned for insensitivity and a challenge be raised for better personal relationships, it is impossible not to see a plus for pets here. Doing away with dogs and cats and the whole range of pets will not be easy. 'We're on Building on false premises By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator Letters BOSTON When Americans ponder the future in terms of energy and resources, we allow thought to be distorted too often by two tenacious fallacies: That technology and determination will somehow enable us to avoid the physical laws of this earth will let us get something for nothing. That the United States can have a future lived in splendid isolation from the rest of the world. Set down in black and white, those propositions look foolish. But people who ought to know better continue to use them as unstated premises. A recent example was an essay in the Wall Street Journal fay Ralph Lapp, the writer on nuclear and other energy matters. It would be unfair to put too much weight on Lapp, in terms of either reliance or criticism, but his piece did well illustrate the dangers of building castles on sand. "The hard energy choices ahead" was Lapp's theme. He briskly and convincingly showed that the United States cannot go on as it has, increasing its use of energy five per cent a year. The oil to keep pushing that curve up is just not going to be there, either our own or Arabian, and the costs of such substitutes as shale would be enormous. But having said all that, Lapp turned away from any thought of fundamental change in our national habits or expectations We have to go on with some growth in energy use, he said, and specifically with our tremendous reliance on automobiles. Why? Because, "with so much of the nation's well-being linked to the sharp change would hurt the U.S. economy too much. Thus the Lapp view of an energy-saving future for America turned out to be lighter cars that would get 18 miles to a gallon We should add 25 million of them to the car population by 1980, he said, "flushing the low- performance cars out of circulation." And then we should "move toward an all- electric economy" based substantially on uranium: nuclear power stations by the year 2000. Meanwhile, in the Lapp scenario, the energy picture for the rest of the world would be "bleak." Developing countries, which could not afford either high-priced oil or the immense capital cost of nuclear power, might not be able to meet the energy requirements of "merely feeding the growing populations." In other words, hundreds of millions of other human beings would starve to death while Americans drove their new cars and enjoyed an all- electric future. The scenario assumes a level of American insensitivity, and militarism, that would make our destruction of Indochina look like a picnic It is in fact geopolitical fantasy to think that American super-affluence could long continue in such a way. Even though our hearts were stone, even though we accepted that Orwellian world, we know by now that neither economically nor militarily can the United States make the whole world conform to its views, much less suffer and die for its ease But even in domestic terms the cost of going on up in energy use would be far greater than Lapp lets on. Those 25 million new cars, with old ones flushed out of circulation, would take immense energy and resources to build and still would leave us with a transportation system grotesquely inappropriate to the age of scarce oil. The key concept, well described by Edward Flattau and Jeff Stansbury in the Washington Monthly for March, is net energy gain. On close analysis, great technological wonders produce little net energy. If we wanted to risk nuclear power plants and that prospect is widely viewed with apprehension they might give us surprisingly little energy beyond what went into them in raw materials, construction and operation. Flattau and Stansbury say the current net nuclear energy yield is only about 10 per cent The lesson is the familiar one: there is no such thing as a free lunch. In this century man has used up energy capital accumulated over millions of years. Before long we shall have to start living on income: relying on renewable energy supplies. That will necessarily make conservation our most important principle. It would be helpful if the American government took symbolic steps toward conservation and equality. But in any event super- affluence for the few is going to be increasingly uncomfortable for both nations and individuals. Nature will push us toward a greater concern for the necessities of the many. Velikovsky honorary degree cheapens U of L education I have been following The Herald's recent series of articles on the Velikovsky controversy. I would like to take this opportunity to add my views to the matter. My academic background is a B.Sc. in physics, an M.Sc. in geophysics and I have completed all course work toward a Ph.D in space physics. My M.Sc. is from the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, one of the foremost institutions devoted to the study of the earth and the spaces around it. I will state right off that I think Velikovsky is a charlatan. His conjectures have no basis in either fact or the realm of probability. What he describes could not have happened and have anything still be left of the earth's surface or of the earth-moon system. I strongly feel that in awarding an honorary degree to this man the University of Lethbridge is disgracing the community it represents and jeopardizing its very meager respect and reputation among its fellow universities in Canada and the world. When I say that what Velikovsky claims is geophysically impossible I mean that with our present understanding of the earth's physical properties, it is lunacy to believe that a planet the size of Venus could have come close enough to exchange atmospheres with the Earth without all life being snuffed out. Velikovsky talks of the cataclysm that the approach would have caused. I claim that what he calls a cataclysm is a mild event compared to what would have happened. To fully discuss the implications of two large planetary masses approach- ing within 20 to 40 km. of each other without actually touching would require many pages. I will instead list a few of the incorrect statements in the book World's in Collision (Dell paperback This is to illustrate the complete incorrectness of the geophysics of Velikovsky. (Twenty-two statements in the first 106 pages of the Velikovsky book are then challenged. To reduce this letter to a more manageable length, 15 of these have been eliminated. Editor, The Herald) Page 25: The entire argument about the various theories of the formation of the solar system ignores all of the currently accepted theories and their sources and only discusses old outmoded ideas that haven't been taken seriously for 50 years. Page 43: "If the end of the last glacial period occurred only a few thousand years ago. Using some conflicting old references (i.e. 1911) Velikovsky ignores modern glaciology and conveniently suggests a date which is consistent with his later revelations. This is known as making the ballpark fit your rules. Page 60: "Would not a sudden stop by the earth, rotating at a little over a 1000 m.p.h. mean a complete destruction of the world? Since the world survived, there must have been a mechanism to In northern Canada, clapping your hands keeps the tigers The most logical mechanism to account for the two facts is that the event in question never happened. Page 82 and 83: "Exceedingly strong WEST winds." If the earth had stopped rotating the winds could only be blowing across temperature gradients, i.e. for the most part north and south. Page 85: "A comet with a head as large as the earth, passing sufficiently close would raise the ocean to a very great height. (A footnote quotes a 1795 source as saying a wave about 4 km. My calculation, based on Velikovsky's description of the interchange of the atmosphere of the two heavenly bodies, show that Venus at 100 km. distance would exert a tidal attraction of 100 billion times as strong as the moon. This would not only cause the ocean to leap upward miles high, it would also cause the crust of the earth to bend and buckle upward a large distance. This buckling of the crust would produce extremely violent earthquakes and many other phenomenan, including breaking every stalactite or stalagmite in all of the caverns of the earth. The very ideas of such a close approach is 100 per cent unacceptable. Page 86: "The waters were driven apart and heaped up like walls in a double tide." A DOUBLE TIDE. Come on now. To have two distinct peaks of water, both miles high, with a dry area between them for a sufficiently long time for Moses to get the tribes across the Sea of Passage seems to be pushing both the properties of a nice fluid liquid like water and our sensibilities too much. Page 106: "The sea boiled, all of the shore of the ocean boiled and all the middle of it boiled." Where did the observer stand to watch all of this going on9 Did only the land under the sea get hot enough to boil water while the ground that various people stood upon remained cool through their sandles? How could he have seen the middle of the ocean through the heavy dust clouds? I must stress that these are only specific errors that I have detected and can explain in a line or two. There are larger misconceptions of physical properties and events that would take much longer to explain than I have either the room or the time to do here A question that Velikovsky's work raises is: If we accept the old literature as being absolutely true and undoubtable in its authenticity of description of geophysical events, and if we must call upon some large extraterrestrial influence to explain the events, tell me this: What comet was present when Christ was on the cross? (St. Luke and all of the others describe earthquakes, darkness in the middle of the day, etc.) I seriously doubt the sanity or academic quality of any physicist or physics department that would give any acceptance of any statement in the whole of Worlds in Collision. If any university I had received a degree from gave an honorary degree to Velikovsky, I would tear up my diploma and entirely disown them. In a large sense the awarding of this honorary degree cheapens the value of the education of any person who had received a degree from the University of Lethbridge. I feel that the University of Lethbridge should withdraw its offer of the degree and seriously investigate the qual- ity of the faculty members responsible for the recommendation of Velikovsky. Any consideration of such drivel as Worlds in Collision is a waste of time for students and of taxpayers' money to support a group of faculty in discussions such as the proposed symposium. (I note that in the whole symposium there are no physical scientists, other than the one who started this whole affair, on the All of VeHkovsky's psychological theories depend on a real physical event having happened. If this event did not happen the whole theory of cultural amnesia is only pure speculation with no basis in fact. EDWARD R. LILLEY Lethbridge Letters Instilling attitudes In his letter (The Herald, April Peter Hunt has attacked in the following order: influential Catholic theologians, (some of .which, we are told are even California, Washington, the Lethbridge Separate School Board, the Edmonton family life program, Sister this, Father that, and being avante-garde. My word! Peter Hunt's plea for orthodoxy, laced with remarks about parents' rights, and barbs about majority vote, people who think, untrustworthy administration, etc. and ad nauseum, seems to be a feeble cry from the radical right to have us join in the narrowest of any unyielding, unthinking, unhealthy philosophy of life. These sorts of ideas lead one to believe that it is this faction of society's purpose to ignorate (as opposed to educate) our students about family life matters. Is it their underlying belief that sex is dirty? And if so, that we have no family life education in our schools'7 With absolute and appalling disregard for the education of our children, this attitude denounces our attempts at instilling attitudes in our young people that will help them deal with themselves and their peers, and in developing a gratifying and worthwhile life-style in this age of permissiveness and uncertain values. The one thing that we must learn in life is self-respect. All our values of decency, respect for others, and worth are based on self-respect. If these efforts are unorthodox in relationship to the church's ideals of the spiritual well- being of its members, then Mr. Hunt should tell us how and why. I would be happy to debate the issue, as suggested. I too believe in intrinsic truths and values, but I also believe that we should temper these beliefs with a humanistic regard for "some situations, and for other human beings, lest our truths and values are forged into a narrow blade with which we blindly chop our way through life. I further believe in education, in the concept of community education, through which students, teachers, parents and administrators may work and learn together, to open our lives and our minds to others, with the assurance to concerned folks like Mr. Hunt that none of us will have our rights violated, and that no one will be forced to enroll their children in the study of growing up, becoming mature Christians, and respecting themselves for it. ROBERT J. PISKO Lethbridge E for effort I'd like to react to the letter, True standing ovation (April Audiences in this country, as compared to others, are distinctly cool about hearty applause. In many parts of the world, audiences are warmer, applaud vigorously and are more free with standing ovations. Note on page three of the same edition of The Herald, "10 minute standing ovations for the Wizard Oz in Moscow." True, the performance must have been of very high calibre. However I have been at performances in Eastern Europe, where appreciation of the artist was expressed by open, spontaneous and very warm applause, standing ovations, and gifts of flowers brought up on stage between numbers. I don't believe in standing ovations for inferior performances by adults. As to our youngsters being sent on "ego trips" by this form of appreciation, it's hardly likely. The youth of today are too sophisticated and hard- nosed to think that making it big in little old Lethbridge means instant success in Toronto, New York or Hollywood. I'm impartial, having no relatives in any of the schools. Isn't it wonderful that kids from Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, Winston Churchill, Catholic Central, Wilson Ju- nior High and Agnes Davidson gave of their time to perfect this art form as much as they were able for the enjoyment of the public? Why not "E" for effort as well as for excellence? I'm standing and I'm applauding for the boy with two left feet and for the girl who didn't quite make that high note. Good taste? Poor taste? Who cares? Let's encourage them all in the only way that these budding artists can see and hear. ANNA GANGUR Lethbridge Displeasing exhibits If the proposed art gallery for the old library will exhibit material similar to that now being shown in the new one, it does not have my best wishes. I for one am not pleased that the new library is being used to display what might be called obscenity. A "topless" appearance by a woman on the downtown streets would result in an arrest and a charge of indecent exposure; or should, because this behavior is regarded as obscene and was long ago outlawed. This being a fact, it is indeed incredible that this same nature of impression and influence is deemed fit for public appreciation in a public library or art gallery. I would say that if this diluted form of illegal obscenity is permitted long enough the public will become conditioned for "toplessness" and near nudity in all public places. The undue emphasis on sex will result in unhealthy characteristics in the individual and will displease and anger those who have a sense of decency. I am not implying that the body of a woman is basically evil, but like many other natural features it can be and is in the process of being abused and misused, and this is where the immorality exists, absolutely. This was clearly seen when the obscenity laws were established and enforced. When one looks at the direction of public morality in this city in recent years it is obvious that it lacks true moral concern and leadership. Why do not the clergy, church members and parents take more effective action in the matter of what goes on in public' Certainly all the good teachings and influences of homes and churches can easily be destroyed by bad influences, elaborated and glorified outside of these oases of high morality. LLOYD R. WEIGHTMAN Lethbridge Late petition The burning issue was coming up and this green stick didn't know the proper procedure for carrying coals to council. Because of this ignorance, for which I blame no one but myself, we got our petition to save the burning barrel in too late. I would like to point out that according to The Herald the original petition to ban the barrel contained 19 names. In one hour and 25 interviews I obtained 23 signatures for saving the burning barrel and two opposing. It seems to me this is an indication of the will of the people regardless of what council has done. V. F. COLEMAN Lethbridge The lethbrutge Herald 504 7th St S Lethbridge. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mall Registration No 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON H PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R DORAM General Manager ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"