Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 4, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, August 4, 1970 Maurice Western Approaching The Deadline Predictions that pollution will make cartli uninhabitable by about the end of the .century have been labelled "alarmist" in many quarters. Those who have been lulled by the soothing assurances that things are not as bad as the pessimists proclaim must be a little uneasy by what they have re- cently seen and heard of the smog conditions over Tokyo and along North America's eastern parts. Tins is just one of the manifesta- tions of the approaching deadline. But it is a particularly forceful one since the baneful effects are so obvious. One does not need to be a scientist to realize that something is amiss when it is loo unpleasant to be out- doors. 1 The day cannot be far off when the automobile manufacturers will be forced by law to produce a motor that does not pollute. To date pro- gress in this direction has been de- The Nuclear Hazard A few years ago a brave attempt was made to call a halt to nuclear experimentation at least until the hazards were better known and there were safe methods of disposing of radioactive wastes. The Committee for the Control of Nuclear Hazards was viewed with such suspicion that it failed to attract sufficient public support to thrive so it remained a seemingly minor cause. Today there may be more interest in seeking abatement of nuclear ex- perimentation because of the popular- ity of the anti pollution cause. Fis- sion carries risks that rank very high among all the terrible things men are in danger of doing to themselves and their environment. The hope that there might be peaceful uses of atomic energy notably in the production of power to conserve scarce fuel resources__ has been much tempered as a result of two dangers: the possibility of ac- cident and the difficulty of disposing of nuclear wastes. Neither of these dangers has been sufficiently publi- cized. A new British magazine called the Ecologist has focused on this prob- lem in its first issue. Using a study of the Columbia River it points out how radioactivity multiplies alarm- ingly as it progresses up the food chain. In the water itself there were low concentrations of radioactive sub- stances. But the amount in the river plankton was times greater, in ducks feeding on the plankton times, and in the egg yolks of water birds one million times. Tliis build up has occurred de- spite precautions against contamina- tion. When accidents happen and they do happen the concentration in the food chain can be calamitous. Scientists have progressively lower- ed their estimates of the amount of radiation to which humans can safe- ly be exposed. There appears to be no absolutely safe dose. The handling of atomic waste pro- ducts is a grievous problem. They have to be buried or stored in tanks as corrosive liquids that will boil for more than 100 years. The Ecologist notes that, of 183 storage tanks in the states of Washington, South Caro- lina and Idaho, nine have failed so far. Well meaning individuals who vainly sought to arouse the public to these dangers a few years ago through the Committee for the Con- trol of Nuclear Hazards would be happy to see their concern revived under the "safe" and respectable aus- pices of anti pollution organizations They might even be willing to allow the latter day groups to function uncontaminated by their presence in the hope of achieving some success. Phew! If pollution control is of genuine interest to Lethbridge City Fathers, one place they could make an ex- _cellent start would be to insist that "the Transit Company clear up the condition which causes greasy ex- haust to be expelled from the city buses. The older buses are particular of- fenders in spewing out black smoke which Is foul smelling and hangs in the air like fog. If the City Fathers expect the citi- zens to develop a conscious concern for our environment they will have to set a good example. With this in mind, it might be advisable for the administration to initiate a program of air pollution control by assessing fines on operators of buses, trucks and cars, who repeatedly foul the atmosphere. Ours is not a large city, and it shouldn't take too much effort and initiative to keep it clean. Post Office Needs Fresh Start From The Toronto Daily Star JT hasn't happened yet but we expect to see it any day now. A troop of angry citizens will march down Yonge St. with signs and then mount a picket line in front of the mam post office. The mail- men, thinking that people are rallying to support their cause, will welcome them with open arms. The mailmen are likely to get a picket sign in the eye. The people won't be parading up and down Front St. to show labor solidarity. They'll be out there with their signs because they are sick to death of the whole postal mess. The citizens' strike, has, in fact, already begun. People are just not sending letters; Since die rotating strikes of mailmen be- gan, total volume is down 30 per cent and in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, vol- ume is down 50 per cent. People are using the mail strike as a good excuse for not paying bills on time and big companies are beginning to seek other ways to collect their accounts re- ceivables. As for paying to send out mailed advertisements, forget it. The companies who rely on getting to people where they live are going to find other ways to do it. And people who relied on letters to keep in touch are starting to use telephones and telegrams. Even if the strike were settled tomorrow and it won't be it would take montlis and maybe years until people really trust- ed the past office again. To those of us who never worked there, the post office always seemed like- a benevolent Big Daddy who saw that wo got what was coining to us in a reasonable space of time. But once you destroy a child's faith in his father, it may never be restored. So what we are talking about in the end is not simply a strike of postal workers but a massive citizens' strike against the post office. It's doubtful whether the post office can survive it. The best remedy, we suggest, is to make the post office into a crown corporation instead of a government department. Postmaster-General Eric Kie- rans has already mentioned this as a long- term possiblity. The way it works now, the postmaster-general deals with the unions about everything except what matters most to union men: money. When the time comss for contract negotiations, he lias to give up his place at the table to Treasury Beard officials. And these gen- tlemen, as we are seeing, have other con- cerns that the) consider more important than maintaining an efficient and reliable postal service in this country. The stock of a private company run with such an impossible set of ground rules be laughed off the boards at the slock exchange. In the public conscious- ness, the stock of the post office is sinking fast. The post office needs a fresh start if it is to have any chance of regaining public confidence. As a crown corporation, more detached from political pressures, it could apply businesslike efficiency as well as a liltle bleso'.'d common sense to labor rela- tions and the problems of delivering the mail, Search For Loopholes In Pesticide Ban sultory. If the results of the crack- down on detergents is any indication, a get-tough attitude toward the auto- mobile industry would see the de- sired product on the market in short order. The soap manufacturers said a non polluting product wasn't feas- ible but when the crunch came they began to see possibilities. Voluntary approaches to cutting down pollution will not work. A good illustration of this was recently af- forded in Toronto, where people were urged on a certain day to leave their automobiles at home so that the dif- ference in smog level could be ob- served. The appeal was almost com- pletely ignored so that the demon- stration fell flat on its face. If doomsday is to be averted it can- not be left to luck or "the innate good sense" of the average person. Only tiie imposition of curbs and con- trols will be effective. QTTAWA _ Of the various departments o[ govern- ment, agriculture has been able to work up the least enthusi- asm for measures aimed at pesticide pollution. An attitude of caution is un- derstandable within Limits since the widespread use of modern chemicals has unques- tionably brought great benefits in terms of increased produc- tion. Thus, in respect to DDT the department finally adopted Hie policy of "planned reduc- tion" (with various excep- in respect to various other chemicals which have given rise to concern mer- cury dusts, 2-4-5T and so on, its reaction lias been one of skepticism, slowly yielding in the face of imwelconie evi- dence. Dining the last session ques- tions were raised about the ef- fects of mercurial dust in treat- ing seed: for example, by Mr. Ritchie of Dauphin April 28. The reply was that more time was required to obtain a con- sensus. Evidently tin's has now been obtained since new re'striclions were announced July 24. As noted above, the depart- ment has responsibilities which are not to be ignored. One would think, however, that they would weigh a little less huavily in llie era of Operation Lift. Farmers, after can be poisoned quite as easily as any other members of our tlireat- ened society. Further, there is some evidence that caution can be self-defeating: may indeed have the unintended result of slowing down developments gi'eatly to be desired. W h a t the farmer expects of an industry with a vast stake in agriculture is the production of chemicals at once effective, economical and safe. The experience of the minis- ter of energy, mines and re- sources in a reasonably anal- ogous case seems much to the point. When a ban on phos- phate detergents was first pro- posed, there were screams of anguish from the industry. De- spite the vast sums which were said to have been expended on research, no substitute has been found and none was in sight. Untold suffering awaited the housewife: it was even claim- ed (and Mr. Greene himself seemed persuaded only mo- mentarily as it tiu-ned out) that the products likely to be avail- able for1 household chores would min a whole generation Letters To The Editor Selfish And Unjust Attitudes Must Not Prevail As a reader of current news- papers published in this prov- ince I feel that social welfare end welfarites as they are fre- quently called are enduring an unwarranted and unfair amount of criticism not only from the public but recently from a certain politician. Most of these letters and statements directed against the institution of social welfare are obviously the result of shallow thinking combined with a selfish and unjust attitude. These false and insulting let- ters and claims often contain serious name-calling which doubtless adds to the sufferings of so called welfarites. What we should all realize before writing such letters, and while reading others, is that we now live in an era of a grossly overpaid so-called working class and in inflated profit sys- tem. When these people are asked by governments to kick- back some of this money wealth in the form of income tax for social services of all kinds, it imposes no real hard- ship upon most or should not, for the gross national product of the sum total of our mater- ial wealth continues to climb and does not therefore indicate any excessive burden upon it in this nation. When cities continue to grow at a rapid rate and un- employment i s deliberately created to treat the sickness of inflation, and when many find themselves in adverse circum- stances of health and responsi- Medical Attention Appreciated A few weeks ago, (July 1st, 1970) my family and I were in Coaldale en route to Winnipeg. My wife suddenly complain- ed of severe pains in her abdo- men and it was recommended that we phone a doctor in Leth- bridge. We did so and by the time we arrived at the Coaldale hos- pital, the doctor was there wait- ing for us having driven Discrimination 1 am a seventeen year old Lethbridge student. Just re- cently f was turned away from (a Lethbridge eating establish- ment) because I have long hair. The manager would state no other reason, but said that my friends and I could buy there but not sit al a table. We were well behaved, and did nothing that would (or should) offend anyone. It seems strange to me that while he would all too gladly accept our money, our pres- ence was undesirable. Appar- ently there have been similar occurrences in this establish- ment involving other long-hair- ed youths. About To Be Last year you very kindly pub- lished an article I sent re "Pre- school" swimming. As a result a large number of persons ex- pressed interesl in such a ven- ture. The Mayer of the city thni promised to have something done about this as he agreed il was worthwhile. Both the Mayor and the Recreation Director have been exceedingly energelic and understanding in this mat- ter and have arranged for an experimental "Prc school" swimming project in August. I hcpo all those who had express- ed interest as well as others will watch for the advertisement and register their pre-schoolers. W. X. IKMIRISUN Ixithbridge. This inexcusable form of dis- crimination is, of course, not covered in the Alberta Human Rights Act. There should be nothing offensive about long hair on boys if it is kept clean. I regret having seen this sit- uation in Lethbridge and would like to see it corrected. BOB BLAIH. Lethbridge. from Lethbridge. The purpose of this letter is, to express our gratitude and admiration to both the doctor and the staff of the Coaldale Community Hospital. Thanks to 'the speedy manner in which the tests were performed, whisked to Lethbridge' and the results returned to us at Coaldale, we were able to continue our holi- day without interruption. Living in a province where hospital services are often the subject of a great deal of criti- cism it conies as a great pleasure to be able to write a letter in this vein. Our remaining impression of Cealdale is one of warmth and hospitality. J. BERGEN. Coquitlam, B.C. bility such as in husbandless families there is a need of the financial means of acquiring the material necessities. There are few more dis- respectful sights in the theatre of current events than the spectacle of the so-called work- ing class, who actually play a minimal part in the production of our vast material wealth and who are well on the way to- wards becoming dispensable, attempting througli successive strike tactics to acquire all of tin's wealth for their own use and pleasure. At least they cer- tainly have given this impres- sion to date and there is no real evidence to believe other- wise. Finally, it appears that we have now arrived at a period in our evolution toward a bet- ter life. The keynote to peace is in learning to share this vast material capacity which we have been practically en- dowed with, for if gross selfish- ness is allowed to prevail the future will hold worsening troubles for us all. LLOYD R. WEIGHTMAN. Lethbridgc. of electric washing machines. Shaken only temporarily by these warnings, the govern- ment imposed a deadline on the industry. Since men, if one may go by company reports on the financial pages, the hori- zon has brightened remark- ably. The washing machines, it now appears, will be up to the task about to he thrust upon them. Moreover, there is ev- ery indication that the house- w'ife will continue to be daz- zled, as she is now, by the rang.e of scientific miracles available for her laundry use. The department of agricul- ture is apparently hesitant to apply the same spin- to the pesticides industry. Manufac- turers, it is true, have been notified that the pesticides unit will not register1 seed treat- ment products containing mer- cury next year and will not reg- ister other pesticides based on that chemical "if suitable al- ternatives are available." But, quite apart from this qualification, there are exclu- sions (use for turf disease and apple scab control) and excep- tions. The latter apply, first, if use of the product will not re- sult in mercurial residues in food or feed or cause "signifi- cant adverse effects" on b i r d and animal life" when used ac- cording to the label directions under practical conditions." They are applicable, sec- ondly, if continued registra- tion is required to clear stocks in order to avoid diffi- cult disposal problems. And finally, mercurial products will not be banned where they "are found to be necessary to con- trol plant disease on essential crops." "label direc- "practical ".essential crops" these are all vague terms which will doubtless encour- age an industry in earnest search for loopholes. The restrictions, according to a departmental release, re- sult from discoveries that mercury can accumulate in the food chains of some seed- eating and predatory birds "with potentially deleterious effects on those This apparently is the ap- proved way of conceding that they die or that then- eggs won't hatch, which amounts to the same thing in the end. How does the department propose to reassure itself about the "practical The point of this question is that, on its own showing, control leaves something to be desired. Thus "there are indications that improvements in prac- tical handling of treated seed is necessary to reduce the hazard to birds in the affected food chains." "Experience also demon- strates that some farm prac- tices respecting treated seed have been incompatible with the care necessary to prevent the contamination of gr'ain destined for human or animal food." (If we are not careful, we may go with the birds.) There has been a ten- dency to use them (Mercurial compounds) when a real need for disease protection has not been determined. Tin's practice results in casual and excessive use which, hi the light of cur- rent information, is unwise since it increases the hazard of mercury poisoning without a compensating benefit." How large, in the depart- ment's view, must the benefit be to compensate for mercury poisoning? The individual dead, may lose in- trest even in payments due Mm under Operation Lift. (Herald Ottawa Bureau) LOOKING BACKWARD Lost Whistlers From The Ottawa Journal was tile maid who asked her lad to whistle and she'd be with him, fast. And the whistling gypsy who came over the hill, a whistling boy with turncd-up pantaloon and the freckled lad who puffed his freckled cheeks until bis nose sank out of sight in his whistling tieiight. said someone the other day, "have the whistlers Not everyone mourns a de- cline in wliistling, particularly the whistling that accompanied the clatter of garbage pails and: was never, so to speak, allowed to be judged without competing sounds. But mostly when people think of whistling they realize there's Ires of what could be called the best variety, and they regret it. Tliers wera whistlers who worked to do justice to Beethoven and glamorized Gil- bert and Sullivan. Others bat- tered about hymn tunes. The western cowhands sang low and whistled low to calm restless cattle at night and if they whistled poorly they might be crushed in a stampede. What we miss is the whistling of the vanished race of tele- graph boys, cheerful postmen and comfortable policemen patrolling on foot. We miss Ihe whistlers who perpetuated The Road to Man- dalay. Sweet Rosy O'Grady and Roamin' in the Gloamin'. But in summer confidence re- turns. Through the open win- dows we can hear some neigh- bors whistling in their gardens, contented in their work. It's beautiful. THROUGH THE HERALD 1920 unmasked men held up the train crew of the passenger train between Cole- man and Crow's Nest, robbing the conductor and some of the passengers before making their getaway. One shot was filed by the desperadoes in the smoking car and one after they jumped the train. No one was injured. three original trips in Canada which were planned for dirigible R-100 have been cancelled. A few department of defence technical officers will make one flight, but the gen- eral public will not be included. wheat is coming into line elevators and is grad- ing No. 1 and 2 with an aver- age of 2a bushels to the acre on one farm near the city. This is an early harvest as fields are ripening fast due to the warm weather. new law to provide pensions for Nova Scotia cabi- net ministers with 10 years or more service and after reach- ing 60 years of age has been formally proclaimed. It is uni- que in Canada. grizzly that attack- ed three hikers hi Glacier Park has been found near the spot and been shot some three weeks after the incident. Two of the party have been re- leased from hospital, but the most seriously injured is pro- gressing slowly at the Card- ston hospital. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIOtrE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Published 1305 1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN second Class Mail Registration No 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspapo, Publishers' Associalion and I ho Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Poge Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"