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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 19, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 81 THIIITHI1MDGI HRALD Wtdnuday, January 19, 1971 Scientists, public aware of need New environmental battle lines being drawn for survival By GERALD LEACH London Observer Service LONDON For several years environmentalists have bombarded the world with gloomy and dire warnings that spaceship earth is heading for disaster. Their impact has been aston- ishing. There is now a very wide consensus, among the pub- lic as well as informed scien- tists, that i! industrial civiliza- tion is to survive its rapacious, expansion i s t behaviour will have to be drastically curbed. But there agreement ends. The new environmental battle lines are being drawn over a much more contentious ques- tion. Can we ensure our survi- val by fiddling with the pres- ent system cleaning up mucky rivers here or recycling some throw away bottle there does the environmental cri- sis really demand a far more radical reversal of our destruc- tive technology and acquisitive, growth economy? LIP SERVICE Many people, even in govern- ment, pay lip service to the second idea but shrink from the awesome social problems Late-starting actress is catching up TORONTO (CP) Denlse Fergusson, the late-starting ac- tress from Tinanins, Ont., is making up for lost time in To- ronto. Miss Fergusson, who saw live theatre for the first time at 19 and won her first acting role at 27, has taken on five parts in twr plays at the St. Lawrence Centre. Now in her mid-Ms, Miss Fer- gusson plays four small roles in Memories for My Brother, Part Two, and one major part in Narrow Road to lie Deep North. She admits that schedule Jug- gling in order to handle all of the roles is "incredible." She's been in Toronto rehearsing since last June. Miss Fergusson says the first theatrical production she saw in than 15 years a presentation by the Canadian Players. For a girl raised in a small in Northern Ontario, it was "a startling experience." SPURRED BY CURIOSITY However, she did not work as an actress until eight years later. Until recently, most of her work has been in repertory per- formances in the northeastern United States. She returned to Canada about three years ago with her Ameri- can husband, Douglas Buck, who now works as an adminis- trator for the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. She tried Toronto in 1970, but wound up with a job at the Nep- tune Theatre in Halifax. Curiosity led her lo the thea- tre, says Miss Fergusson. "As a child, I Eked to take apart clocks, which I always managed to reassemble. And just a few months ago, I took our television set apart, right down to small pieces. It didn't work the first time, but it was fine the second, even though there were a few parts left over apparently Involved. How, es- pecially, can massive "de- growth" be achieved without creating massive unemploy- ment since at present the only cure we have for this and other social evils is to stimu- late more growth? The dilem- ma seems so vicious that every excuse is found to retreat to less extreme solutions and to play down the more profound warnings of the environmental- ists. The "Blueprint for Survival, published in this month's issue of the journal ECOLOGIST over the signature of 33 distinguish- ed British scientists and econo- mists, .is therefore an extraor- dinarily important document. It is the first full bodied attempt made anywhere in the world to show not only how the dead- lock can be broken but how breaking it could lead to a far more humane and enjoyable so- ciety. It is also a significant sign that the advance guard of the environmental lobby is giv- ing up its Cassandra role and starting to lead the search for positive, constructive answers to all our environmental ills.. Not that these ills are mini- mized. Much of the Blueprint is a forceful recitation of how over population, over pollu- tion and over production are combining to disrupt the life- support systems of our planet, with the probability of irrever- sible breakdowns occurring cer- tainly in the lifetime of our children. "If we allow the present growth rate to a key section reads, "total ecological demand (a measure of man's impact on the environment) will increase by a factor of 32 over the next 66 years and there can be no serious person today willing to concede the possibil- ity, or indeed the desirability, of our accommodating the pres- sures arising from such growth. For should we attempt to do so, the consequences will be the disruption of ecosystems, the failure of food supplies, the ex- haustion of resources, and the collapse of society." The conclusion? Industrial (and developing) societies must be established. More than that. Soviet ships aid Halifax financially HALIFAX (CP) A spokes- man for a shipping firm which acts as agent here for Russian vessels says they leave about in the port each year. The spokesman said today Russian fisliijig vessels, re- search ships, water-carrying ships and salvage craft made about 25 calls to Halifax last year for provisions and repairs. The Russian ships also use port facilities at St. John's, Nfld., Sydney, N.S., and St. Pierre, a French-owned island off Newfoundland. Admiral Charles R. Duncan, commander of the United States Navy's Atlantic fleet, said Sat- urday at Quincy, Mass., that So- viet ships have been taking on fuel and provisions in North American ports and then return- ing to sea to refuel and provi- sion Russian intelligence ships. "This logistic support is being given to a Soviet intelligence collection ship located thou- sands of miles from its home- said Admiral Duncan. OVERCOME ARTHRITIS ARTHRITIS CAN BE OVERCOME! Now you can take steps to arrest the disease and rid yourself of arlhrilic pain in the comfort of your own home with a unique home care programme developed for you by arthritis re- searchers. DONT live In a world of pain, helplessness and con- fusion. Find thi answers to most everything you have bisn asking abcuf the disease. The "Miracle what they can and cannot do. You will receive sound advice and information on one of man's oldest and commonest complaints. Get the known fads about arthritis superstitions, quackery and frauds. STOP trie pain and get back on your feel again. Send for your copy of "ARTHRITIS, WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT" and get practical guidance that will get you back an the road of normal dally living. Mall your name and address, along with to cover cost of handling and mailing to: INFORMATION ARTH- RITIS, 205-144 W. Hastings St., Vancouver 3, B.C. however, they cannot possibly be stabilized for obvious elec- toral reasons unless the path to stability Is made both at- tractive and made to point to an attractive place: a society where stability means instead of stagnation a more varied, enjoyable and fulfilling life for all. TALL OHDER It sounds like a tall order. But the authors of the blue- print, and its signatories, be- lieve It can be met if and only if we abandon our cur- rent short term and piece- meal approach and develop a very long term, gradual care- fullly orchestrated and positive program of change. The real significance of the Blueprint is that it sets out, for the first time, a sketch plan of what such an integrated program for stability might look like. Its central idea is to with- draw from "growth" in care- fully timed stages of increas- ing magnitude. First, staple controls to reduce pollution by legal and technical means, fol- lowed by a freeze operation to halt the trends for example, the complete banning of per- sistent pesticides. Then there would have to be a major "sub- stitution operation" to replace heavy resource using and pol- luting technologies (e.g. the mo- tor car) by less damaging al- ternatives Next would come the Invention and phasing In of "alternative technologies" that can be sustained indefinitely be- cause they neither use re- sources nor pollute (e.g. fish farms fed by The correct timing and inter- locking of these stages will be critical if they are to avoid se- vere social and economic ten- sions. The Blueprint authors are the first to admit it. And one can see why if one considers three of their many specific proposals; namely, a raw ma- terials tax on scarcer metals, a tax to penalize short lived or throw away products, and a power tax. The long term aim of the power tax is to force a switch from production by energy hungry machined to labor Intensive to create jobs but the im- mediate effect ot the la.T short lived products would be to create hefty unemployment in many industries (think of cars that lasted 25 But by far the most radica'i and controversial of all the blueprint's arguments is that the final stages of withdrawal from growth should be a mas- sive decentralization and de- urbanization a return lo vil- lage industries, village commu- nities, and village politics. The authors agree this will be im- mensely difficult In countries such as Britain. But they be- lieve it must be done for fun- damental reasons that are part- ly ecological (small communi- ties can be designed to be less disrupting) and partly psycholo- gical. To paraphrase fheir ar- guments drastically, small com- munities will be'belter able to accept the inevitable material restraints of the stable society (Ihey might seem like coercion In the "them and us" elhos of the big and when "con- sumerism" and compctitiveDefs have been swept away as they must be in the new stable society they will provide the best chance for people to find new, enriching ways of being complete individuals. FACTS WILD The authors of the blueprint admit that it is provisional and incomplete. Some of the facts are a little wild. An immense amount of work must still be done to examine carefully the social and economic Implica- tions of its proposals. But it would be unwise lo dismiss the proposal as impos- sible or unnecessary or both. Taken as a whole it is n land- mark document that will eaten the sympathies of many people, especially the young. Equally important, it exactly catches the mood of a surpris- ingly large and rapidly-grow- ing number of scientists, engi- neers, architects and planners who are now beginning to work on Ihe very "alternative tech- nologies" and social systems t h a t the blueprint Is arguing for. Their battle to create i work- able stable society will not be won overnight, or even In this decade: their program and that of the Blueprint la a theme to occupy a whole generation. But as our present responses to the global environment cri- sis turn out to be increasingly Inadequate, as they surely will, one can at least take hope that work on the necessary alterna- tive; has begun. JA1NA CIC'i NEW TV SAGA When (he CBC'i new vision leriei storti this Sunday, follow the tagu of tht Whiteooks elan wiih Weekend Magozine'i picloriol family tree. The complete guide lo who's who of Jaina. 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