Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 4, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE L6THBRIDOE HERALD Monday, March 4, 1t74 The DDT generation According to United Nations predictions the world's population will increase from its 1970 figure of million to million people by the end of the century. Only a catastrophe such as an atomic war or some natural disaster can change this figure because even if people could somehow be persuaded to adopt birth control methods a slowing of population increase would not show for many years. United Nations projected population figures indicate that by the end of the century 7.6 out of every 10 persons will be living in one of the underdeveloped countries of the world. Populations in the developed nations are tending to stabilize: it is in the poverty stricken Third World that the increases will occur. The increase will stem from what has been called the DDT generation: the people who are alive today because they were saved from death by malaria and other diseases. Because death rates dropped dramatically there are now many more people ready to reproduce at the high birth rates which have prevailed in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Even those who are most optimistic about the earth's ability to support ever increasing numbers of people know that there must be a limit. They realize that along with population increase there is also an increase in pollution and a depletion of non-renewable resources. Thus optimists are joining with pessimists this summer in Bucharest, Romania in this World Population Year to debate plans for meeting the challenge of an overcrowded planet. Those who react negatively to any idea of the developed world imposing programs of pill distribution or of abortion will be happy to know that other alternatives are being considered. Improving the living standard, which seems to have a slowing influence on reproduction, is something being investigated. The obstacles in the way of achieving this end are enormous but perhaps not insurmountable. The search for answers ought to have wide support. Take the bus to town Before the energy crisis re-kindled an interest in mass transportation, the city of Seattle had introduced a free downtown bus service which seems destined to become a success. It has doubled the number of downtown bus riders and is on its way to accomplishing its main objective, decreasing downtown traffic and reducing air pollution. The Magic Carpet Service, as it is called, provides free bus transportation within a 105-block section of downtown Seattle. Fares are still charged for the outlying areas. Passengers pay when getting on the bus headed downtown, or when getting off the bus when headed away from town. The program was set up as a one-year experiment and the city of Seattle paid the transit system in lieu of fares for that period of time for loss of fares from the downtown area. The program has proved so successful that there is little doubt about it being continued and copied by other urban areas. It is credited with revitalizing the downtown area and spreading goodwill among Seattle tourists. The Seattle bus system had deteriorated steadily under two private lines before it was taken over more than a year ago by the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, which, in addition to inaugurating the free service downtown, also established a dozen park- and-ride lots for outlying residents to use when taking express buses to downtown. It is true that Lethbridge is too small an urban area to benefit from such a system. Nevertheless, in any city, free transportation within the downtown area from store to bank to office encourages people to leave their cars at home and take the bus to town. The Seattle course of action should be kept in mind. Downtown Lethbridge is expanding and does face traffic, parking and transportation problems which call for creative approaches. Furthermore, successful solutions to mass transportation should be of increasing interest to everyone in an age which is taking a close look at the finite resources of the planet and trying to assess how best to use them. Courageous policemen The awards the Lethbridge City Police gave two of their officers Friday night were for two kinds of heroism, both essential in law enforcement and peacekeeping. Patrol Sgt. Donald Hunt was given an award for courage because he stayed cool when a man was pointing a loaded shotgun at him. Const. Bill Plomp, involved in the investigation of a rash of burglaries in the city, found a lead and didn't let up until he could call the case closed. Sgt. Hunt could have stayed in the background and out of trouble and no one would have thought any less of him. Const. Plomp could have gone home when the shift ended and no one would have questioned his dedication. These two men don't conform to the television image of a quick-drawin', tough-talkin', siren screaming policeman. The citizens of Lethbridge should be grateful for that. Lethbridge enjoys a relatively low crime rate, and some might think policemen here are overpaid. But men like Sgt. Hunt and Const. Plomp earn every cent of salary and more. ART BUCHWALD Watergate is good for you WASHINGTON Everyone from Joseph Alsop to Vice-President Gerald Ford is pleading that the country should forget about Watergate so the president can devote his time and efforts to such important matters as the energy crisis. Dr. Siegfried Siegfreed. a psychiatrist who is writing a book. "How Much Can Americans supports the opposite view. "I think it would .be more advantageous if the country could forget about the energy crisis so the president could devote hit fall time to Watergate." "Why do you say that. "The truth is that practically everyone in the country gets a fiendish delight reading about Watergate, while very few people get any fun reading about the energy crisis. My studies show that if you offer readers the choice of a Watergate article or one on the oil shortage, they will take the Watergate story five to one. I'm afraid that if Watergate hadn't happened we would have had to invent it." "But I asked Dr. Siegfreed. "Watergate is pure entertainment. It has comedy, mystery and melodrama. I would prefer that it have a little sex as well but we can't have everything People identify with the Watergate characters. They are ay clean- cut, short-haired Americans caught up in a soap opera which earn insists was not of his making. It also involves a new element which is the question of a. presidential impeachment. The number two man has been booted out of office and the manner one man's job is on the line. "What more escape can you offer people who are beset with inflation, unemployment and transportation problems beyond their wildest dreams? "Without Watergate von would hare man mental depression ia this coaotry. I maintain that Watergate is the glue that keeps the nation from falling apart. "Take the controversy over the tapes. What a pleasure it is to see tbe battle being waged between the White House and the special prosecutor. What fiction writer would have had the nerve to have written tbe Rose Mary Woods role in the erasure of the key tape? Americans may not want to admit it. bat they lave every minute of Watergate. The worst mistake would be to deprive them of this manrefotts farce provided them free through the courtesy of their friendly "When you put it that way Watergate does have its role in American I admitted. "Show me anyone who enjoys reading about the energy crisis. Produce one soul who gets pleasure out of seeing photographs of long lines of cars at gas stations. Find me a person who gets any pleasure out of watching Administration officials give daily conflicting stones on the oil situation in toe country." "I don't know of anybody." I admitted. "When John Chancellor leads his program with a story that the cost of living went up another per cent, the country goes into the dumps. But when he starts the show by revealing the president has refused to turn over tapes and papers to special prosecutor Jaworski, everybody cheers up and relaxes." "I wonder why Alsop and Ford don't appreciate the psychological value of I said. "I can't analyse people I haven't examined Dr. Siegfreed replied. "But I do know that OK biggest mistake this country could make wooM he to pot Watergate behind them. As long as we can produce new evidence concerning the coverup and high administration involvement, Americans will survive secure in the knowledge that the i be all bad." iS is WorW Year... should'we Or ban child birth TUk about Farm policies must stabilize for continuing supply By Bruce Whitestone, syndicated commentator In dealing with the acute public concern about food prices, too many in Canada are ignoring the world dimensions of the problem. Proper perspectives here are needed in order that we reshape our policies to meet new and rather frightening trends. The food problem is one of world-wide extent, and it is here to stay. The sharp rises in prices, the shortages, the new food nationalism of export controls, all of these things are happening around the world, and they are not passing phenomena. The causes are the pressure of population, rising affluence, particularly in Asia and Africa, while accelerating inflation is biting into the potential profits of would-be suppliers and. therefore, curbing production. The impact of population growth can be seen in the end of traditional grain exports from the many countries such as Poland, parts of Asia or even Argentina, whose output this year is expected to be the lowest total in 10 years. Today these countries need the grain for themselves. The mixed up economies which have replaced the more democratic and free enterprise systems in the 1920s and 1930s are no doubt inefficient and responsible for their inadequate utilization of resources. Population and bad financial management are not enough to explain the increased food shortages, however. Affluence multiplies the demand for our food supplies. For example, in a culture with a predominantly cereal diet, the average person consumes 400 pounds of grain a year. However, in North America where meat eating trends are much more pronounced, per capita consumption of grain amounts to pounds per year. The reason is that animals are much less efficient in converting grain to protein. In Western Europe, Japan, and even in the so-called developing nations the post war rise in affluence has made the demand for meat rise rapidly. Beef, consumption per capita in Canada rose from 65 pounds in 19S3 to 81 pounds in 1967 and it is estimated that it will rise to 114 pounds by 1980. Just to meet this demand output in Canada will have to rise by 70 per cent to 3.5 billion pounds. In the United States last year beef consumption amounted to 120 pounds per person. Japanese and European consumption are about one- half of our per capita consumption but their levels are soaring. It was only two years ago that our government was suggesting "Lfiwer Inven- tories for and the United States was con- cerned about its surplus crops. We were all lulled into false security by the GreenJRevolution. All of this seems to foretell a farm boom in Canada for years to come. Even within a long term cycle of rising demand however, there can and will be periods of temporary over-supply. Back in the mid 1960s the United States announced a plan to help "feed the world." India was on the brink of starvation and China was importing every bushel of grain that it could. That bubble burst temporarily when big supplies pushed forth from grain growing countries which were trying to grab a share of the world market. The same chain of events could happen again. Certain steps must be taken to ward off a repeti- tion of this disaster for our farmers. Much of farming is not currently structured to respond smoothly to changes in prices. A high price will entice farmers to grow (too much) and a low price will persuade them to grow less. In view of farmers' tendencies to respond to short range market trends they need some protection, a guaranteed market in the form of an ever-normal granary program to store excess supplies. This would prevent some of the wild distortions in supply and demand from adversely affecting both fanners and consumers. What is needed is a farm program that would give the market place a chance to perform its economic function and yet would come into play in the event of extraordinary circumstances, such as droughts or world-wide bumper crops. Canada should attempt now to have the common agricultural policy of the European Common Market changed. There is a powerful lobby of cereal producers that has managed to push up the price of animal feeds to a disproportionately high level so beef rearing is only marginally profitable in Europe even now. With European shortages taking place, this appears to be a good time for Canada to negotiate long term contracts with the European community on this and other tariff questions as well. Our provincial governments should attempt to reserve the best farm land for agricultural purposes. Most of the provincial land use programs are planned and supervised by urban planners who rarely take into consideration agricultural needs. (In one county in Ontario a development program plan consisted of 40 pages of urban needs and only one page on farming These kinds of changes wil! require some hard thinking and real statesmanship on the part of our governments, both federal and provincial. Old patterns of agricultural management will fail with disasterous consequences for our own farmers and consumers: for the world at large the consequences could be acute food shortages. Saudi Arabia prepared to lift American embargo By John De St. Jorre, London Observer commentator RIYADH In line with its growing caution on the use of the oil weapon, Saudi Arabia has modified its position on the American embargo and is now prepared to lift it as soon as there is a Syrian-Israel disengagement on the Golan Heights. This is the second major shift in Saudi policy. When the embargo was first imposed its removal was linked with a total Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories. Then, last December, this was modified to an agreed Arab-Israeli plan for a pull-back, guaranteed by America. Confirming these new terms in an interview here, Sheikh Ahmed Yamani, Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, said that there would be no half- measures on the embargo it would either be lifted completely or left in place. "We can always reimpose he added. President Anwar Sadat of Letters Airline opposition I am writing to tell you what I think about the other airline that is applying for pennissica to operate ia opposition to line I am handicapped aid I started going to Glewose School Hospital in Edmonton in 1988 Since Christmas 1968 to Jane 19731 have used the airline a great deal. First of all, it is fast I codd get on the plane about 9 a.m. and be home by noon secondly they took very, care of me I don't f it's fair to the gays who started Time Airways. They provided a good service for the people of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat If Time Airways Hanoi ID pat a bigger plane in, O.K., let then, bat why does Pacific Western Airlines want to go into competition with them and what will happen if PWA pulls out after two or three years? Lethbridge and Medicine Hat will be up the creek without a paddle, and where will we be without any airline service? Lethbridge RONHANCHUK Bouquets and brickbats May. I congratulate The Herald's new cartoonist on his ef'ort concerning the speech from tbe throne, appearing Feb. 27. It was a superb comment, superbly executed. I would nuwevet, Wte to mention the letter written by Art Mdtson. Obviously, it was by a most learned man who knows about the very cruel systems of the world, past and present. It was comment worthy of one who knows all about "man's inhumanity to man." It does, however, amaze me that he overlooked tbe Westminster czars who have crashed Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for centuries. While I praise Mr. Jackman. I certainly most blame Mr Matron for Ms most dyvhMtt omission, THE LAUGHER Lethbridge. Egypt, who feels that American policy has already become more even-handed in the Middle East, is also keen to see the embargo lifted. Other Arab oil producers, such -as Libya. Algeria, Kuwait and Iraq, are much more hostile, but will probably go along with the Saudi Arabians providing Syria receives satisfaction at the hands of the Israelis. The big question now is whether the Saudis are prepared to end the currently standing at 15 per cent based on production levels last September and increase production to match the growing demand of tbe consumer countries. Sheikh Yamani left this issue in limbo. But. reading between the lines here, it seems that the Saudi government is ready to restore production to the September rate, about barrels a day, when the embargo on America aad Holland is lifted. Increasing production beyond that is another problem. Even allowing for a massive development budget. Saudi Arabia will manage to spend only one quarter of its huge revenues this year. Even before the October war it made more sense for Saudi Arabia to keep its surplus oil rather than to have the money it earns plummet in value in a shaky world monetary system. However, the Saudi oil minister was cautiously optimistic on resolving this dilemma once peace had been established in the Middle East. The government's extensive plans for industrialization would absorb a great deal of the oil cash, although he stressed the need for a dialogue and not a confrontation with the industrialized consumer nations. The Saudi government is clearly concerned about the future, even though its oil are enormous, to return for increasing production it seeks Western and Japanese technology, a secure method of protecting its overseas investments and reserves, a diversification of the present one-track ecnonomy. "Nobody worried about us before the Saud. Yamani's deputy and a son of King Faisal, said here. "No one will care about us when it's gone." There are two other oil problems currently worrying the Saudis prices and nationalization. The steep rise in crude oil prices happened too quickly for the conservative Saudis' liking. Not that they do not share the other producers' view that oil was grossly underpriced before the war. "We just consider it came too fast." Prince Saud commented. Saudi Arabia is now trying to persuade the other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to agree to a reduction in the price of oil. Sheikh Yamani claims that he is making headway, and OPEC members have already agreed to at least a freeze in prices when they next meet in April. By increasing production. Saudi Arabia could probably force prices down. The failure of the Kuwaitis to get tbe high prices they expected at their recent auction indicates there is a levelling off in market prices anyway. But unilateral. strong-arm tactics of this kind would mean a break with OPEC, an organization which Sheikh Yamani personally did much to build up. All the government oil officials I have talked to in Riyadh stress that Saudi Arabia has no intention of going that far. The slow and measured program for increasing Saudi participation in Aramco. the giant American oil consortium which produces 95 per cent of Saudi Arabia's oil. has also been knocked off balance by the Middle East and energy crises. Libya and Iraq have nationalized their foreign oil firms, Kuwait has recently increased its stake to 60 per cent and now it is plain that Saudi Arabia will follow the trend. There have been reports that the government will shortly increase its current 25 per cent holding in Aramco to a complete takeover. Saudi officials denied this, but Sheikh Yamani admitted that a radical change from the Kuwaiti pattern' would be coming soon. Informed observers feel this could be full Saudi participation, leaving Aramco with a management and distribution contract and perhaps the potentially lucrative development of natural gas. which is currently burnt off. A new system of pricing might also be introduced at the same time. The Lethbridge Herald Tlti SI Ldfhbrldge. ATberta LETH8RTDGE HERALD CO LTD. and Second CtaM MaB No 0012 CtEO MOWERS. SOItot and Priffltfwr OOHH PULING Managing flOYF.MHtS DOUGLAS K. WALKER GdttKiM Aage ftttor DONALD R. 0ORAM General Manager ROBERT M FEMTON Manager KEJWETH E 8ARNETT BwrtetM Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"