Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 24, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE inHBRIDGB HERAID - Wednwday, March 24, 1971 EDITORIALS Joseph Kraft SST silenced-for now The action of the U.S. House of Representatives in refusing further funds at the present time for the development of supersonic transport aircraft brings hot argument from supporters of the program. The decision is based on the economic factor that the SST is simply too expensive to merit more public outlay and private aircraft companies can't cope without some government aid. To date the government has put up $864 million of the $1.0009 billion thus far invested in the program which began some seven years ago. Private aircraft companies feel it is foolish to dispense with the program after having gone so far. However in the intex-vening years, several factors have come about which influence the decision to give more thought to the wisdom of SST. The Soviet Union, Britain and France have each been attempting to develop such an airliner so that the project has had an underljang prestige factor which the countries try to negate, but which is tiiere. However, economic conditions in all these countries have made it virtually impossible to carry out such an expensive program. In Eui-ope the cost of operating and maintaining the Anglo - French Concorde has led the BOAC to state flatly it can't afford the aircraft. In North America most airlines are already coping with serious economic problems so that investing in SST would only add to their troubles. Added to the economics of the matter is the mounting opposition to SST on ecological grounds. Proponents of the program say the sonic boom will not present grave economic problems in flights over large cities, but opponents point out that traffic cor-ridors, particularly "if they go through Canada on European flights as proposed, would certainly have an effect on wildlife already seriously endangered by pollution and the invasion of man. Then, too, there aiises the question of aiiport parking space for these monsters. Traffic around airports is already a nuisance, and sometimes it takes as long to get to an airport as it does to get to one's flight destination. And there is also the physiological protest of the human body to be considered. SST would make the flight to Europe from Canada in three and one half hours, but as anyone knows who now flies the routine eight-hour trip, it takes the body about 24 hours to catch up with the time and climatic changes. Perhaps at some future date SST will become a reality. But it will probably be at a time when people have burrowed underground to escape from the irritation of growing noise, and long after all wildlife has become extinct. Jettisoning the Jeremiahs George Bain, columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail, must have .been reading some of the same things that have arrived at The Herald recently. On the CTV program Question Period, recently, he asked Mr. Jack Davis, who will head the new federal department of the environment, if he thought it was true that enough has been heard from the Jeremiahs about the terrible state of the environment. Is it time to jettison the Jeremiahs and push on with technological development? Mr. Davis was not prepared to accept a PoUyanna view of the world's state. He said that the prospects for humanity two or three decades away are grim enough to warrant the utmost vigilance with regard to the environment. In keeping with this view, Mr. Davis stated that he intends to try "very hard for a veto position and certainly a delaying capability" with / respect to oil pipelines in northern areas. He thinks tiiat pipeline studies to date have been economically, rather than ecologically, oriented and that more study of the whole matter is required. It is reassuring to know that this is the outlook of the man who is slated to head the new federal department of the environment. The pressures must be strong to heed the "false prophets" who, as in the days of Jeremiah of Jerusalem, have smooth assurances that "no evil will come" the way of the people. Such voices have a siren appeal that is hard to resist. Fortunately, too, Mr. Davis is not alone in resisting the caU to jettison the Jeremiahs. World leaders have been persuaded that the rape of the planet has gone much too far and are seeking ways to work in concert to try to avert disaster. RIC NIGOL |T means the end of civilization as we know it, but the supersonic jet Uner may never get off the ground. The Concorde and the Boeing version of the SST �re sagging under the weight of indictment that includes not only the sonic boom that will loosen our fillings but also air pollu-tum of the outer atmosphere (possibly causing skin cancer from increased cosmic rays,) uneconomic performance per passenger mile, and galloping consumption of what remains of tlie world's petroleum resources. In fact the only fault not found in the SST is under-wing perspiration. And even that may show up in test flights. If the supersonic jets are junked it will be the kiss-off in man's long love affair with technology. It wiU be the first time that something built to fly higher, or go faster, or make a bigger bang, or perform any otter excessive mechanical function, has been ditched on the strength of foresight. The great dirigibles of the Thirties were abandoned only after several of them had proved their capacity for rather spectacular disasters. The SST, in contrast, may be sbillt)om because the world has turned the comer from the growth philosophy classified under the general heading of Bigger is Better. This represents a devastating blow against the over-achievers, all those aggressive me-somorphs (mostly male) who have sublimated their sex drive in raping the planet, or as much of it as they can lay theu-hands on. The woods are fuU of them (they make prime lumber barons), and they butt one another cordially in the bar of the businessmen's club. No item of appeal suits them as well as the hard hat, and in their bull necks a nerve twitches with the need to verify their existence by altering the aspect of their environment. One of them defended the SST with: "There was the same kind of defeatist talk when the automobile threatened to replace the horse and buggy." In the "progress "-oriented mind of this contemporary Neanderthal, Uiere is no question whetlier man bas benefitted from the automobile. Violent death, air pollution, destruction of mind and matter by freeways and traffic congealed - these are irrelevant to the glittering fact that 350 horses have been stowed under one hood. The over-achiever ignores Utet all those horses and all the king's men could not put together again the shattered nerves of the nut behind the wheel. No more than thi^ internal combustion engine, the SST that lops a couple of hours' flying time off the Atalntic a-ossing will not make the passenger a better person, a happier person. The same old grouch wUl be lined up impatiently waiting for tlie steward to open the door for deplaning. If the SST is dumped by the new con-cei-n for long-range effects to the envii-on-ment, what goes next? The skyscrapers, the cereal box that eats people? The hydro dams, drowning good land so that more people can know the joy of using an electric toothbrush? The superhi^ways that are the dullest distance between two points? Perhaps we are entering a new, exciting era of subsonic flight, when the a-eative energies of man aa-e devoted to improving the lifting power of a quiet stroll, to the aerodynamics of the super-hammock. It wUl be a severe adjustment for the species' prodigal sons, as we learn to husband what remains of earth's resources and the common man's sanity. If they don't make it, well, they sure looked good on papei-. Undeserved ivrath By Doug Walker WOMEN are truly mystifying. I made a " gallant gesture the other day in The Herald newsroom and got ripped up for my effort! All I did was present Marilyn Anderson with a book called, How to Put on Weight, To my amazement I learned from her sub- sequent column that she had been affronted. If the book had been on the subject of taking off weight I would have been deserving of a blast. After the nasty greeting D'Arc Rickard gave her recently I thouglit l\Iarilyn's morale would have been lifted by the subtle implication in the book's title. Credibility strained by Laotion action WASHINGTON - The jury " on Laos may not yet be in, as the president put it in his last news conference. But out of the fog of war and censorship some big chunks of evidence are emerging. The most dramatic was tlie fall of Fire Base Lolo to Communist troops News reports from the field suggest the South Vietnamese pulled out in con- siderable disarray. Some reports from Saigon list heavy losses. In Washington, it is thought the enemy was able to capture intact most of the big guns brought in by the South Vietnamese. Then there is the matter of the truck traffic south along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In his news conference of March 4 Mr, Nixon, citing as authority the American commander. Gen. Creighton Abrams, said: "There's been a 55 per cent decrease in truck traffic south into South Vietnam, which means that those trucks that do not go south will not carry the arms and the men tliat will be killing Americans." But it now appears that tha 55 per cent figure covered only a brief period of extremely bad weather. Even as Mr Nbcon was speaking, the electric sensors and other measuruig devices were recording a rise in truck traffic south. The Central Intelligence Agency, though it has done several reports on the subject, has apparently still not certified that tiie Laos operation has caused any diminution hi the flow of Communist supplies. "You don't hear us seals complaining, do you?' Letters to the editor Open letter to Hon H. A. Olson from some teachers We, the staff of Enchant School, would like to call to your attention our feelings regarding the government's proposed plan for placing salaried people, including teachers, under the unemployment insurance plan. It appears to us as though the inclusion of teachers in this plan is merely an artificial device which will increase the income to the fund but which will very likely never benefit teachers m any way. If more taxes are required in the counti-y to operate the govern-m e n t' s extensive welfare schemes, perhaps they should be collected in the form of taxation instead of calling the amount collected an insurance fee. Any tjTJe of insurance, m order to be properly called insurance, must, we believe carry the possibility of benefit. The possibility of teachers ever being in a position to benefit from this plan is so remote that the plan, for us, should not be called insm-ance. Although there are growing numbers of teachers and there may be some teachers who are unemployed, most of these will be graduates from university who have never taught. Since previous employment is re-quii-ed for eligibility, these people would not benefit from the plan. Also, teacher tenure rights will make it extremely difficult for teachers to qualify for benefits. Other workers who are unemployed are eligible to enter Manpower retraining programs at government expense. Teachers could Leg-hold trap Anyone who has seen the mom "Little Big Man," which was pai-tly filmed in Alberta, saw an example of the work of the leg-liolcl trap. The hero of the story was extremely ip-set to find an animal's paw in the trap, realizing the animal had chewed off its own paw to escape. It is most encouraging to see the cause for which the Canadian Association for Humane Trapping is working, portrayed so well by the great actor Dustin Hoffman. The leg-hold trap was m use at tlie time of "Custer's Last Stand," and is still in use today. The United States has advanced from the dark ages by outlawing the leg-hold trap. Why is Canada so baclcward? WHY? Strathmorc. not do this because the government policies prohibit retraining in any university credit program. In addition to being unfair to teachers, this proposed plan is also unfak to the ah:eady ova-- burdened property taxpayer. As you are aware, the costs of education in Alberta are cai'-ried to a large extent by the property owner. Since school boards will be required to contribute to the plan an amount Concerned teen-agers As a teen-ager, I, along with many others, have been called a radical, a hippie-as well as other names I cannot repeat. Because generalizations are made about this age group more than any others, I believe that such statements are misleaduig and mainly unti-ue. It is said that today's generation wants to 'cop-out,' to get away from the pressures that are so prevalent in our world. But I would like to tell of students who are in fact trying to solve world problems. By participating in Model United Nations' Assemblies, such as the one in Lethbridge, high school students act as nation leaders and strive to find solutions to pressing world-wide problems. Every Easter for the past seven years at the Lethbridge Collegiate I n s t i t u e, Wgh school students from western Canada and the northwestern United States discuss and debate topics regarding tei'ri-torial waters, international drug trafficking, the acceptance of Communist China into the United Nations, and other problems of international concern. This venture was started by 'Crazy Capers' If this doesn't get you a man nothing will - it's chloroform! Ml*. Jack Stead, adult advisor for this year's assembly, and Mr. Frank Simon who is returning to be the assembly president this year. Mr. Stead, a social studies teacher at the collegiate, has travelled widely and is able to contribute much in first-hand experiences. Mr. S'i m 0 n, a fomer collegiate teacher, is now at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Education, Department of Curriculum and In-sti-uction. The assembly mcorporates the help of many people in the c 0 m m u n ity - housewives, teachers, and businessmen donate their time as cooks, block leaders, chaperons and speakers. Most of the behind'-the-scenes work, though, is carried out by a handful of students. For months in advance they are busy arranging for accommodation, planning meals, communicatmg with delegates and writing letters and press releases. All this, plus the some 130 students-delegates who represent over forty nations, fits together to produce a smooth-running assembly. Concerned teen-agers? You bet! (MISS) KIM ANKERS, CHAIRMAN, UN, Lethbridge, Bad reporting I wish to take exception to the kind of reiwrting that your reporter, Joan Bowman, wrote in the Tuesday, March 16 paper. She reported the PC nominating meeting and proceeded to contrast this meeting with the NDP nominating meeting which she said, "attracted about 40 persons." As one who attended the NDP meeting I wish to take exception because I counted 52 people around ma and there may have been more. I thought reporters of news, give news, not propaganda. Apparently I was mistaken. "FAIR PLAY" Lethbridge. equal to that contributed by teachers, money from local property taxation will be channelled through the local educational offices dmectly into a fedei-al unemployment fund. In many cases, if local boards are to continue their present high level of educational services, they may be forced to raise local property taxes to meet this increased need for revenue. Any mcrease in local taxation will further strain an already strained relationship between local taxpayers and teachers in the area. The average property taxpayer probably will not likely realize that he is paying for increased im-employment benefits, but will attribute his inra-eased taxation to ma-eased teacher sal-ai-ies. For all of the above reasons, we are strongly opposed to the proposed plan. If the government wishes to contmue to expand its welfare state, let it do so. But let it be honest in admitting to the public that it cannot do so without increased taxation, rather than by attempting to call this taxation insurance. Taxation is taxation, by any other name, and smells as sour. We will be watching yom- votes regarding tliis proposed bill, and will certainly consider them carefully in casting our next federal government ballots. THE STAFF, ENOIANT SCHOOL. Then there is the matter of Route 92, a main north-south traffic artery in the Ho Chi Minh Trail. At the outset of tho Laotian operation a senior official of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lt. Gen. John Vogt, gave Congressional testimony that the operation would enable South Vietnamesfi forces to block Route 92 within a couule of weeks. A month later only a couple of South Vietnamese battalions have advanced as far as Route 92. That is hardly a large enough force to block off a very heavily protected area. Pmally, there is the Rencral configuration of the battle'line. The South Vietnamese troops started the operation into Laos by advancmg. along Route 9. They first moved westward and then hooked north to Tchepone, But now much of the South Vietnamese force has been withdra\vn south of Route 9. Indeed, the enemy seems to have opened a powerful salient on the other side of what started out to be the axis of the South Vietnamese drive. No doubt this evidence is far too fragmentary to be a base for conclusive judgments. Certainly there is no reason to talk of an allied defeat. The less so as a very heavy toll has been taken of Communist troops by American and South Vietnamese fkepower. But it does seem clear that the Communists are not, as so many in the Pentagon have been saymg, at the end of their strength. They have put up a strong fight, and even taken the offensive. The indications are that the lack of Communist acitivity in the months before the Laotian operation was less a function of weakness than of a deliberate decision to lie low. The returns now coming in from Laos demonstrate that any time they want to take casualties the Communists can make life very rough for the South Vietnamese forces. What this means is that another question mark has to be put after the policy of Viet-namization. It always strained credulity to believe that South Vietnamese forces could do, minus' half a million American troops, what tliey were unable to do with those troops. Now that rough judgment based on past experience is reinforced by present experience, it is more than ev.er doubtful that the South Vietnamese can defend themselves without substantial American help. It makes little sense in these circumstances to proclaim the opposite. Secretary of Defence Melvin Laird does a disservice to the president when he asserts that all is going well in Laos, and the withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam can continue at a constant level. Indeed, it is thanks to just such helpful comments from Mr. Laird that the Nixon administration is now having to wrestle with an acute credibility problem. Tlie right tactic in the pics-ent circumstance is to tiy to give new impetus to the negotiations for a political settlement which have been allowed to lie dormant so long. The key to those negotiations has always been the prospect of change in the Saigon regime. With presidental elections due in South Vietnam tlus fall that prospect is more aHvo than ever In other words, the issue required to stimulate the negotiation is at hand. And it is far better to negotiate out, assuring the safe witlidrawal of American troops and the release of Ameiican prisoners, than to run tlie risk of a mili-tai7 reverse that would flush everything down the drain. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Looking backward Through the Herald 1921-Germany, in her reply to the recent ultimatum of the allied reparations commission refuses to pay the one billion marks gold due on this dale. 1931-Owing to the lack of a quorum ttere was no city council meeting this week. 1941 - Yugoslavia joined the Axis, but on terms more favorable tlian those given other Balkan nations. Foreign Minister Ribbentrop gave assurances that the territorial integrity of the country would be respected and that no troops would march tlwough it. 1951-The new customs and immigration offices at Coutts ai'e expected to be completed by September 1. The grounds work, including scales, ramp and landscaping is about 75 per cent completed. 1961-A thief, who broke mto a Madisonville, Ky. home got $100 in cold cash. The lady of the house had hidden the money in the deep freeze. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Nswspapdr Publishers' Association and tho Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, Gsneral Manager JOE BALLA Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager WILLIAM HAY Associate Editor DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"