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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 17, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THE LETHBRIDOI Noygmbtr Americans following impossible dream By Bruce Herald special commentator Democratic action There has been an increasing emphasis in recent years on the importance of governments being responsive to their constituencies. It is most evident in the way in which politicians give heed to the polls and the volume of mail received. But this apparent working of the democratic process does not always produce democratic results. A danger exists that minorities will get an undue amount of attention and an un- fair proportion of government largess simply because they are most vocal and persistent. Folk wisdom has it that the squeaky wheel is the one that gets the grease. Even when it is not a case of pursuit of advantage but simply the availing of ser- vices offered by democracy may not be served. Once again it is usually the and not necessarily the needy or who receive the greatest benefits. Helpful community services such as assisting with the establishment of com- munity skating rinks something that was recently lauded editorially might not be democratically distributed because of the emphasis on citizen in- volvement in the planning and maintenance. Care has to be exercised lest rinks fail to be established where they are most needed. It is conceivable that an area with .a preponderance of single parent families might not demonstrate the kind of interest or pledge the sort of support considered necessary for the establishment of a rink. This is not necessarily because of a lack of mothers raising a fami- ly alone might not have the energy to devote to getting and keeping a rink. When surveys reveal that it is the most affluent areas of cities that tend to have the best the most recreational outlets and the finest services the conclu- sion is often reached that the people in those areas have the best connections at city hall. The explanation may actually be that the people in those areas are the most alert to what is available and best equipped with know-how and energy to take advantage of it. Waiting for citizens to call or services can militate against the interests of the community as a whole. There is still much to be said for investing elected representatives and ap- pointed officers with authority to plan and proceed. They are more apt to have a fuller view of need and how to meet it than are those who function with only the perspective of their locale. The pursuit of happiness By Richard J. in the Toronto Globe and Mail In Calgary many years I worked for a newspaper publisher who as they to excess. He would sit gloomily at his big desk with the half empty bottle in front of and talk to me about the pursuit of happiness pursue but never find This guy should by all accounts have been he had a gorgeous wife and an equally gorgeous nice beautiful lots of one of the top jobs in the Canadian newspaper world and he was nearly always depressed. He's dead and I can only hope he finds more joy in the next world than he found in this one. I don't after all these where happiness comes from in in in in anything. But I'm sure we don't find it by pursuing it or by asserting we've some mystic to it. What right Carlyle have people to be happy who a short while ago had no right even to exist and a short while hence will have to forfeit Samuel Johnson I've lately been reading thanks to C. W. Stollery of would have snorted over the to be happy life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured and little to be It's I if a man is happy in his but I don't see that he must that there's something wrong if he isn't. I think it's good if men and women are happily but I don't see that they must that there's something wrong if they aren't. What marriage gives you is being happiness is not guaranteed and should not be demanded. Earlier generations understood they took the thing as it for better or it's our own generation that finding something less than perfection in wedlock hustles to the divorce the marriage the psychiatrist. As Richard Boeth twice remarks in is novel and bizarre of us latterday Westernoids to imagine we can make something tolerable of marriage. It doesn't seem to have occurred to any earlier era that this was even possible. The great medieval tradition of courtly love was built on the assumption that lovers could not and would not married couples got by on boredom and a lack of alternatives. In pious times or joy was as much an ex- pectation and a reality between husband and wife as it is between partners in a neighborhood As we have no to happiness in work or in so we have no to hap- piness in life itself. Must everything bring joy to every one of all of the That's the way it is in so we're for my own it would bore me to and I'm doing everything possible to get to the other place. There are people the doctors and psy- who if they feel gloomy or despon- dent think there's something wrong with them and expect to get some kind of magic treatment that will turn them into Sunshine Susy. I enjoy my occasional which I treat by getting into the back seat of a highway bus and hating everybody. There are two particular I where you should not look for happiness in the or in other people. If you're going to be you'd better do it right in the spot you occupy right now. Tomorrow may be a but it's a fool's paradise. As Alexander Pope springs eter- nal in the human man never is but always to be Dr. Johnson told Boswell that the only way a man could be happy in the present was by getting drunk a good I'll but there are other and better ones. To seek happiness in or from other people is unfair to them and to ourselves. We have no right to make such a claim on they have no right to make such a claim on us. It seems to me that each one of independent- ly and must create his or her own great or small as it may rare or frequent as it may be. It's right inside or it's nowhere at all. A man who is happy on his own account will get along fine with a woman who is happy on her own ac- but if they are will say the other person them happy. in my can be happy. To sum I think we place happiness too high on our list of values. We pursue worry over strive after frenziedly hunt for it in many places and in many yet don't seem to attain it. Am I myself I think so both despite and because of many dis- some in the some in the present. What is the secret of my I'll tell you. For a whole hour one afternoon this I sat on a bench in the Civic and basked in the and watched all the people go and admired the skyline of beautiful downtown and thought of Robert Louis Stevenson's world is so full of a number of I am sure we should all be as happy as following which I began to wonder if there ever had in the whole of a happy king. The explanation By Doug Walker Following a service at our church where I had gone forward to be commissioned with the visitors in the stewardship Doris Bessie had a question for me. Accustomed as she was to having husband Don go on such visitations in Saskatchewan only when he was an official in the she wanted to know how I had got involved in this visitation. I Gray phoned me the previous night in the middle of a particularly good hockey game when I couldn't afford to try to talk myself out of WASHINGTON In the higher art of at any time or the successful artist must learn above all to retreat while seeming to ad- and vice.versa. Of this subtle technique we are now seeing in and even more clearly in a wondrous exhibit. But the disorderly retreat from the many sided fiasco known as the energy shortage is only one stage in a pending deeper assessment of the North American economy. And while the shortage doubtless will be surmounted with its sur- rounding has turn- ed much of the politicians' glamorous plans and programs into or depending on your sense of humor. We must go back a long and take in a lot of if we are to unders- tand what the immediate oil crisis is telling us. Obviously it is telling among other that labor unions and society as a whole have gross- ly miscalculated and mis- managed the essen- tial of our so- called living standard. When a continent that recklessly wasted this precious asset until yesterday finds itself rationed today and may well be chilly the first lesson is rather suddenly. But it is only the first lesson and not truly learned yet. A second perhaps still more ironic and certainly less is the politicians' retreat from their solemn resolve to avoid further serious intervention in the even on a tem- porary basis. For what are the clumsy and preliminary regulations of fuel if they are not the very sort of whatever name they that were to be resisted at any including the total cost of modern By devious routes and under heavy smoke North American government is now reversing direction and ad- vancing stealthily toward still wider controls with all their obvious they are in some vital areas at least. It would be quite to suppose that all businessmen and labor leaders did not foresee the energy in general and beyond it the larger problems of the con- tinental economy. In Washington though less in they were gasped by some men as early as when President Nixon briefly froze prices in his economic Phase One. As he successfully en- forced Phase Two is generally and then plunged into the'disaster of Phase these men never changed their minds in the present chaotic Phase Four. Two of among the most powerful in the told me that some equivalent of Phase some revised and better method of would have to be reimposed very soon and unfor- at a time when American labor has lost all faith in the president. A few days after that conversation on Capitol he announced a fuel rationing as yet embryonic and sure to need drastic refinement. So did the Canadian government up to had condemned all such interference with the overstrained market mechanism as indeed unthinkable. Another irony is thus .revealed. Government in Washington and Ottawa un- dertakes to or at any rate to the market forces in the case of fuel but it is not so to control or even to admit the major cause of continental inflation. As explained by one of the most eminent American a man who long served government and lately returned .to university the strongest pressure on prices henceforth will not be the national and worldwide law of supply and strong as it is. In the United at the strongest pressure in the next year will be the ris- ing direct cost of all produc- mainly in the form of wages and partly in the form of profits. Up to wages have ad- vanced much less in the United States than in Canada because the American unions have been much more modest in their demands than their Canadian counterparts. That situation seems certain to change in the early future. The American wage contracts of 1974 threaten a new cost explosion which already is un- der way here. My informant in neighborly that with its much greater dependence on foreign is much more vulnerable than the United States to the de- mand pull the tight commodity markets and the high prices of the world. as this man can't help importing our American inflation through trade every day and is now vastly aggravating it by raising its own internal costs. And it doesn't have In detail these are im- mensely complex and controversial matters on which honest men will often disagree. But no one who un- derstands schoolboy arithmetic can any longer question a simple and surely a paramount fact that for about a century the North American people have delud- ed themselves with impossi- ble economic expectations of all sorts. Though long enjoying an affluence beyond any other people's they were per- suaded by labor unions and the whole social apparatus to and expect as an inalienable far more than even the affluent society can yet produce. And in modern times they tried to close the gap between the possible and impossible by inflating the currency an ancient conjuring trick that always fails in the end. Now the energy crisis appears overnight to proclaim the first clean break in this grand delusion. Others will follow. of a Long energy conservation haul ahead By Anthony New York Times commentator BOSTON It is in the nature of most political leaders to play the role of Dr. Pangloss to assure their public whatever the pre- sent an easier and richer life lies ahead. Presi- dent Nixon has done nothing in taking such a reassuring line about the energy problem. In his words and actions so the president has conveyed the impression that Americans are in for some temporary unpleasantness. If we turn the thermostat down a few and drive more we shall get past that. with a crash program called Project we can develop enough new energy sources to meet all our own needs by 1980 and return to the philosophy of abun- dance. But the reassurance is un- convincing. The energy shor- tage is not some passing phenomenon. On the is reason to believe that the Arab oil boycott is merely making us face a little sooner a long-term problem with the most profound implications for human society. Before the Arab boycott made us .talk of an energy expert-named Amory B. Lovins did a little reckon- ing of where the world was headed. We have been increasing our use of.energy more than 5 per cent a he noted. That rate would multiply total demand at least four times by the year How can mankind meet that enormous If we could somehow build one huge nuclear power sta- tion per day for the rest of this starting Lovins then to meet the projected year demand we would still have to rely on fossil fuels gas for more than half our energy. And we would burn them at twice the present rate. All that is on the assumption that the world could or would want to build one nuclear plant a day surely an impossibility. Lovins's purpose was to show the difficulty of chang- ing the means of energy production in a world that uses such enormous amounts. Talk' of quick technological solutions is just fantasy. Even if there are scientific the physical problems of introducing the required new plants the problems of working environmental restraints would be staggering. What the Lovins' reckoning shows more broadly is that it is virtually impossible to go on increasing the world energy supply at present rates until the year We cannot mul- tiply energy production by four. Doubling it would be hard enough. The other side of the equation demand is going to have to give. In we can no longer operate on the profligate premise that energy is free and Boundless. It Is going to be increasingly expensive and .in the future that we can foresee. And that fact is bound to have great conse- quences in the way we look at numberless decisions. Here are a few random examples. Transportation. The Nixon administration has proposed legislation to let the Perm Central and other bankrupt northeastern railroads abandon half their trackage. Prof. Barry Commoner has said that switching the freight traffic from those lines to trucks would require 420 million more gallons of fuel per year an increase of 3.5 per cent in the total fuel used for hauling freight in this country. In the old days that might have made economic sense of a kind. Can it in the post war period the industrial led by the United has developed an energy intensive brand of commercial architecture. It is characterized by very bright and continuous seal- ed off heating and air ditioning systems and the use of energy intensive materials such as aluminum. The current symbol is the world trade centre in New which is said to con- sume as much electricity as a city of Can that style of architecture go Industry. In the industrial progress has been measured for a long time by the substitution of machinery for men which means sub- stitution of non-human energy for human. which takes 40 per cent of American has been especially profligate in its use. Can we go on now in the pursuit of energy intensive Those examples show why so many thoughtful analysts believe this country must move at once toward a conser- vation ethic in the use of energy not temporarily but for the long not alone in relatively trivial domestic economies but in the big energy using areas of in- dustry and transport. One government study last year estimated that the United States could save one sixth of its current energy use by 1980 through conservation measures. That would be three times the energy ex- pected from the entire Alaskan oil field. The examples indicate something more we face choices of a novel and difficult kind. For ex- to keep food produc- tion abreast of a world popula- tion expected to double in the next 30 years or we shall have to increase production of nitrate fertilizer enormously some estimate by a factor of 100. Plants on that scale would take a fifth of today's world energy supply. How would we allocate scarce electricity between that use Americans are used to leav- ing the allocation of supplies to what we call the freedom of the marketplace. Are we prepared to let private interest and private profit shape decisions when the well being of society or even its survival may depend on the kind of industry and agriculture and transportation we If do we have social or political institutions capable of making the The questions are but they do not call for panic. They are a to stop pretending that all will soon be for the in the best of all possible and to start telling ourselves the truth. the LetHbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbrldoe. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. Proprietors and Publishers Published 1805-1954. by Hon. W.A. BUCHANAN Second Claw Mail Registration Member or Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau Circulations CLEO W. Editor and Publisher DON PILLING Managing Editor ROY MILES Advertising Manager WILLIAM HAY Associate Editor DOUQLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor HERALD SERVES THE ;