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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 21, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, November 21, 1974 The world balance of payments problem Consumption patterns Outdoor Christmas lights have begun to appear in Lethbridge. Once again this brings up the question of patterns of energy consumption and the necessity for change. The fossil fuel resources on this planet have not been renewed in the past year; they are not renewable. They can only be discovered and consumed. In spite of the inexorable nature of this fact, consumption rates are still rising as though political and economic factors were the only limits. It doesn't matter what one believes about the short term prospects of Canada's oil supplies. (Imperial Oil now thinks Liat production will decline within three years and that as early as 1977 Canada might be consuming more than it produces. It doesn't matter whether one can sift through political verbiage to arrive at a few grains of truth. The provincial and federal governments may eventually settle the argument over who is to benefit from resources. Regardless of the solution those resources will then be less, not more, and the main problem will still be how to change wasteful patterns of consumption. The federal government is planning a major advertising campaign to urge Canadians to save energy. It is not likely to succeed unless it goes beyond a few general platitudes about the need for restraint and specifies what people can and should do to cut out the waste in their daily lives. Even then it will take enthusiastic leadership if it is to gain acceptance by a general public which cannot seem to see beyond a decade or a generation. In the U.S., where consumption is probably no more wasteful on a per capita basis than in this country and where prices and shortages have already dramatized the need for action, one city is doing something about it. San Fran- ciscans are being asked to give up their cars and to use public transportation one day a week. Major corporations are co operating in this energy saving endeavor. Mondays are to be earless days for all employees of financial in- stitutions, Tuesdays for employees of other corporations. Wednesdays for government employees, Thursdays for utility employees and Fridays for all others not covered. The hope is that this practice will break the fuel consuming habit of people who commute by car. Christmas, which has become a celebration of consumption, is a good time for Canadians to think about such things, to ask themselves what they can do to stop wasting energy. It's a good time to reiterate that the real light of Christmas comes, not from colored bulbs outlining architectural details, but from the renewable resources of the human spirit. If consumers do not exhibit some thought and some self discipline, prices will eventually do it for them, and perhaps sooner than expected. The cost for outdoor Christmas lighting has just gone up by 17.6 per cent. Unknown risk Shielding the earth from the direct ul- tra violet rays of the sun is a 20-mile belt of ozone. Without that protective layer the plant-animal food chain could disintegrate and life disappear from the planet. In view of this it is surely folly to treat casually the warnings that the ozone belt could be endangered. Yet that seems to be the response to separate expressions of concern about possible depletion of the ozone buffer. Two California scientists say that there may be a risk of propellant gases frem millions of aerosol cans breaking down the ozone. Also Dr. Fred C. Ikle. director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, suggested the possibility that nuclear explosions may act chemically to deplete the ozone laver Not unexpectedly, both the manufac- turers of propellant gases and the military have minimized the threat. The chemical industry says it is mere "hypothesis" that their product may break down ozone. The military concedes that an all-out nuclear war might reduce the ozone layer over the temperate regions by 50 to 75 per cent, but suggests that such a depletion might not really en- danger life on earth. Probably it is true that the threat to the ozone layer by propellant gases or by nuclear explosions has not been es- tablished; perhaps it cannot be proved. In view of how many other unpleasant things have resulted from the pursuit of human enterprises where little thought was given to outcome, it is not reassur- ing to think man may be taking too great a risk regarding the protective ozone. The parochial CBC "When Finance Minister John Turner was explaining his budget last Monday at a press conference which was televised nationally, he spoke in English and then repeated his resume in French. In an ill- advised and parochial production decision, CBC imposed a simultaneous English translation over the second resume, depriving viewers of the oppor- tunity to hear the minister's remarks in French and giving them instead a second English version. Perhaps this was done only for the western audience. If so. it heightens the sense of alienation. There are at least ERIC NICOL Economic pecking order Registered nurses ask for more money, to keep Florence Nightingale a jump ahead of the practical nurses. University professors, gazing upon the wage increase won by high school teachers. flip their mortar boards And because of the pay differential between pulp workers and loggers, no forest product costs more than the chip on the shoulder. Thus is the traditional strife between management and labor upstaged by the sirusgie between unions to maintain the margin of superiority based on a hallowed principle all members of the labor movement are brothers, but some brothers (joM-rve a bigger slice of the melon than other hro' hers The vocial perking order is bring replaced bv i ne 'Tonnmie per icing order Ecopeck To obtain belter 'if Ecopeck 1 oTisullcd Dr Morns 'loot. an economist lahzmg in labor relations and funny hats Would you be kind enough t" explain how the economic pecking order I asked f'crtainh said front Take for ex- ample 'he inside workers and the outside worker The inside workers or 3 higher piare in the economic perking order than the outride workers Why0" Because they're You peeked' cried Goot holding bis notes to his nest Of course, because re inside TheV-n inside the poultry shed th' wet hen trying Jo get in from the -.ard same applies to Bitting and By Bruce Hutchison, Herald special commentator Driving on any American super-highway these days, a Canadian will see in microcosm the supreme economic problem of the world. When no one knows how the United States' oil bill can be paid, not long from now, the automobile driver has been commanded by law to keep within a speed limit of 55 miles an hour. But as my host's car moved at the legal pace toward New York most other cars passed us in a blur of traffic. The oil crisis, and the means of solving it, have yet to penetrate the American public mind. And in Canada we hardly recognize any crisis at all because, for a few years more, only a few years, our own supplies are equal to our needs. It is also possible on the highway to see the results of three grave mistakes in of- ficial American policy. First." the Nixon government let its four groups of people out here who would have liked to hear the French rendition. A few western Canadians are French- speaking. Some others would have liked the small opportunity to practice an ac- quired language. Still others may have wanted, for purely political purposes, to assess Mr. Turner's French speaking ability. And then there are all those western Canadians who just don't like to have to listen to the same thing twice. In short. CBC missed a simple but golden opportunity to make a nice bilingualistic gesture in the cause of national solidarity and they went to some trouble to miss it. too. the sanitation truck pecks the swampers The bank accountant pecks the teller The psy- chiatrist pecks the dentist." "If you want to get ahead you should sit "Preferably on a chair And the less manual work you do. while sitting down the less chance of your being pecked by someone equally sedentary Garment workers are very low in the economic pecking order air- line pilots very high "If i understand you correct h the dpex of Kcopeck is represented by the worker who is inside, sitting down, doing nothing "Right Persons in such a trade or profession, when as a union, expect their wage increases- to keep them a respect- ful distance ahead of workers who are out- side standing up. doing something What about sex0" No. thanks -aid GoM It's >oo soon after lijnch No no I m'-an how dorsthf w .rkrr -ei; affect his place in economic perking Only residuallv Both se- in Ihc king order TW ago all von needed rn was man ob- taining a university degree, to be that -.011 would be sitting inside fin ng roihing on ,-j '-omfortabie -rflarv for tKe re-' if -.our Mpff 1-0 Thr' Dofjo bird and 'V 'm fi. did not over o'Jiir-f 1o (or 'be that befell 'bTn societies tend h -ivf IO-AOT birthrates ih'-, arf> or but Mr Nagai will not have to beg for food on the street should he become injured and be un- able to work I doubt that more than in per cen? of one s taxable goes lo welfare and most il i- probably well >penl As lor how much of Mr Nagai's salary has gone toward alleviating starvation in world I doubt much that he is suffering We Canadians have our luxury cars, stereos, camera equipment, campers loi summer fun and we stuff OUT solves: with PXprriMvr foods and then we rationale like Mr Nagai. that we are near bankruptcy because the ing are rnmg out for one r'j-1 of bread per vV S'-HMIU based essentially on the federal government's con- stitutional right to regulate trade and commerce. It is clear, however, that this has been much restricted by court decisions over the years Various attempts at regula- tion have been ruled out because they interfered with property and civil rights, the domain of the provinces. Is it within the power of the federal government to set prices within a producing province and with this in mind, to license, to prohibit various transactions and to make other policing arrangements'' Yes. asserts Mr. Mac- donald. because the national oil policy did precisely that The country west of the Ot- tawa Valley line was reserved for domestic production Eastern Canada was by imports Imports were then less costly than western oil Thus, as the minister views it. "the price m Ontario was set by the exercise of jurisdiction Not so. claimed the vativc Harvie Andre was M't K> marketpla'e It is bevmd question that the prifc in Ontario was ar- tifirially heightened by the national oil policy But did this onstiUite price setting" Did the resultant and fl-jr-tuating: price in arn w.v. r. tne prescribed however, to suggest that something like a tariff or a restriction of imports is tan- tamount to price control. It simply is not." Mr Andre was too generous. As Hansard shows. Mr. Macdonald did not speak only of price control but of price setting, which is much more specific. If the minister is right, the federal government with its panoply of tariffs, restric- tions. quotas, voluntary and otherwise, is massively engaged in the price setting business. Mr Macdonald may be eager to claim credit for the present, not very pop- ular prices but. if so. he is a lone figure on the treasury benches It has been much more usual for ministers to blame them on the sorry state the world It is a fact, as Mr Mac- donald insists, that the national oil policy was sustained by the Supreme Court of Canada when it was attacked a few years ago in the Cal-Oil case But it is far from certain that the present exercise in trade regulation is Other governments l-eamed. to their sorrow that law officers are fallible Whether 1he present lot are mor-r discerning than their predecessors, we shall not know until the legislation goes in thi- courts -is H is almost The world economy would be completely deranged, the nightmare of the 1930s repeated. It is obvious to all govern- ments that no comparable crisis of international finance has ever occurred before now but it is not so well understood that the deadline fora solution cannot be postponed much beyond the spring of 1975. By then a method must be found to recycle the huge treasure of the oil exporters in a transfer of wealth without any precedent Or else the world's exchange system will collapse, with political, social and military results easy to imagine. By chance, and his own tal- ents. John Turner has been suddenly thrust into the centre of this emergency. As chairman of a committee es- tablished by the International Monetary Fund to devise a solution, he accepts the most onerous foreign assignment undertaken by any Canadian since Lester B. Pearson in- tervened in the Suez crisis of 1956. Facing more than enough domestic budgetary problems at home, Mr. Turner will be a busy man from now on. He approaches his ad- ditional task with characteristic confidence. It must be done, he says, and therefore human ingenuity will do it. Yes, but how? George Ball, former under- secretary of state, now a lead- ing New York banker and the wisest American statesman of this reporter's acquaintance, knows a lot more than Mr. Turner about oil and other in- ternational business. He also knows the Middle Eastern re- gion intimately and, like Mr. Turner, has concluded that the present private banking system simply is unable, with its already strained resources, to recycle the oil money, as the United States government had assumed un- til recently. To suppose that the system can carry such a burden, Mr. Ball writes, is only a "happy illusion" in official Washington. The OPEC members, through the ex- isting channels, cannot invest enough, of their money, soon enough, in foreign countries. Now will they lend it to the International Monetary Fund where voting rights are heavi- ly weighted against them? Accordingly. Mr. Ball pro- posed a separate fund, or bank, in which OPEC collec- tively would have equal ownership and an equal share in management with the oil importers This organization would borrow OPEC's capital on long-term bonds and lend it to countries whose exchange deficits would otherwise bankrupt them in the near future. How the enormous loans would ever be repaid, with debt piled on annual debt, is by no means clear, but the immediate necessity is to get the capital moving before a fatal crunch occurs. Mr Ball's plan