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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Seplember 5, 1972 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD J The species conservationists forget By Dr. David G. Hessayon, in The Ottawa Journal f HEMISTS and Industrialists have a particular involve- ment in the health anil fuluro ot Homo Sapiens. But the con- servationist anil ecologisl view is that the survival ol mankind is their particular province. They would have us believe that they must be on their guard against the chemist, lest lus experiments take us to the brink of doom. And they must bo ever-watchful against the industrialist, to ensure that lus greed for profit does not en- danger us all. Of course there are chemical and ecological problems in the modern word. We hear of these constantly, but wo rarely hear of the benefits of chemistry. We have for too long tried to answer emotionalism and dis- tortion with dignified silence. Chemistry and industry havo transformed this world into a place where Homo Sapiens can at last expect to live out his three score years and ten. who invent nnd make things must never forget our responsi- bility to the environment, but in our desire to preserve all species and hi our desire to ensure that a chemical drum never washes up on a Ireacli, we must he careful not to put man at risk. Man is at risk, and ironically the risk is greatest from just those people who are so loudly talking about the bal- ance of nature. Homo Sapiens could become the species that the conservationist forgot. Silent Spring transformed an obscure but talented marine- biologist Into a household name. Here in science-fiction style were warnings about a future destroyed by chemicals. Here, to many journalists, was news. Here, to many biologists, was a mission and the road to fame. Now anti-science acts as lord of creation. Conservation at all costs. Ecology was never wrong. Shirley Williams said in Feb- ruary, 1971 "For the scientist the party is over." If the party .'s over for scientisls then it is over for mankind. My deep concern centres on six main points. Firstly, I am concerned that ecology and conservation movements have become too extreme. My second point of concern is the mass media. The press has on many oc- casions pricked bureaucracy, defended the underdog and safeguarded liberties, But in presenting a one-sided view of chemicals in the world today It could start a chain reaction which would rank as the great- est disaster of all lime. I understand the problem. I worked on newspapers before I was a chemical manufacturer, and I appreciate that "end of the world" stories are good Revolutionary robot By Don Oakley, NBA service TT was an act of wis- dom, not compassion, for an Israeli military court to decree a life sentence rather than death tor self-styled "Uni- ted Red Army" terrorist Kozo Okamoto for his part in the massacre at Tel Aviv's Lod Airport last May 30. Okamolo, who proudly as- sumed responsibility for the murders of 26 innocent people and wounding of 70 by him- self and two slain companions, had, in fact, asked for death. The court denied him the de- sired martyrdom. This is not the reason it was wise to spare his life, however. It is simply that it is not often that society has a chance to study at first hand such a strange and dangerous species of animal. The man looks like a human being. He is apparently of nor- mal intelligence. Yet at 24, he is nothing hut a revolutionary robot, a throwback to the al- most legendary assassins of the Middle Ages to whom their own lives and the lives of others meant nothing. By examining and observing Okamoto over the coming years, maybe, just maybe, stu- dents of human behavior will learn something. Incidentally, had the Lod massacre occurred in the Uni- ted Stales, two judges would have disqualified them selves for possible anti-Japanese prej- udice Cthey had served in the Pacific theater during World War defense attorneys would be arguing for dismissal of the charges on the grounds that publicity precluded a fair trial, a "Free Okamoto" move- ment would have sprung np and the actual trial itself would still be a year and a half in Ihe future. copy, and improvements In the environment are not. But as the limes editorial said In its very first isruc "It is tho purpose of a paper to hold tho balance even between rival in- dividuals." If the media don't do tills in this vexed and com- plex issue then both public and political opinion can take us oa a perilous path. My third point of concern is that this harangue by the eco- logist has come before our work is finished. It is only in the last split second of man's time that we have begun to solve our problems. At last we can control infectious diseases. At last we can conquer the ma- jor crop pests. At last we can control malaria, the locust, the rat, the flea, the louse. We have a constant bailie against the crueller side of na- ture and the battle is not over. Two-thirds ol the world's popu- lation does net have enough food in its belly, and about 30 per cent of food crops are still destroyed by pests. Medical problems remain one in ev- ery five people in the world to- day suffers from hookworm. Dr. Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner for liis plant breeding work, spoke out recently against the "hys- sterical environmentalist." He said "the green revolution is not a breakthrough it is a tem- porary success in marc's war against hunger and depriva- tion. Its continued success will depend on whether agriculture will be allowed to use fertilizers and pesticides. If denied their use then the world will be doomed, not by chemical pois- oning but from starvation." The next breakthrough in pro- TNT.1973. Ride the Silver Bullet. Performance; the new Silver T'NT 294, 340 and 440. Twin cylinders for rapid power acceleration. Standard is tachometer, speedometer and disc brake. Carbide runners on wide-stance skis grab the snow track. Many more new features including beam, contoured seat and choice of slide suspension or bogie wheels. Get yourself a winner. At your Ski-Doo dealer today. SKIDOO the machine that changed winter ...has changed 8cmtardier Bert Mac's Cycle Ltd. 913 3rd Ave. S. Phono 327-3221 IETHBRIUSE, ALTA. Ranchers' Supply Ltd. PINCHER CREEK, AUA, PHONE 627-3024 Raymond Motor Co. Ltd. RAYMOND, AlTA. FHONE 752-3284 B R Service (Cardston) Ltd. CARDSTON, AlTA. PHONE 653-3672 Anderson Supply Ltd. BOX 158, WARNED, Supply Ltd. CLARESHOLM, AlTA. PHONE 335-3711 YOU WILL FIND THE BEST BRANDS ADVERTISED IN THE LETHBRIDGE longing human life or reducing hunger will not come from a computer or a pompous biolo- gical best seller. It will coma from an ordinary research worker at some laboratory bench. If such a man is made to feel an outcast of society by all ho reads and all he sees, then he could possibly get up and slowly walk away, leaving the ecologisls' beloved Nature to find the cure for cancer. Fourthly, and perhaps my most serious concern, is the present trend to allow public and political pressures to de- cide the major scientific Issues. Now of course the public havo a right to know where they stand, the good things and the bad things, in any situation. They have this right whether the issue is a pain in Ihe chest or pollution in the rivers. But the public cannot be expected to decide what to do about it have neither the expert knowledge nor the time to sort aixl weigh up the available evi- dence. Professor Francis Camps, our leading forensic scientist, said a little while ago, "Some watch- dog must exist, but it must be scientifically and non-emotion- ally critical and not be stam- peded by public or political out- cry." A serious example of public pressure and hasty political ac- tion is the banning of DDT, and this one involves me per- sonally. In December, 1869, the British Government barsned DDT for all garden and most agricultural uses ss a result of the Wilson Report. But the Wil- son Report showed that it had never harmed man and had not harmed our wildlife. But came the ban anyway, "because DDT wasn't really necessary any more." On the day of the ban I spoke out against the govern- ment's action. I felt and still fesl it is wrong for bans to be imposed as a sop to public opinion. It was a case of "everybody knows." Everybody knew that DDT killed birds and thinned eggshells and was found in penguins and so on. So the partial ban on our paltry 200 tons was our contribution to the world-mile problem. On the world scene there was a sharp rise in malaria in those countries where DDT spraying stopped. In Ceylon malaria had been eradicated. With fhe ban the papers got a story, the ac- tivists got at industry, and two million Singhalese got malaria. In Sweden, DDT was quickly reintroduccd when insects start- ed to destroy her forests. Ac- cording to a rurvey recently presented by Robert Gair of the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service at Cam- bridge, pest control in Britain is now mort expensive and often less effective than in years when organochlorines were in common use. My fifth point Is one which is hardly ever discussed. It is that there is a very real dan- ger that certain Industries, not- ably pesticides, could be forced into an economic wilderness if the flow of half-baked criticism is not balanced with reasonable commonsense. But companies and then- workers and their investors havo souls too, and If you criti- cize them enough you could end up with a seriously reduced in- dustrial scene. And whilst a few individuals might rub their hands with glee, countless mil- lions could die. This is no Carsonesque pre- diction in the United States tha following large companies have recently pulled out of pes- ticides Olin, Hooker Chemi- cals, Allied Chemicals, Inter- national Mineral and Chemi- cals, Standard Oil of New Jer- sey and American Oil. World DDT production has dropped from tons in 1963 to Ions in M70, nnd re- member that nothing else can take its place in malaria con- trol. My final point is a particular bee in my own bonnet, I feel that our main danger, as ever, is from the natural world, and we must check up on and be on our guard against unexpected natural dangers as as ob- vious technological ones. The "Blueprint for Survival" looks forward to a new age in which Man will learn to live with the rest of nature. What new age? We tried it for nearly a quarter of a million years. The trouble is that nature for- gets to live with us. While wa are billing and cooing, in sweeps cholera, bubonic plague, the black rat, the locust, tho flea and so on. The Irish in the 1840s left their potato crop to nature, and one million died of hunger when it was swept away by blight, In Africa and Asia today they know all about living with nature. To me both natural and man- made materials have a place. Whether they are good or bad, beneficial or harmful depends on their Droocrties. not their source. Demolition costs more By Cerla Pals on the past three years since I have come to live in Lethbridge I havo occasionally read letters from people, in this paper, who cautioned tho destruction of buildings like Fleetwood and Central schools or the post office. These are peo- ple who understand the importance of pre- serving for posterity the little their fathers often built with great sacrifice. On my recent visit to Europe I had to admire the rejuvenation that some very old cities have undergone with no loss to their historical buildings. Vienna, Munich, Koln, Frankfurt to mention a few have modernized and integrated the new with the old in a splendid manner. Many squares and streets are closed to traffic and are teeming with happy shoppers. Tha old decaying centres around the railroad stations are now a haven from automo- bile noises and fumes. Benches, trees, shrubs and modem fountains as well as ancient ones give joy and rest to tired pe- destrians. The one thousand year old fortress ol Burgtmusen, Bavaria is a good example where city fathers have made use of it and profited from It. It has been rented out for public housing. The old moats havo lawns and trees and serve as gardens. The thick walls that in former times housed living quarters have been made into mod- ern apartments with all conveniences. I have been told there is a long waiting list. I walked many hours in that old fortress and found two art galleries, a museum, a youth club, a painters' guild and a pottery shop. Such Is the spirit of Europeans. To de- molish costs more than renovating and sometimes an old ruin is teing supported for one purpose alone, just to keep it for those to come. Europeans guard their heri- tage well and even countries like Czecho- slovakia and Jugoslavia, where Communist doctrine urges total reconstruction of tho environment, have stopped before the old and monumental. But then love for things historical comes at a tender age. Two and three year olds tread quietly in old build- ings, touch a banister lovingly, stand in front of an old pointing and the word vandalism seems to be completely un- known. 3 Chair, floor? If h 3 v e the story about word, have never run across alas, it's too much with woman umpire says she has "the female prerogative of changing her mind" or as- serts she is going to the home plates, women have a legitimate light to resent such female stereotyping. But sometimes the equal rights movement is carried a bit far. When a Democratic National Conven- tion committee decides, even tentatively, to "desex" the official titles by referring to the permanent chairman as the perma- nent cliair and to the assistants as vice chairs, the langnage suffers an unnec- essary affront. Most of the population wouldn't even notice that sex was involved in a title like chairman (and it's dubious whether the word really carries any sug- gestion of but changing it to chair injects that ttought into people's minds. Or is that the idea? What the activists appar- ently haven't thought of yet is that every woman embraces a man in the very com- position of the word. The first thing you know, some of them are going tu want to be called wopersons. The word woman derives from the Old English wifman: wif meaning wuiiiiui or wife, plus man, meaning human being or man, It is interesting to note that tho Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, in referring to the word man, says: "The prominent sense in Old English was 'human the words distinctive of sex being wcr and wif, wacpman and wifman: wo- man." Cop cant. In the Second World War the expression flake or flake out meant to h'a down or go to sleep. These days the words have taken on quite a different meaning in police parlance. Flaking could refer to one of two things: to arrest someone on falsified evidence because of the need to fill a quota of arrests or to threaten to arrest someone on false evidence to extort money from him (or Two against one. Two similar but not identical wrong constructions that have ap- peared in print recently make one wonder how common the error is. The first went like this: "Mr. Napier opened the door and admitted two armed men, one ol whose face was shielded by a brown scarf." No matter how logical that construction may sound, it isn't English. It would have to be "the face of one of whom" or "one of whom had his face or two sen- tences. The second instance was a sentence by Tommie Agee of fhe New York Mets. Referring to himself and Yogi Berra, he said: "It was both our idea for me to rest." That or.e would have to be, "It was the idea of both of or "We both had the idea that I should rest." Presumably Agee was avoiding saying, "It was both of us's but all he did was make a short trip out of the frying pan. Word oddities. Sarcasm is even worsa than you ever thought it was. It comes from fhe Gresk sarkazein, meaning to rip flesh the way dogs do, to bite the lips in anger, to speak bitterly. The present-day of language that is cutting is not so far removed from that ripping business. In- deed, sometimes we act like dogs, Youth-yak. Are you excited about tha Presidential campaign? Are you, like, y'know, strung out about it? Well, then, get into it, man. The meanings of those plirases should be fairly obvious, but hera are translations, anyway: Strung out means, y'know, absorbed in or desperate for, or about, something, and get into it means, like, become involved. (New York Times) I Neiv Horizons WELFARE Minister John JIunro has made federal funds available to fi- nance retirement activities by senior citi- zens. The project is called New Horizons. This provision lor "meaninglul' avoca- tions is aimed at retired persons over 55. This means that.I have only a few more years before my horizon is renovated. T have mixed feelings about this chance to trado in my activities for something more meaningful. For instance I have al- ways thought I could make a meaningful contribution to society by making a study of the frequency and variations in shape of clouds, as viewed from a reclining po- sition. I have already done some research in this field, but the field was so crowded with prostrate Opportunities for Youth groups I was unable to devote the kind of concentration required of the subject. This Is the first problem I see in the New Horizons program: all the most mean- ingful activities have been thoroughly pick- ed over by Youth. Young people have made the telephone surveys to record the incidence of wrong numbers. All the old bedsprings have long sines been welded Into kinetic sculpture by kids who got the jump on us senior freaks. Research by young people into the ef- fects on the judiciary system of having sexual intercourse on the courthouse steps has been too exhaustive for retired types to hope to push back the frontier of juris- prudence. It may well be that what Mr. Munro has In mind for retired folk as meaningful ac- tivity is something appropriate to our years. Basket weaving, for example. Or tape recordings of the tones of sibilanca achieved by dentures that whistle. Well sir, I can't relate to that kind oi program. Especially since there is no mon- ey in it. The federal money is not avail- able to oldsters who draw wages or make a profit from their New Horizon. It is a strictly non-commercial vista. The panorama does not include a pay window. Every cloud has a silver lining over Munro's dead body. This kills much of the Incentive to ac- celerate one's tottering info the sunset years. A lot of us are going to have to keep plugging away at the old meaningless but foinily remunerative activities, because if we don't our dependents will set fire to our rocking chairs. For the average retired person the hori- zon is defined as the apparent junction oi the earth and the cost of living. It takes a heap o' lovin' to make a house a home, and it lakes ar. even bigger bundle of macrame to cover the (axes. We are put in mind of the pensioner en- couraged to buy some steel wool and knit himself a stove. Hence the thinking of this candidate for a New Horizon, in terms of the meaningful activity of reproducing full-color prints of the bill. These artistic reproductions will be distributed among the cashiers of su- permarkets as a Illlip to the cultural life of the community. Wlio's for making it a group venture? (Vancouver Province features) ;