Letters to the Editor

Coal — the gift that keeps on giving

Editor: It is sometimes well and good for people like Tom Fletcher (The Times, Jan. 9) to make fun of those who are “environmentalists.”

But seriously, considering his tomfoolery in painting all of us who are concerned about the environment and the health of our kids who go to schools  (coal dust travels up to 5 km) near coal dust-infected air, does that make us less libelous “enviro-shouters?” I wonder if he had kids who went to school near coal dust and diesel particulates. Would he see things any differently?

China is in the midst of empowering their wonderfully smog-filled nation with an additional 375 coal-powered plants. And guess which is the only country in the world to have seen (except for likely Sudan) a decline in life expectancy of 5.5 years? China.

That is where coal from North America is being sent. And far from Canada having  mercury blowback with minimal impact, as Fletcher makes fun of  the “low levels of mercury around the tar sands,” he should look a bit closer. Lakes and rivers which have been assessed have had a 30 per cent increase in mercury contaminants over the past several years.

Guess where this comes from? Not from Alberta power plants, though maybe a bit, if the wind is blowing westerly, but from  China. The coal-powered power plants blow tons of mercury. It’s pollution which travels here.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving, not really a Christmas gift, except in a black coal gift bag sort of way. So what goes around  comes around.

Happy New Year to all, and best wishes for help for the Scrooges of the world — not all of whom are Port Metro Vancouverites, I am the first to admit.

S. Faraher-Amidon,


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