Letters to the editor – February 11, 2021

Federal carbon tax bad for the environment

Darrel Cunningham’s letter stating “Carbon Tax Absolutely Necessary” (Jan. 21) is completely wrong.  Our carbon tax is destroying the environment. 

Since mankind started the journey on Earth, carbon has been a necessity for survival. Obtaining carbon to burn has always been one of the most demanding tasks for the human race. Technology has kept developing ways to reduce our need for carbon because carbon has always been expensive. Disposable income is essential to adopt carbon-reducing technology as it becomes available. Our carbon tax reduces everyone’s disposable income and slows the rate of technology.

I installed a solar system, but now the carbon tax is reducing my disposable income, making it more difficult to pay for the solar system.  This in turn postpones other projects that I would like to do to reduce the amount of carbon I require.

I put triple pane, double low E, argon gas with super spacer windows in our house when we built it in 1995. We built our home with double outside walls with Styrofoam in between. Why did I spend all that extra money? It was because carbon was so expensive. I invested future disposable income to reduce the amount of carbon I would need.

I could list many such examples of things people have done in my lifetime just to reduce the amount of carbon that is required, but there is not enough room in this paper.We are continually making great strides at reducing our consumption of carbon.

Trudeau states that it is no longer free to pollute. But what supporters of the carbon tax don’t understand is that it has never been free to pollute. It has always been expensive and always will be.

I am not suggesting that we do not need to be concerned about our environment. It is because I am concerned about our environment that we must stop doing counterproductive things. With the current carbon tax doing nothing but hurting people’s ability to access carbon reducing technology, it is the most counterproductive plan of all.

Glenn Oliver,

Rivercourse, Alta.

Alta. must re-instate previous coal policy

We are downstream of the Grassy Mountain, Benga mine project. While it will create perceived economic viability to this region, it will sacrifice another industry in its wake.

We are opposed to the anticipated construction activity of this project and ask that the Coal Policy (1976) be reinstated or an equivalent regulation be enacted to prevent development on our Eastern Slopes.

Numerous organizations and agencies are already working collaboratively toward managing this sensitive landscape. Projects such as the provincial Southern Eastern Slopes Conservation Strategy and the federally funded Rocky Mountain Eastern Slopes Priority Area, which includes the Alberta Native Trout Recovery Initiative, engage farmers and ranchers to improve ecosystems for aquatic species at risk in the southern Prairies and bridge research and management to reduce invasive species threats to aquatic species at risk.

Other funding opportunities for projects to enhance our range and riparian areas include partnerships with organizations like the Oldman Watershed Council, Cows and Fish Riparian, Crown of the Continent and our local Municipal District of Ranchland No. 66.

Communication between the rural agricultural communities and other competing industries is often difficult and awkward because the only common ground is the common ground. The use of this land, the lifestyle associated with this land, the business done on this land, the relationships with the environment and the senses (sight, sound, smell, feel, taste) affected by what happens on the land are important to those who live on this land. We don’t just work here.

These mountains along the Eastern Slopes are our “water towers” and once imploded, cannot be replaced. This is risking too much.

More dust (carcinogens) and coal particulates (selenium) are carried from the site on the prevailing southwest winds. Chinook winds that blow eastward across the province are strong enough to tip vehicles on highways and have a broad reach.

Recreationalists who enjoy the pristine landscapes and wildlife that thrive in this area may reconsider visiting this region if the water or air is contaminated and landscape is compromised or industrialized.

Increased commercial activity affects the wildlife and fish habitat and contributes to predator/prey dynamics. As wildlife relocate to human occupied areas, there is a strong likelihood of increased human/wildlife conflicts.

Light pollution introduced to an already sensitive area (locally recognized dark night zone) affects bird migration and habitat.

Invasive weed infestations as a result of increased foreign traffic (outside of our jurisdiction) will leave control or management to the expense of the municipality and/or landowners.

We ask our provincial government to reconsider the decision to allow mining on our Eastern Slopes — this is too precious a commodity to jeopardize. These Rocky Mountains are symbols of the Canadian West.

Please know the decision of today will be your legacy of tomorrow.

Tony and Debbie Webster,

MD of Ranchland, Alta.

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