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Friday, 22 June 2012 11:46

Columnist needs to look at what’s correct

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You know, it seems to me if the tar sands were so wonderful, their merits would speak for themselves. The tar sands wouldn’t need Dale Ferrel to come charging against every criticism with all guns blazing. “Me thinks he doth protest too much.” (Shakespeare)

This time around, Ferrel’s main method, in his column from the June 15 Prairie Post called “Left-wing’s tunnel vision,” is one in which he tries to discredit any criticism by trashing the environmental movement in general.    
Unfortunately, it is not that environmentalists and their political allies have not been active on all the issues he mentions. The problem is the majority of Canadians depend on the mass media. If their efforts and complaints don’t receive media coverage, their efforts are as good as invisible.
The incident of the ducks on the tailings pond was a case in point. The story was briefly-hyped by the mass media and it was a moment of opportunity for the environmentalists to publicize some of the evils of the tar sands. Then, just as suddenly, the media spotlight moved on to other things
A good example of the visible/invisible limbo was Ferrel’s mention about bird strikes on radio and television towers. Environmentalists had raised a fuss over this issue decades ago and they haven’t gone away on this issue. The problem was ever since the issue was raised, engineers and biologists have been trying to find practical and economical ways to solve this problem and haven’t been able to. If Ferrel has a solution, let’s hear it.
In any case, what Ferrel’s column indicates to me is the efforts of the environmentalists have not been in vain. Nowadays, everyone, including Ferrel, are talking about environmental concerns. Where there is public awareness, there will be public pressure for change and that is a good thing.
Tom Shelstad, Swift Current

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