January 16th, 2021

Point the finger at the planet’s big emitters

By Letter to the Editor on January 22, 2020.

“We” is used recklessly in the media today, particularly when referencing “environment,” and SAGE (Southern Alberta Group for the Environment), in their message “What are your emissions?,” Lethbridge Herald, Jan. 17, used it most disingenuously, leaving out of their “emissions” story extremely important components.

Stating China’s emissions is 7.7 tonnes/capita and Canada’s is 16.7 tonnes is ludicrous! India, one of, if not the most polluting country on the planet per capita, apparently emits 9.27 tonnes/capita, less GHG than Canada does. Why the obfuscation? The “we” only talks “personal” emissions and maybe that was the intent. If so, therein lies the obfuscation. There’s no mention in that statement of vast emissions attributable to commercial, industry, institutions, demolition and construction worldwide – not a single word!

Give the people a break; package total emissions and broadcast the rounded story, SAGE, if you want to be taken seriously. An example: In June 2019, alarmed at the sheer volumes of junk (unsolicited) paper arriving at my address, I decided to collect and save every piece of that unsolicited mail then count and categorize it at year’s end. Let’s begin with a mostly unnecessary annual 184-page Lethbridge & Area Better Book. Add the 48-page Whoop-Up Days catalogue, then pile on the aforementioned a 40-page Lethbridge College continuing education book, then multiply each by 42,022 households.

And now to the fun stuff – 105 pieces of miscellaneous lotto, furniture store, etc. flyers, 19 Canadian Tire multi-page magazines, 36 food flyers, six political flyers, 17 drugstore, 14 real estate, 10 liquor, 46 fast-food, 36 hardware/lumber, 63 department store, eight regional papers and more. Total pieces of paper, glossy, pulp, colour, black-and-white ink, and fake plastic enticement cards – all 368 pieces to one address in seven months. Multiply that by 42,022 households with mailing addresses – 154,640,096 items delivered in one small southern Alberta city – and there isn’t a single thing that has been or perhaps can be done to stop this waste.

SAGE, stop shaming the easy target. Provide data on the big emitters polluting this planet – our home!

Alvin W. Shier


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indeed, these types of things can all be made available online, and many already are. more examples of unnecessary waste created by a society that seems unwilling to eradicate the unnecessary, and continue on the path of filth and ruin. am i overstating? hardly: look at how so many of the masses have compiled considerable debt, most of which – in most cases – is a consequence of buying into a vast assortment of unnecessary goods.


I agree biff with what you are saying. Having read through the SAGE website linked in the article, it seems that the emission calculations were simply to inform people of what happens in the home ā€“ things they can change.

I do understand the Letter writer that there are also a lot of emission-related activities outside the home (our work spaces) and our consumption ā€“ be it unsolicited as Alvin says, or be it fulfilling each whimsical desire. But this would just add to our household numbers, making Canadian emissions much worse by comparison to people in developing countries.

SAGE has a good reputation for sound environmentalism. The numbers quoted by SAGE for countries seem correct and similar to those listed on good old Wiki – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions. These emissions are calculated by taking all of the emissions (from burning fossil fuel at home, buidings, and all our industries) divided by the population. Iā€™m not sure why Alvin finds these so shocking.

But I do agree that these numbers ought to be augmented by emissions related to our consumption (all of the stuff we buy from China).


Yes Alvin I stopped getting flyers no more problem otherwise they were garbaged the City gets zero revenue no market for this product in their $20 million recycle Saeg program.the City probably landfill it .
You do not see SAEG get off their sancro buts and attack the big waste problem you know the over 80,000 comingled tonnes going in landfill from business. The same with their organic residential curbside collection program who do not cause the exaggerated 65%.problem.
This is the same group that lobbied to remove the residential recycle dividend and turn it over to environment programs like Environment Lethbridge.
The same group Saeg that turned the vote on the residential curbside recycling program which is now doubtful could be shutdown like many in North America no revenue to sustain of course Council will just raise “enhancement ” user fees.


China’s emissions are over 30% of the world’s GHG’s and Canada’s 1.6%. China, the US and the EU combined emit almost 60% of the world GHG’s . . .
If Canada drastically slashed it’e emissions, we might be able to get it down to 1.2 or 1.1 percent.
Tell me where you can make the biggest impact in the world when China’s inrease of 5% emissions in 2019 is triple of waht Canada’s total emissions are!

Over 500 of the worlds’ scientists are stepping forward and even under threats of being blacklisted or fired, state man has had very little impact on the change in climate!

If these ‘the sky is falling’ nuts would start focusing on the fact man will not be able to stop and focus on how will can adapt, we may have a chance! Climate change has occurred since the earth was born and man, as much as he thinks he is in control, will not stop.

There is money to be made in green alternatives and just like major corporations and billionaires controlled the oil and gas industry, they now want to dominate the green energy sector, and in many cases are behind all of this,

We need to look after the planet better, that is a fact, but you never get results by trying to solve the wrong problems! If they were serious, we would all stop using plastic and a mjor operation would be on right now to clean up all the plastic in the ocean, the massive island of plastic floating there, but there is no money in that!

This is all driven by GREED!


By the same logic, Alberta produces an insignificant 1.6% of the world’s oil. Just shut it down.

And if you want to reduce China’s emissions, stop buying their products.


ewingbt – your last 3 paragraphs are…on the money
fes – in addition to your other valid comments here,
your suggestion to stop buying from china is sublime