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