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Censored letter writer finds venue with e-KNOWPosted: June 17, 2012

Editor’s note: The following is a letter that was sent to the Columbia Valley Pioneer in Invermere. The letter has not been published and the letter writer has been told it would not run. However, ongoing discussions may yet result in the letter running. By running this letter here, e-KNOW wishes to make the point that every letter to the editor sent to a newspaper that asks pertinent and pointed questions, which fits publishing criteria such as length etc., should be published. We’re not trying to take a swipe at the CV Pioneer – but there is far too much unnecessary censorship in today’s media and e-KNOW wishes to make the statement that we believe in everyone’s voice being heard. This letter writer makes pertinent points.

Dear Editor:

I was very disappointed by the lack of coverage by the CV Pioneer of the important talk given by David Suzuki to a sold-our community-hall audience.

Unfortunately it comes as no real surprise, given your anti-environmental stance in previous editorials. It is shameful that when one of Canada’s most respected and renowned scientists comes to speak to small-town Invermere, there was only passing mention near the back of their paper, that he spoke to students at the community greenhouse. I feel that those of us fortunate enough to hear him speak need to pass on some of his urgent messages.  Perhaps the most important of those is that we all need to recognize the economic value of the services that Mother Nature provides us, ie, clean air and water, without which we cannot live.  Economic analysis have shown, for example, that it costs far less to maintain a clean and undisturbed watershed than to make the water drinkable again after industrial activity in that watershed.  The short-term profits enjoyed by a few are eclipsed by the cost borne by the public for clean-up.  Without a healthy environment we cannot stay healthy for long.

Those with vested interests and our government, argue that it is too costly to take care of the environment, and that it hurts the economy.  This is a very shortsighted, specious argument.  As a result of our changing climate, which scientists widely agree is a result of human activity, billions have been lost to the pine beetle in B.C., the ice storm in Quebec, the drought and wild fires in Texas, Russia, Australia, and closer to home, in Slave Lake. Remember also, Hurricane Katrina, the increase in tornadoes in the US, extreme weather events all around the world…. the list goes on.  We cannot afford to divorce economic and social decisions from their environmental consequences and still expect that our society will flourish. We must fundamentally change the way we think about our planet.  It is our home and the only one we have.  That seems incredibly obvious, yet the race by our leaders to liquidate our resources for short-term profit is endangering our very survival as a species.

A good newspaper reports in a balanced fashion, and does not ignore printing messages it does not wish to hear.

Taoya Schaefer




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