The root of the prob­lem

Winnipeg Free Press - - OUR VIEW -

Re: Prov­ince-owned tree nurs­ery to be­come pri­vate weed farm (Dec. 5)

I am be­yond ap­palled that our Man­i­toba gov­ern­ment is sell­ing off the Pineland For­est Nurs­ery to some Van­cou­ver-based en­tity called the Swis­sReal Group — a com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial real es­tate com­pany with no known con­nec­tion to agri­cul­ture or the cannabis in­dus­try. Talk about a fishy ven­ture! But our gov­ern­ment “gave its bless­ing... to con­vert the nurs­ery into a cannabis op­er­a­tion,” which is ex­pected to hap­pen.

Pineland is a mas­sive fa­cil­ity with 67 green­houses and some 300 acres of crown land. It pro­duced seedlings for Canada and the north­ern U.S. as fully de­scribed in Bill Redekop’s ex­cel­lent ar­ti­cle.

Re­for­esta­tion is des­per­ately needed — to re­place elms and ash trees be­ing dec­i­mated — and to com­bat cli­mate change al­ready aided by the con­ver­sion of thou­sands of acres of land to monocrop­ping.

I pre­dict a glut of cannabis — just too many greedy for new prof­its — and a sud­den need for trees to re­store the lands dev­as­tated by oil­sands and strip min­ing. Pineland could have had a fine fu­ture. The bad man­age­ment cited by the gov­ern­ment could be fixed with bet­ter and more en­light­ened man­age­ment. I sin­cerely hope that we are at least get­ting well over $4 mil­lion for the fa­cil­ity and equal or more for the Crown land it sits on.

MARY DIXON Win­nipeg im­mense amount of plas­tic waste, such as dis­pos­able straws, to even­tu­ally find its way into our life-filled oceans, where there are few, if any, car­ing souls to see it. In­deed, it’s quite for­tu­nate that the plas­tic waste doesn’t en­tirely sink out of sight to the bot­tom, like Al­ber­tan di­luted bi­tu­men crude oil spills, for then noth­ing would be done about it, re­gard­less of divers’ re­ports of the aw­ful ex­is­tence of such plas­tic tan­gled messes.

Also, it must be quite con­ve­nient for the fos­sil fuel in­dus­try to have such a large por­tion of main­stream so­ci­ety sim­ply too ex­hausted and pre­oc­cu­pied with just barely feed­ing and hous­ing their fam­i­lies on a sub­stan­dard in­come to crit­i­cize the for­mer for the great dam­age it’s do­ing to our planet’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and there­fore our health, par­tic­u­larly when that dam­age may not be im­me­di­ately ob­serv­able.

Un­doubt­edly, to have al­most ev­ery­one ad­dicted to driv­ing their own fos­sil-fuel-pow­ered, sin­gleoc­cu­pant ve­hi­cles helps keep their col­lec­tive mouths shut about the planet’s great­est and very profitable pol­luter, lest they feel like and/or be pub­licly deemed hyp­ocrites.

FRANK STERLE JR. White Rock

Re: Build­ing our own bat­ter­ies (Let­ters,

Nov. 27)

Gar­land Lal­ib­erte ap­pears to agree with other writ­ers who sup­port the all-out min­ing of lithium and tan­ta­lum to aid in de­vel­op­ing an elec­tri­cal ve­hi­cle in­dus­try. How­ever, the large neg­a­tive ef­fects of large-scale min­ing are ig­nored.

The re­lease of mer­cury and sul­phur-based acids into the ground and wa­ter, as well as green­house gases into the at­mos­phere dur­ing the crush­ing and refin­ing pro­cesses, are not men­tioned. In ad­di­tion, the neg­a­tive in­flu­ence on an­i­mal and fish pop­u­la­tions in an area so large as the Win­nipeg River basin would be se­vere.

RON­ALD RIEHL Win­nipeg

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