Concentrated smoke

After reading Harperism about the rise of neo-conservatism, I went to get my copy of The NEWS for a cleansing check-up on local events.

I had just finished reading Donald Gutstein’s book, Harperism about the rise of neo-conservatism in Canada and, feeling a bit depressed, went outside to get my copy of The NEWS for a cleansing check-up on merely local events.

I got by the lead story about Coun. Al Grier wanting to rollback municipal taxes (that’s right: it is a rollback when you freeze expenditures during even a mild inflationary period) and moved onto my favourite part of the paper. There editor John Harding predictably used his privileged position to castigate Coun. Kirk Oates for presuming to express his opinion that wood fire effluent is a contaminant when it is concentrated in an urban environment.

(Full disclosure: I love wood heat and used it almost exclusively to heat my farm home in Errington before moving into town.)

If anyone doubts the veracity of that view, I invite them to take a drive through Coombs any time there is a temperature inversion.

Every time our modern industrial society digs up dirt to get at its minerals, we concentrate such hazardous chemicals as arsenic; when you are turning the earth in your small garden, you are exposing yourself to botulism — fortunately in such small amounts that we can deal with it safely; if you live in a house on a concrete foundation, you are exposing yourself to radon gas. In these and in countless other examples, the unwanted by-products are endurable if we avoid releasing them in too large concentrations. The population density of Parksville is too high to permit unrestricted use of wood smoke — produced in an airtight stove or not.

The real calumny is linking Oates’ day job with his ability to function as part of the city’s policy-making body. If we are to apply that standard, what are we to say about Harding’s day job as a minion of one of B.C’s very own one percenters?

John OlsenParksville

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

COVID-19: City of Parksville announces gradual re-opening plan

Sports courts and playgrounds to open June 5

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

RCMP: Parksville cyclist hurt after being clipped by passing vehicle

59-year-old man suffered minor injuries; driver failed to stop

COVID-19: RDN utility bills in the mail, deadline extended

Residents given until Sept. 8 to settle accounts

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read