Letters to the Editor: March/April 2024

Estimated read time 3 min read

Climate Disaster Artist

As a climate activist, I looked forward to reading Arno Kopecky’s “Vaclav Smil Is Fed Up” (January / February), a profile of the acclaimed climate scientist. However, I was disappointed to read that Smil is fed up with climate activists and what he sees as our silly attempts to urge our political leaders to take stronger climate action. I do all of the things that Smil seems to decry as naive, such as going to climate protests and rallies. My colleagues and I try very hard to do all that we can to speed up the transition to clean, renewable energy. Smil, however, says “we are not in mortal danger.” Moreover, he suggests that our continuing addiction to fossil fuels is proof of the industry’s bright future. Indeed, he sounds more like a fan of Big Oil and Gas than a critic. Kopecky, an acclaimed author and environmental journalist, does his best to try to present Smil in a positive light. However, I finished the profile with the feeling that Kopecky himself is quite fed up with Smil, a sentiment I couldn’t help but share.

Patricia Morton
Peterborough, ON

Seniors’ Moment

Cathrin Bradbury’s “The End of Retirement” (December 2023) highlights an important, often overlooked situation faced by many of Canada’s retired residents, including me. I am a ninety-two-year-old woman and mother of four who supported herself for more than forty years. Through thrift, hard work, and good luck, I was able to build up adequate retirement savings. The problem is I am living too long. Like many, I assumed there would be a safe place for me to go when I could no longer manage on my own. That has not been the case. The least expensive option for me is a publicly owned assisted living space, but there is a nearly-two-year wait for such residences. Privately owned assisted living spaces cost thousands of dollars a month. Homelessness looms. I’m lucky to have my children’s help, but I am reluctant to ask them for financial assistance because they, too, face rising costs of living. Federal and provincial governments are proudly supporting parents’ daycare costs. It’s time they turned their attention to improving seniors’ home care services. The benefit would be fewer seniors in acute care hospital beds awaiting an assisted living place, fewer seniors paying so much for home care they cannot afford, fewer seniors facing homelessness, and more seniors able to do what we all want to do: live independently.

Beverley Christensen
Victoria, BC

Balancing the Books

In “Indigo May Have Lost the Plot,” Nicole Dirks writes that, in stuffing its stores with mugs, teas, pillows, and other tchotchkes, Indigo is crowding its core book business and losing customers. However, way back in the early ’80s, naysayers surely felt Dave Nichol had lost the plot at Loblaws. The “marketing genius,” who was hired by W. Galen Weston to revive the floundering brand, started stocking stores with items that had nothing to do with groceries but a lot to do with consumers’ lives. Nichol’s interventions were a success, and many big-box retailers have since followed suit. Let’s not write off Indigo just yet.

Paul Baker
Guelph, ON

#Letters #Editor #MarchApril

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