Letters to the editor, Jan. 11, 2022
I would like to say a word of acknowledgement to Dr. Thomas Baitz, who retired on Dec.
31, after serving our community since 1975. I had the privilege of consulting with him for the past 12 years and his depth and breadth of not only medical knowledge, but of world knowledge, was humbling.
Among his numerous awards and accomplishments in the medical field, Dr. Baitz started the first diabetes program in Cornwall in 1981. His contribution to Cornwall and surrounding areas goes beyond measure, and he will be sorely missed in the medical community.
To quote Dr. Baitz, “the sign is on the door, but the friendships don’t end.” Rebecca Fourney, NP
Nuclear ambitions Re: “Nuclear power should be ace up Tories’ sleeve,” and “Nuclear power key to fossil fuel-free future,” Jan.
8, 2022. Decades ago, in the late 1950s in England, I had graduated and gained a position with the English Electric Company as a member of its research team developing what was to be one of the first nuclear power generating plants in the U.K. at Hinkley Point, Somerset.
Interestingly, the English Electric company was situated in the East Midlands, on the original site near Cosby, Leicestershire, where Frank Whittle had invented the world’s first viable jet engine. My debut in the field of scientific research was in the very early days of computers. The one on which we worked was the size of my current sitting room; we used the binary system and inputted our data on punch cards.
It was an exciting time. We were on a mission to change the world!
As time went by the matter of dealing with the nuclear waste from such plants became the overriding dilemma. It eventually caused me to leave the company and join the nearby Dunlop Company’s research team – much easier on the conscience to research different options for manufacturing car/truck tires!
I have, however, never wavered from my position regarding the value and need for nuclear power-operated plants and both of the columns mentioned above added fuel to my belief. Gwynne Dyer describes so well the situation in Europe where, although the European Commission has proposed a new law recognizing nuclear power as green, provided plants have strict plans for nuclear-waste disposal. Nuclear power plants have been closed in many European countries in answer to the outcries from well-organized vocal groups.
In Dwyer’s words, “This is the triumph of fear over common sense. To abandon nuclear power when the greater threat is carbon dioxide (greenhouse warming gas) is folly.” David Staples, on the other hand, looks purely at the political angle, specifically addressing the attitudes of the federal Conservative and Liberal leaders toward nuclear power.
He explains the Conservatives are missing an opportunity, stating “they’ve become the party of yesterday – the party of bald heads and expanding waistlines… they are written off by many as anti-vaxxers, climate-change deniers.” He is right; they are missing the boat.
The Liberals, meantime, seem not to have even thought about making it to the docks when they chose to appoint Steven Gulbeault as the environment and climate change minister– my heart had missed a few beats when I first read of his appointment. Staples described Steven Gulbeault as “a man so stunningly misguided he’s spent his adult life fighting ferociously against nuclear power – the single best solution to climate change.” The rest of Staple’s column is an excellent description of the vagaries of both the Liberals and the Conservatives with regard to climate action.
If Canada wants to be a leader in this regard, as we have been in many other areas, our government and opposition parties must start sharpening their pencils. Jan M. Milnes
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