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Letters to the editor, June 21, 2018

These are the letters and comments from the print edition.


Don't tax oxygen

In 1714, Gabriel Fahrenheit invented the mercury thermometer. In the course of calibrating his invention, he made use of a greenhouse and its wide variation of daily temperatures. The source of heat was from the natural input of solar heat.

The variation of changes in the occurrences of different elements—oxygen and carbon—and noted that the carbon levels increased with the rising temperature. This seems to be the foundation of blaming carbon as the cause of the greenhouse warming, but it is more likely that the rising temperature caused the carbon to increase via the stimulation of plant growth. So it really appears that the carbon occurs naturally and cannot be the cause of greenhouse warming. The released carbon combines freely with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and becomes a natural necessity in agriculture—especially in forestry, where trees use carbon to form fibre for their growth, and so release the oxygen back to the atmosphere for our use. This is the only natural source of oxygen for us. Blaming carbon for causing climate warming is a mistake. A carbon tax appears to be an ecologically friendly action by government to look good, as well as being a cash income. How carbon can be usefully reduced this way is beyond me. One important consequence for us in reducing atmospheric carbon is it would result in reducing oxygen generation, as well as forest growth, and this would be happening when world population is on the verge of a runaway increase at the rate of doubling every 50 years. The actual numbers have grown from one billion in 1805 to seven billion in 2010, and still rising. —Francis Jordan, Dartmouth

How you can help

Suicide is terribly sad and troubling. When I see celebrities or people in my personal life kill themselves, I always hear people say afterwards that if you are depressed or having suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. I want to stress that if you know someone asking for help, looking for help or showing signs that they are in distress, help them. Listen to those asking for help!

I believe people mostly have the best of intentions, and envision that once they see someone suffering from depression, they will get them the help they need and avert a crisis. But I know from experience that someone in need of help either has a difficult time asking for help, or may not actually want help at the time. It's not likely going to come out as: "I am suicidal and I need help." It will more likely be signs, or the total absence of that person from your life. It may be them saying that they are overwhelmed, lost and don't know what to do. People in a position to help a friend or family member may not help for any number of reasons. They may not handle stress and others' emotions very well, and they may think that someone else will come along and help them. I can't help thinking of someone hitch-hiking in freezing temperatures being passed by people who think that someone else will pick them up.

Helping someone in need is likely going to be inconvenient, it will likely be uncomfortable and unpleasant, it will likely be difficult and take time, understanding and patience. It's going to take love. Love that may have been really put to the test by all the behaviour that comes along with depression. Setting up an appointment for someone may be a good start, but what about the interim? Do they have the fortitude to get to an appointment? Transportation? What about when they are released from an institution? It's a lifelong struggle that doesn't end with a well-intentioned phone call, text or visit. There are resources out there. It's just that people in need of them are often the people least able to find them and access them. —Jonathan Andrews, Halifax


The "Looking good, feeling good" item in last week's Shoptalk column said Flaunt Salon was closing. That wasn't accurate. Longtime Flaunt employee and master stylist Michael Hinchey has actually taken over ownership of the brand. The Windsor Street location of the salon is open until July 1, after which time Hinchey and the Flaunt name will relocate and continue to operate out of AQC Salon at 5954 Spring Garden Road. The Coast apologizes for the error.

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