Letters to the Editor 

On the meaning of hospitality, snowmobiling, a down under perspective and thanks again.

Page 5 of 6

Responding to the increasing pressure of trucks on the island’s beaches and community concerns, the local government and a neighbouring university recently got serious about examining exactly what trucks do to the beach and the animals that live there. The results (still coming in as I write) reveal far more extensive impacts than anticipated. Compression from the tires kills about 40 per cent of the clams under the sand and over half the beach experiences changes to density from the truck tires down to a depth of 20-30 cm. Findings for ghost crabs are similarly morbid, as they are either crushed in their burrows or crushed on the surface trying to escape.

So what, you might ask.

Apart from the existence value of other life forms, there’s the inseparable ecosystem and economic linkages to consider. For example, ghost crabs clean up organic debris washed up on the beach, processing the nutrients and making them available for other organisms that, in turn, feed the small fish (that then feed the big fish), feed the shorebirds (over 40 species) and keep the sand clean. These interconnected natural systems are partly responsible for generating the tourist economy on the island. With this kind of hard data in hand, what should the local government do to manage the beach for all users, human and non-human and for future generations?

Whistler promotes itself and gets international recognition for its sustainability initiatives and "nature friendly" image. In light of what is known about the incompatibility of "polluting for pleasure" with frameworks like The Natural Step and with maintaining local wildlife populations, how long can Whistler afford to remain neutral over motorized use of its backcountry?

Dan McDonald

Australia

Marijuana economics

The utter backwardness and ignorance exuded in Cpl. Vadik’s quote in the March 9 Pique has left me concerned with the state of our municipality’s police goals and/or the intelligence level of its members. "Our goal is to rid the supply to defeat the demand…" One can’t help but hear the echoes of laughter of even the most half witted high school graduate who understands the concepts of supply and demand. Decrease supply to reduce demand eh? Kinda like we’ve done with gold, diamonds and oil?

Decrease supply of a finite resource and you will merely find an increase in price… in the case of a sustainable infinite resource (drugs) an obvious vacuum is created bringing new sources and connections. That’s right, demand does not change in response to supply. Please confirm that this is merely the uninformed ramblings of a tired brainwashed drug warrior and not actually the policy my tax dollars are paying into.

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