Trashing Kyoto dangerous
Wayne roberts is one of my heroes, so it's uncomfortable to write what I must - that Let Kyoto Go (NOW, May 25-31) is dangerously misinformed. The premise that Kyoto is a "process that can now be judged as going nowhere fast" is further burdened by another that large fossil fuel transnational corporations are somehow getting gentle treatment while activists focus on multilateral action through the United Nations.
No one, least of all someone as principled and brilliant as Roberts, should make the mistake of believing the rhetoric of Big Carbon. Most nations within Kyoto are meeting their targets. The fact that only 35 countries took on binding targets in the first commitment period was not an accident.
It's not the case that the non-industrialized countries made no commitments. A case in point is the success of Brazilian sugar-cane-based ethanol, which has largely replaced fossil fuels in Brazil's vehicles.
Kyoto is working, despite Harper's disgraceful attempts to derail talks in Bonn. Nothing about working to implement and expand Kyoto has prevented NGOs from direct attacks on fossil fuel companies and boycott actions. The Boycott Exxon campaign, for example, is run side by side with climate groups. No one in the climate movement is afraid to target offenders with boycotts.
Elizabeth E. May
Candidate for leadership,
Green Party of Canada
Coming clean on coal, sort of
Re Clean Coal's Dirty Little Secret (NOW, May 25-31). We appreciate that NOW reprinted our advertisement about clean coal at no cost to the Power Workers' Union. However, the context of NOW's editorial remarks do concern us. Obviously, we have different sources of information. Everyone supports having cleaner air. That's one of the reasons the Power Workers' Union has created www.abetterenergyplan.ca to assist Ontarians in considering their options for reliable, sustainable, affordable electricity now and in the future.
It's imperative that Canada take the lead on installing clean coal technologies to create a new world standard. In his Donner Prize-winning book, Sustainable Fossil Fuels: An Unusual Suspect In The Quest For Clean And Enduring Energy, Mark Jaccard forecasts that the global use of coal will increase more than six-fold by 2100.
Without a push for clean coal, economies around the world won't have the technology to contribute to clean air.
President, Power Workers' Union
Electric scooters kick
It was nice to see Adria Vasil touch on the subject of electric bicycles in Ecoholic last week (NOW, May 25-31). But only 2 per cent of Canadians currently commute on a pedal bicycle. The pedal bicycle is, of course, a wonderful thing, but very Victorian. The derailleur gear, aluminum frame, freewheel, disc wheel, anatomical saddle, clipless pedal, suspension and folding bike are all late-1800s inventions. The modern electric-battery kick scooter, as a human/electric hybrid, is far safer than Karl Drais's Laufmaschine.
If the editorial folks at NOW would like to be better informed about options in urban transport today, get back to me. Otherwise, you are doing your readers a disservice.
Flip burgers or go to war
Fast times at machine gun high (NOW, May 25-31) is full of fallacies. The armed forces recruiting drive uses TV and radio commercials and is hardly "quiet." Our newest soldiers are joining for more than simply high school credits and money. The military should be allowed to recruit in schools. It needs young people who are willing to do something to help those who cannot help themselves. Believe it or not, there are still young people who want an exciting job that allows them to serve their country as well.
Perhaps Andrew Cash would suggest a few years of burger-flipping and drug experimentation? I suppose he'd prefer we were armed with food stamps and positive reinforcement.
Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists don't want a hug and a pat on the back. They want to destroy Western civilization. Violence is sometimes necessary. We have to stop them before they fly any more planes into our buildings. Unfortunately, I suspect people won't understand this until Parliament Hill is a smoking ruin
Freedom for whom?
Fighting terrorism for freedom and democracy, eh? Freedom and democracy for whom? For the Monsantos, Exxons, Halliburtons, Union Carbides, DuPonts, et al., to plunder at will? Raping the planet and its peoples is not enough? I guess not. They won't be satisfied until the planet is turned into a Martian desert and we cannibalize ourselves into extinction. Hallelujah, motherfuckers!
Miller a charmer, but no icon
Re An Icon In The Making (NOW, May 25-31). It's difficult to equate the fanfare around Mayor David Miller with that of an icon. Icons are images of great deeds of bravery, high performance and unique achievements. Do any of these apply here? So far he's just a slick orator charming the media and the minions who in turn manage to convince the public that great expectations have been met and now we're ready for the second batch of colourful displays.
There's a lot of talk about alleviating congestion and smog, but the problems persist while we make little progress toward the implementation of a bike-lane network. It's about time Mike Smith connects the dots between mayoral hype and being "unsettlingly vague."
Independents not dead yet
Re It's A Wrap For Reps (NOW, may 25-31). Jenny Yuen's article was entertaining and informative, but I have one small complaint. In closing she mentions that the closures will leave only the Bloor, Fox and Camera Bar as independent venues. I believe she could have included two others - the Mount Pleasant and the Regent, both of which are on Mount Pleasant south of Eglinton. While perhaps not rep houses strictly speaking, both are small neighbourhood independent theatres with storied histories.
Cult fans boo NOW
I've religously read your magazine for years but was absolutely and downright disgusted with your comments about the Cult (NOW, May 25-31). I was so upset, I had to wait a few days to write this e-mail, as I had no idea how to express my anger. The funny thing is, I'm not a huge Cult fan, but I'm not the only person who feels this way: the 12,000 fans at the Friday show all booed NOW when lead singer Ian Astbury brought up the issue.
For the record, the Cult put on a show that those overrated indie bands you're so fond of could never dream of playing. Who the fuck are you anyway, and did you write She Sells Sanctuary?
Male nudity too hot for Sumi
After Glenn Sumi's totally wrong-headed review of Open Cam (NOW, May 18-24), I hereby revoke his status as a gay man. He must be secretly straight. How else could he be so unfairly critical of such a satisfying, sexy thriller. I'm talking about the type of sexy that includes loads of bubble-butted male nudity of one of the hottest guys in the world (Andreau Thomas), lots of masturbating of big, thick cocks and the oh so rare joy of seeing erect penises on the big screen.
It's a shame the two-N review might have scared real gay guys away from a movie that successfully puts the cock in Hitchcock.
Spirits soar on Church
Why is it that Spirits bar & grill on Church never makes it into your patio guide (NOW, May 18-24)? My co-workers and I (we work close by) have been going there for about three years, and we think it's the best patio on Church. What are your criteria anyway? Is it all based on votes? Or do representatives of NOW check out all the different patios?
Judge buys Nazi defence
I was horrified to learn from AWOL GIs Dealt Legal Blow (NOW, May 18-24) that Canada has forgotten everything we learned at the 1945 Nuremberg Trials. Back then, the Nazis on trial tried to use the excuse "I was just taking orders." The Nuremberg judges didn't buy that, but now Federal Court Judge Anne Mactavish has. Much praise to NOW and Matt Mernagh for spreading this story, which has huge implications for other war resisters.
Moon on ice, but not Queen
Many thanks to Sheila Gostick for her article on the closure of the Blue Moon (NOW, May 11-17). Another loss to the Parkdale neighbourhood is the Northway Restaurant. The Ice Queen, however, is still open.
Dose a daily waste of paper
Re Canwest's announcement that Dose, its foray into the free daily paper business, will no longer exist, at least not in print form (NOW, May 18-24). That's one less dose of daily waste and litter by the ton clogging our subways, sidewalks and bike paths.
If only NOW would reduce the size of its behemoth weekly.