Letters

Wandering orca highlights Canada's cultural complexities

Regarding Rondi Adamson's Sept. 4 Opinion piece, "Canada's whale of a dilemma": So many articles I have read about Luna seem content to focus only on the damage he does to boats, and what a "menace" he is. I was glad to see this article because it directly challenges the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nations' (MMFN) claim on Luna, and it is this "claim" that is the primary, if not only, reason why Luna is still alone and away from his family. There is so much political correctness these days, many people are afraid to call the First Nations on their mistakes when they make them (and in this case, they have made a big one).

The MMFN claims to honor nature and orca, but it is currently doing a great dishonor to Luna. Now is the ideal time for Luna to be reunited with his family. Let's hope with articles such as this one fueling public pressure, Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans will finally stand up against the MMFN and do what is right for Luna.
Teresa Taggart
Victoria, British Columbia

In human beings' interaction with the natural world, there is no relationship more special than the bond between predator and prey. Modern humans have - to a large degree - forgotten this, with our grocery stores where the consumer has little knowledge of the product he or she eats or drinks. Farmers and hunters, on the other hand, often share a bond with what they eat. There is no contradiction in revering what you kill - humans have done so since the dawn of time.

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As for the statement that Luna/Tsuux-iit is a real whale and not a mythological one: For many native peoples, there is no difference between the mythological and the real - they are one and the same. As for the statement "We're sorry we stole your land," I can hardly find words to describe my outrage at such a falsity.

If it's true that "expressions of guilt - some sincere, some not - over past injustices have created an environment, at least in Canada, where anything short of concurrence with native ideas is seen as arrogance," then why is there so much prejudice and injustice against the First Nations?

Yes, the whale may indeed need its pod. But false apologies and accusations of hypocrisy will not solve the problem.
Ian Herrick
San Jose, Calif.

Diesel could lift dependence on Saudi oil

One of those low-hanging pieces of energy-efficiency fruit not mentioned in the Sept. 23 article "To boost US security, an energy diet" is diesel technology for cars, light trucks, and SUVs. Long known as the most energy-efficient technology, diesel is the predominant fuel of commerce in the US - moving goods and fueling the mass transit of people.

In cars, diesel has 20-40 percent greater energy efficiency than comparable gasoline, conservatively speaking. In Europe, diesel-fueled vehicles make up about 42 percent of all new vehicle purchases; over 60 percent in some countries.

According to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Mike Leavitt, the US could save the entire amount of oil it imports from Saudi Arabia if these new-generation clean diesels were to make up about 40 percent of the US market. Even California, long known for its aggressive environmental policies, recently found that using more diesel was one of only a few energy efficiency options.

Meeting more stringent emissions standards and gaining US consumer confidence are must-haves, but cleaner fuel in 2006 will open the door for more diesel choices. Clean diesel technology should be considered as one of a new crop of energy efficient technologies just about ripe for picking.
Allen Schaeffer
Frederick, Md.

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