Terri-Jane Yuzda


Let's hear from you...

The PEGG welcomes letters as an avenue for members to express opinions and concerns on issues or topics of interest to the professions. Share your experiences with other members.

Mail to:1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 4A2, E-mail: glee@apegga.org or Fax: (780) 425-1722 your letters to the editor, signed with your name and address.

Of course we can't publish all letters received and can't run letters concerning specific registration matters before any APEGGA regulatory body. Do try and keep your letters to 300 words or less.

APEGGA Boosts Joy of Learning
I would like to thank APEGGA very much for all you have done in sponsoring the Calgary Youth Science Fair, April 2-5. I realize how important sponsors such as you are in creating such a joyful, memorable and educational experience.

I was one of the participants in this year's science fair. I am in Grade 8 and my project was titled Motus Elatio, Latin for earthquake waves. In my project I tried to discover which bridge design would be able to sustain the least amount of damage and be able to rise the highest before breaking when a vertical primary wave motion is applied to it.

I won a gold medal and the award you sponsored, the APEGGA Award for Earth Sciences. As well, I was chosen to go to the Canada Wide Science Fair.

I worked even harder to extend my base of knowledge after the Calgary Youth Science Fair. For example, I learned more about statistical analysis, which helped me to further understand my results. I had a great time presenting my project to all my judges. I saw some old friends and even made some new ones.

At the Canada Wide Science Fair, I won a silver medal, the Dow Communication Award, and also the Top Junior Engineering Award.
I wish to thank you and let you know how much I love to work in the areas of engineering and earth sciences. Your sponsorship may open doors to my future. I am putting all the money that I won towards my education.

I thank you for this and I hope you continue to be involved with science fairs in the future.

Andrea Merson

Important Letter Sent to PM
Thanks to APEGGA President Ron Tenove, P.Eng., and APEGGA Council for encouraging Prime Minister Jean Chretien to approach climate change from an objective and constructive angle (instead of the "legacy" angle the prime minister appears to be on at the moment).

The letter to the PM, published in the October PEGG, was very well positioned and crafted in a way that carried the weight of 37,000 technical, thoughtful professionals.

Well done. Let's hope he reads his mail - carefully.

Kevin Walker, P.Eng.
Grande Prairie

General Debate Not Productive

It was with great surprise that I read the October President's Notebook (Defining Our Role in the Kyoto Debate). I do not believe that the federal government should initiate a debate among the general public on whether or not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
Very few people have the background to form an intelligent opinion on the agreement.

I would venture to say that if the implementation of Kyoto is known to cost the average Albertan, say, $1,000 annually, a minority of Albertans would support it. That is the sad part and one reason why it should not become a matter of public debate.

There has over the last few years been lots of opportunity to debate climate change but I have not noticed very much written about it in The PEGG.

The letter to Prime Minister Chretien confirms my suspicion that APEGGA has become just another special interest group. I don't think that the general public was consulted when the Alberta Government started implementing the austerity program, the flat tax and other policies years ago, despite the fact that these programs had vast implications with the introduction of user fees, decreased services etc.

And I do not recall seeing any official reaction from APEGGA at the time.

Henning Rasmussen, P.Eng.

Professional Debate Is What's Needed

Unfortunately, the debate on the effects and cost of implementing a quixotic plan such as the Kyoto Protocol has been largely sequestered by activists with hidden agendas searching for popular attention. This is a repetition of an old strategy: predict doom-and-gloom by means of catastrophe for all, and once heard unleash the true scheme: anti-industrialism, anti-capitalism, anti-globalism, anti-(fill in the blank)ism. By inhaling an excess of Kyoto bromides, politicians disregard the real issues and expertly follow the path of least resistance.

However, the real debate on Kyoto necessarily embraces topics in a multitude of disciplines, including geology, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography, geography, zoology, medicine and economics. The best and most conclusive forum must take place within and among the professional associations.

It must begin soon, move quickly and earn recognition by the sheer weight of the thoughtfulness and analysis employed. Facts derived from truly scientific methods must confront the misguided fiction so far professed.

An APEGGA-sponsored conference, as proposed by Wim Veldman (The PEGG, October 2002), focused on bringing out critical information on this far-reaching subject, is well in line with the Association's mandate: the protection of the public interest.

Juan C. Joffre, P.Geoph.

Survey Hits Mark On Geoscience Opinions

I took the time to both participate in the member survey and to read the summary report on the website. As I suspected, the survey indicates that a lot of professional geologists and geophysicists find very little value in belonging to APEGGA.

We are often treated as the "poorer cousins" by the Association. My introduction to being a full professional member serves as an example of the lack of respect we are often shown. I remember that the form letter welcoming me began with Dear Engineering Colleague. I'm a geologist, by the way.

Phil Esslinger, P.Geol.

Ingenuity is the Answer - Not the Kyoto Protocol

Carbon dioxide is a waste product from animals, including a huge share from bacteria, and is a fuel for plants by photosynthesis to produce oxygen to give life to the animals. This natural cycle created the life-giving biosphere in the first place. The industrial age of hydrocarbons wastes carbon dioxide to the atmosphere to produce energy for mankind's tool-making devices. We all must acknowledge this value to mankind over recorded history.

Carbon dioxide, as a waste industrial product, is in our time being continually reduced by innovative scientists in their discovery and by engineers in application. Whether today's waste of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere influences the warm/cold cycle of climatic change is not known as a certainty, and it will be many years, if ever, before this becomes a scientific truism.

The net result of the Kyoto regulation in Canada will be to end our market-stimulated research and development for supply of market product, from the premier Canadian natural assets - the oilsands, the natural gas of our North, and off-shore prospects on the east and west coast shelves. All of these projects require a higher input of energy (hydrocarbon-based) than conventional fields.

The bitumen oilsands process removes carbon and replaces it with hydrogen compounds, reducing carbon dioxide waste when burned as a fuel in transportation. The recovered carbon is burned as electrodes in the great hydroelectric powered electro-metallurgical industries, primarily in Quebec.

Both these global products are enormously important in export for the Canadian economy. Which is to be penalized?

A common-sense explanation is needed about the Kyoto system of regulation to be imposed upon the Canadian people and their industries. If explained for reasonable understanding, one may assess this as a benefit donated by Canada as a contribution to the people of the world, and compare it to its effect on the Canadian economy. This is the usual standard for assessment of any project before commitment.

Kyoto will be a legislative measure influencing our future, based upon a government's opinion; verified as to usefulness not now, but in the next generation, perhaps two.

In the Kyoto mechanics, Canadians are committed to send our money to places such as Russia and Africa, or to the federal government, supervised by a supranational agency, for the bureaucrats to use as it will, with no strings attached. This rather than use these funds to continue to reduce the greenhouse gases by our own ingenuity, as is our system heretofore.

The Russians and the Africans or other non-regulated entities, a source quite different in terms of security, could increase their production of conventional hydrocarbons for the market. This could replace our oilsands product to be used in a non-regulated country.
This is ironic as the future of Canada is inextricably dependent upon the development of our great Northern territories. The 40 or more years of research and development have successfully produced and delivered market-grade oil from bitumen, which requires heat and hydrogen, both wasting GHG.

Canada is on the threshold of the hydrogen age with the hydrogenation of oil, the fuel cell, and fusion producing electricity. The hydrogen age for direct energy source will surely supplant the carbon age as the carbon age replaced the water/steam power age.
In due time this carbon waste will be recovered or eliminated, a bet as sure or better than that of the projected climate control result predicted from the Kyoto regulation.

In North America we have been in the hands of innovative scientists and engineers causing much of our growth and comfort, not altogether destructive, but similar to Europe's situation some hundred years ago in transforming the land. This Kyoto commitment places Canadians surely in the hands of theoreticians and social politicians for the next generation.

We should continue to have faith in the current system, which has been so rewarding for us in our northern climate.

R.J. Balfour, P.Eng., Life Member

Skeptics Outnumbered In Science Community
There appears to be much opposition among APEGGA members to the concept of human-induced climate change. For all the pseudo-science, hyperbola and speculation about what the true causes of the well-documented ramifications of GHG buildup occurring all over the world are, the following facts remain:

1. Global warming is a fact. Certain gases in an atmosphere absorb long wavelength electro-magnetic radiation and are elevated to a higher energy state. Global warming is the reason, as Goldilocks might have said, why Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold and Earth is just right. Yes, the major GHG is water vapour, but all the other gases have remained incredibly stable for millennia and have much longer half-lives.

2. Certain of these gases, present in the atmosphere of Earth, are indisputably increasing in an exponential fashion after remaining stable for thousands of years. Examinations of ice cores, tree rings and some isotopes have confirmed this hypothesis. The recent increases, which appear to coincide with the industrial revolution, have been observed directly.

3. The climate of the Earth appears to be experiencing growing perturbation. Record weather events have occurred, with ever increasing frequency, on all continents. The hottest years ever recorded have occurred within the last two decades and the hottest century was the 20th for the last six.

If the whole thing is a hoax, then a very large number of eminent members of the scientific community are deluding themselves. These academics, who vastly outnumber the skeptics, must have some ulterior motive for pushing the climate change hypothesis so hard. What this self-serving rationale may be is not alluded to by any of the respondents. However, the self-interest of the oil exploration and extraction industries in denying climate change is not counted as relevant.

The solar activity theory is trotted out, as is the cyclic nature of climate change throughout history. The undetected and unmeasurable tilting of the axis of Earth is desperately invoked.
These efforts come from a society that refuses to concede that unrestrained, uncontrolled and unregulated exponential growth is collective suicide. The scientific revolution has given us undreamed of comfort and security and, it appeared until only a few decades ago, without cost. Perhaps we have escaped most of the costs but I cannot say I feel very good about the legacy we are leaving our children, who will bear the full brunt.

The Kyoto Protocol is the best attempt we have yet come up with to try to address our assault on the atmosphere. It is inadequate and implementation will cause major social changes. We have been through crises like this before and come out better off with healthier, more lucrative and safer jobs; we can do this again. Let engineers find solutions as they have done in the past for eliminating lead in gasoline, improving fuel efficiencies and replacing ozone-destroying CFCs in many industrial applications.

David J. Parker, P.Eng.

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