Letter: Coast guard hysteria sarcasm justifed in column

Re: Coast Guard hysteria sinks lower, B.C. Views (April 29)

Re: Coast Guard hysteria sinks lower, B.C. Views (April 29)

Tom Fletcher’s sarcasm about the Vancouver media’s coverage of the “Great Bunker Spill of 2015” was justified. However, given that only 17 barrels of fuel oil were spilled, his cynical comments were not harsh enough.

A favourite of West Coast alarmists is the tired “wake-up-call” cliché – used with reckless abandon for minor local fuel spills or frequent but barely noticeable earthquakes. For major spill or quake events world-wide – the Nepal disaster being a latter case in point – we’ve been subjected to yet even more strident wake-up-calls.

It’s clear that many have forgotten the lesson of the chicken little fable:  one should not readily believe the sky is falling, or, for that matter, that numerous large oil spills are inevitable and we’re at significant risk of frequent large or mega quakes.

Putting the West Coast quake issue into proper perspective is the June 12, 2013 Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences evidence-based finding of an average recurrence interval for large and megathrust earthquakes of about 500 years. Within a variable interval timeline of up to 1,000 years, it’s understandable why so many of us don’t sweat west-coast quakes.

Let’s avoid alarmists’ hyperbole and simply meet our individual and family all-hazard preparedness responsibilities with seven day stand-alone survival plans.

Ron JohnsonSaanich


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