Monday, March 11, 2013
Just 50 Miles East
Rail can help
reduce air pollution in the Upper Fraser Valley
Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chwk
Barnhardt complained about air inversion in the winter in five Utah cities.
He said: "I am not talking about vehicle emissions, I am talking about
industrial exhaust to kitchen exhaust that pump tons of particles & gases in
the air. If we (the entire world) took a vacation and stayed home for one
week we would change the environment we are in for the good and we all know
that this will never happen!"
I agree somewhat with Mack Barnhardt about inversion of air quality during
the winter. The problem is very serious in the upper Fraser Valley from
Abbottsford, through Chilliwack and Hope. We have smog that hides our
beautiful mountain scenery all year round and especially in the winter.
Most people suffer from either dry or runny eyes, continual colds, mucus in
their throats, headaches, sinusitis and coughs. Because the eustachian tube
leading from throat to middle ear becomes irritated and blocked we have
hearing loss and dizziness. Asthma is on the increase. These symptoms cause
our hearts to work harder and start to give up (congestive heart failure).
The pollution comes from the lower mainland especially from Seattle, Tacoma,
Bellingham, Hanford (nuclear waste) and metro Vancouver. Their fine
particulates are funneled up to us. According to a Trinity Western
professor, there even are asbestos fibres floating in the air, from natural
Near the Pacific ocean the air quality is much better because the winds blow
the pollution eastward. Therefore city folk are unaware of the massive
problem just 50 to 100 miles east. There are few stations to test air
quality, especially in the upper Fraser valley. The stations do not test for
the finest particulates. Please advocate for more and better air quality
testing and follow-up.
Because the scenery is misty and traffic is heavy, it is no longer a joy to
be a tourist in this exceptionally beautiful Fraser Valley. It is rush hour
night and day all year round, with the majority of vehicles SUVs and long
distance huge trucks.
I belong to a movement called "Rail for the Valley". The Interurban Railway
carried passenger trains for over 40 years, but when cars and gas became
cheap in 1950 passenger service stopped. The Southern Railway still uses
that line for a vast amount of freight from Chilliwack to the Pacific ocean
ports in New Westminster (part of Metro Vancouver). It connects at the US
border (Huntington/Sumas) with freight from all over the USA on the Santa Fe
and Union Pacific, to ship raw materials to China and bring back
manufactured goods. At Chilliwack it adds container vehicles from the rest
of Canada, mostly potash and wheat and returns with cheap goods for sale in
Walmart, Cosco, etc.
Rail traffic produces much less carbon than truck traffic does. Some of the
mayors south of Vancouver want frequent passenger service on the old
interurban line, and some also want new branch lines. Most people have to
drive to work. They want the carbon tax and gas tax paid by everyone, to be
used for light railway cum trams, rather than for sky trains and larger port
facilities. The provincial and the Metro Vancouver government seem to be
controlled by other interests. Modern trams can run on busy broad railway
lines. They do in Europe and in a growing number of places in America.
There are six university campuses on the old interurban line. Students and
staff commute by car. There is a population of one million south of the
Fraser river from Chilliwack to Surrey-Delta. Many people commute too work,
mostly south of the river.
pollution we pay governments to have the opportunity to cause poor air
Industrial Pollution see
Kitchen Exhaust Pollution see the pdf file
About Myrtle Macdonald
Myrtle Macdonald has an MSc Applied in
Nursing and Research from McGill University, Montreal. Her Minor is
in the Social Sciences (Anthropology and Psycho-Sociology).
She has worked in many hospital, nursing education and community
health roles in six provinces of Canada and four countries overseas.
She is 91 years of age and is still active in:
• Mental Health Advisory Committee,
• BC Schizophrenia Society,
• Rail for the Valley
• Ecologic-BC (environmental issues)
• singing in the choir at St. Thomas Anglican Church.
is nearing completion of her book called People Migrations in
Europe and America; 2000 Years of Nation-Building.
"It is almost
ready for publishing. It is background work for family genealogy
search, and it accurately brings together a lot of significant
history ignored in high school and university textbooks," wrote
Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice