History lesson for columnist

Editor:

Re: Environmentalism for dummies, April 17.

Editor:

Re: Environmentalism for dummies, April 17.

I see your resident propaganda writer, columnist Tom Fletcher, has taken time out from his usual job of attacking hospital workers, teachers, and anybody to the left of Attila the Hun to falsify the history of events that led to the foundation of Greenpeace.

With long-lived toxic nuclear testing byproducts like Strontium 90 building up from atmospheric tests, the U.S., U.S.S.R. and U.K. signed a Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963 that banned atmospheric, space, and oceanic tests, but at the insistence of the U.S. and U.K., left the door open on underground testing.

In 1971, under Richard Nixon, the U.S. – not the U.S.S.R., as Fletcher falsely claims – decided to carry out a series of underground tests on Amchitka Island in the Aleutian Chain right on a major earthquake fault line.

(Editor’s note: Fletcher corrected the information the following week.)

Port Alberni had been devastated a few years earlier by a tsunami originating in that area, and B.C. residents feared the underground nuclear tests could trigger another earthquake and tsunami. Following a successful fundraising rally by a group called the Don’t Make A Wave Committee, an old fishing boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was chartered and, later joined by the larger Edgewater Fortune, set off for Amchitka Island to try to stop the test.

They didn’t get to Amchitck, and the test went ahead, but the international publicity generated by the protest boats forced the U.S. to cancel of the rest of the test series, and the rag-tag collection of protestors morphed into Greenpeace, taking their name from the slogan on a button they issued as a fundraiser.

Well, enough of the history lesson, Tom. Back to your usual routine of falsely claiming that the B.C. economy grew faster under the BC Liberals than under the NDP. Have you ever checked the Statistics Canada website?

Terry Lawrence, Surrey