COLUMNS: Scientists have new concern

Most people who met the late Dave Barrett have a story to tell. Me too.

COLUMNS: Scientists have new concern

Most people who met the late Dave Barrett have a story to tell. Me too.

When he was Premier, I was at the Tribune, and interviewed him once at an office downtown. I was driving a Chevette at the time, and when I went to leave I discovered my keys were locked in it. Went back into the office to call BCAA but Mr. B jumped up and asked for a coat hanger. Thus armed, out he went and after a bit of fiddling, he got the door open, oblivious to the astonished stares from passersby. He apologized for taking so long, and said, with a straight face, that he was out of practice. Unfortunately my camera was locked in with the keys so I didn’t get a picture.

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The weather remains a hot topic, well, hot depending on where you live. In the Cariboo most of us will be glad to see winter gone, but the world’s climate scientists have a new concern. While they are used to seeing a wide range of weather extremes caused by global warming, this winter’s remarkably high temperatures in the arctic — so high the ice is melting — have them alarmed.

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Speaking in the legislature recently, Liberal MLA Laurie Throness is reported to have said that if the NDP government wants to grow the economy, it would replace human workers with software and machines to do boring, repetitive tasks. OK, it might have been human error that caused the Royal Canadian Navy warship to spill 30,000 litres of fuel into the Straight of Georgia.

Question 1. If we get robots to do the boring and repetitive jobs, will it eliminate human errors?

Question 2. Isn’t it ironic, given Alberta’s lack of concern over oil spills, that the naval vessel is the HMCS Calgary?

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.