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Letters to the editor: Issue 3-2016

Letters to the editor: Issue 3-2016

On our art issue

[photo of "Kingston Market" a 1946 painting by Andre Bieler]
As I mentioned in Issue 2, renowned artist André Biéler was a professor and the resident artist of Queen’s University from 1936 to 1963 and the founding director, in 1957, of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. The Agnes has a number of his paintings including this 1946 work, Kingston Market.

Fine coverage of art at Queen’s in the Review. Glad to see André Biéler mentioned en passant. His art history course was probably the best course I took at Queen’s.

James Shute, Arts’59
Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph

Help find a long-ƒlost host family

Dear editor,

My name is James (Jimmy) Tang Siu-ki. I graduated from Queen’s in 1971 (MBA). I came to Canada in September 1969. On the first day of my arrival to Queen’s as a foreign student, I was at a loss. Luckily, I was directed to the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) at the Student Union building for help.

The QUIC located a family to provide me with accommodation in their home for three or four days. During that period, the wife and husband drove me around Kingston for sightseeing and to look for a rental room to stay. They treated me for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. They even took me for a movie. I really appreciate their hospitality and kindness.

I believe the wife’s name was either Carol or Cathy but I forget their last name. I remember that she was a third-year student (graduated in 1970?)

I am sorry that I can’t provide any further information. At that time, I was in a state of cultural shock – to come from a big city (Hong Kong, with more than 4 million people at that time) to a small town of 50,000.

I had been working overseas but am now retired and living in Toronto. I need your help, if possible, to locate the family. I hope that it is not too late for me to tell them how grateful I am. I can be reached by email (jamestang@hotmail.com) or phone: (905) 886-9555.

James Tang, MBA’71

On Allie Vibert Douglas

[photo of Allie Vibert Douglas]
Allie Vibert Douglas

In 1950 when, at 17€, I was in Arts’54, students were less sophisticated than they are now and it was appropriate to hold professors in respect.

The Cold War was real. It was difficult to enter the Soviet Union and, I daresay, more difficult to get out. Dean Allie Vibert Douglas and astronomers from Japan and elsewhere were
frequent fliers into and out of Moscow.

I had some sort of responsibility in a meeting in which Dean Douglas and the head of the Department of Anatomy at McGill University were guests. The dean and I were early and waiting at one end of the hallway in the Students’ Union building. The professor entered from the outside sunlight halfway down the hall and turned towards us. Then he and she began running towards one another, he shouting, “Allie!” and she, “Cecil!”

They hugged one another. I did not know where to look.

Andrew A. Horn, Arts’54, Meds’57

In memoriam: Ken Russell

It was a pleasure to be in Dr. Russell’s second-year Physical Chemistry class (1983–84). He treated every student with the greatest respect and was always full of enthusiasm and good humour.
He truly was a wonderful man.

Andrew Davies, Meds’88

Read a tribute to Dr. Kenneth Russell by his daughter Celia, Artsci’80.

Re: “Climate action plan”

I was pleased to read that Queen’s University has developed a climate action plan to contribute to combatting global atmospheric warming. Upon reading the plan I was encouraged by the concrete steps that the university has initiated to reduce emissions.

However, I am puzzled by the adoption of a net-zero emission goal for 2040. About eight years ago I discovered an informative bar graph showing the annual per capita greenhouse gas emissions level of the 33 most populous nations. Canada’s level of emission is comparable to the United States at 20 tonnes CO2e per capita annually. The global average per capita emission level, at that time, was about 4 tonnes. A sustainable level of emission, at that time, was 1 tonne.

So the faculty, staff, and students of Queen’s might be considered to be entitled to a sustainable annual GHG emission of about 0.5 tonne CO2e (prorating 50:50 home/work allocation of 1 tonne total).

Based on a faculty and staff of about 3,975 people and a full-time enrollment of about 21,700 students, then I estimate that Queen’s may sustainably emit about 9,200 tonnes CO2e annually. Adopting the goal of 9,200 tonnes in 2040 is more realistic and grounded than buying suspect carbon credits.

Derek Wilson, Sc’71 (Civil), MS.(Northwestern ’73), PEng.

I asked Aaron Ball, Sustainability Manager, Queen’s University, to respond to Mr. Wilson’s query. He writes,

The Queen’s CAP was designed to position Queen’s as a leader on climate action in the community. The goal of carbon neutrality by 2040 is intended to inspire innovation and encourage our community to take collective action on addressing climate change.

While this goal might be considered aspirational by some, through our lists of potential initiatives we wanted to demonstrate that carbon neutrality can actually be achieved. The identified strategies are options for what we believed to be a possible path forward, based on today’s technologies and policy developments. This mix does include the possibility of purchasing offsets as the final solution to bridge the last gap.

It is important to note that our strategies are not intended to be prescriptive, as we recognize the need to be flexible and responsive to advancing technology solutions and opportunities. It will be the task of our implementation committee to assess the viability of a variety of initiatives as the group manages and implements solutions towards achieving each of the milestone targets in 2020, 2030, and 2040. There will be lots of effective projects considered and implemented long before serious discussions are necessary as to whether Queen’s should or should not purchase offsets.

Additionally, it is quite encouraging to see what is happening at both the provincial and federal level in terms of climate change action. For now, the focus will be on achieving substantial campus carbon reductions and meeting our first target milestone of 35% in 2020.

[cover of Alumni Review 2016 Issue 3]