Letters | Your paper is refreshing


Your paper is refreshing

Thanks for the great article on p. 7 of the June 13 edition (“Monsanto Frankenwheat crops up in Oregon,” The Highroad).

So great to stay well-informed via your articles.

I also really appreciated the article “Venturing out of the box” (Adventure, June 13) — it was so insightful, on several levels, and made me laugh, as I gave up cube-ness a while back as well.  

I was so surprised that your publication is so full of relevant information and perspectives. We have lived out of state for a while, just returned. We don’t read traditional news, and it was entirely refreshing to read your paper. I am seeing now that you are “dedicated to illuminating truth, advancing justice …” etc., and isn’t that refreshing!

Excellent work, Boulder Weekly! Finally, a news publication I can read and feel that I am being “illumined” with truth and a thought-provoking perspective!

Thank you so much!

Joan Dunn/via Internet

Fear Amazon, not NSA

(Re: “NSA uses ‘terrorism’ to justify mass surveillance that started long before 9/11 and the Patriot Act,” News, June 20.) Really? Spying? To watch or observe closely and secretly, with unfriendly purpose, really? Hell, Amazon has more information on U.S. citizens than the NSA will ever have.

The mere collecting of phone numbers, email addresses, etc., is not spying. Only if A. a legitimate law enforcement agency suspects an unlawful activity and then B. presents its evidence with probable cause to an independent federal court and then C. the court issues an order for surveillance. Once these steps are completed, the previously gathered data is used to determine who and what may be linked to potential criminal activity. It’s called law enforcement, and it’s been going on forever.

Current technology presents both problems and advantages, but to label this process as spying is nonsense. There is as always a simple and straightforward solution. In this case, don’t be a criminal.

Ted Cackowsky/Broomfield

Let’s see. The same people who vehemently advocate in favor of “profiling” in order to uncover those who enjoy life in America while not paying taxes are now apoplectic over the IRS “profiling” a political organization that overtly advocates against government and taxation, while applying for an IRS tax loophole to keep from paying taxes?

Can you say, really? Get over yourselves.

PJ Breslin/Rifle

Municipalization and net-zero carbon emissions

When Boulder signed on to the goals laid out in the Kyoto Protocol [which essentially commits to greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels] we didn’t anticipate seeking net-zero carbon emissions, just to rein in emissions as a starting point, then seek a sustainable energy future. Since the turn of the century [this century], however, a number of communities are leading the charge to net-zero energy supply as a viable means to pull overall emissions down. A big question in my head is whether all the trouble in wrestling for local energy control is worth it. Boulder’s emission wedges show us that electricity supply contributes 57 percent. So that is a good place to focus if we want to move the fulcrum.

So is net-zero emissions even viable? Is local control the best analog for other communities to follow? If replicability is the overarching guiding vision in achieving lower emissions, then which is the simplest, quickest path? Let’s tackle the first question, and leave the second for another time.

There are a number of communities leading the way, not just to Kyoto targets but toward net-zero emissions in their energy supply. Take Germany deciding that solar without nuclear baseload is not only feasible but is achievable without a significant cost impact to their economy (a perceived competitive disadvantage to industry). This vision is being accomplished through policy and financing solutions, all of which, by the way, are in support of local providers. How about Australia deciding that 100 percent renewable supply is economically feasible, with a carbon tax incentive of $50/tonne carbon dioxide. Heck, Secretary Chu and NREL released similar studies showing that not only is 100 percent renewable energy [RE] feasible, they also modeled up that over-built RE (to address the intermittency issue and high cost of energy storage) is economically viable, flying in the face of conventional wisdom. But closer to the local community question — who is doing it and who is talking about it: San Francisco (not the new Pope) has tried to municipalize more than once, and now has a 100 percent RE by 2020 goal supported through California’s Community Choice Aggregation law, which we don’t have here in Colorado; Palo Alto passed a ruling just this year that their electricity must be 100 percent carbon-neutral; Seattle also has aggressive net-zero goals (of course that’s always easier with a liberal supply of hydro); Toronto is pursuing 100 percent RE; and, of course, our brothers and sisters up the street in Fort Collins are piloting projects to figure out 100 percent local generation.

Chuck Ray/via Internet

Gardner’s gas

Rep. Cory Gardner’s May 23 guest opinion in The Denver Post is a standard repetition of oil and gas industry talking points with all of the standard misrepresentations and biases.

The tired and patently incorrect claim that there has not been a single documented case of contaminated drinking water due to fracking is refuted by the 2011 EPA report on Pavillion, Wyo.

There are other problems with Cory Gardner’s position. Because the current price of natural gas is so much cheaper in the U.S. than in foreign markets, the gas will inevitably follow the money and will be exported. Resultant jobs will be predominantly temporary low-wage and itinerant, while huge wealth gets funneled to corporations and their shareholders.

Furthermore, energy prices will actually go up, not down, even as we become increasingly dependent upon this new “miracle” energy, natural gas. Historically, nations that export their natural resources become banana republics, as vast, concentrated wealth inevitably corrupts political institutions. This process is currently under way in the United States.

Are you ready for it? Yes, wind, solar, biomass — renewables. This is where the real jobs and sustainable prosperity lies.

Kelli Norland/Longmont