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Letter: No free ride on energy

With the announcement of the imminent closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, it is worth noting that there is no free ride when it comes to energy. Virtually all energy sources have costs.

According to the Mine Safety Health Administration, there have been an average of 31 coal mine deaths per year since 2006. We are scraping the tops off of Appalachian hills and dumping the waste into the valleys to access coal deposits. We have endured numerous environmental disasters such as the Exxon Valdez grounding and the Deep Water Horizon blowout.

Natural gas is extracted through the use of chemicals injected into the ground under high pressure.

While relatively safe in the short term, nuclear power generates radioactive waste products that will have to be managed for centuries.

Even wind power, as benign as it is, requires hundred-foot towers that protrude like weeds from some of our most breathtaking landscapes. Hydro requires the damming of scenic rivers. Solar energy holds the promise of being safe and nonpolluting but remains in its early stages of development.

As the planet’s population continues to grow, stimulating an ever-increasing demand for energy, we need to devote ourselves to learning to manage what we have with the greatest efficiency possible.



Legacy Comments12

For a reader to be informed they absolutely need to research the ITER project taking place in France and sponsored by 38 countries. Fission is on the way out..... unlimited energy through Fusion is on the way in.

The answer is to drill here, drill now and reinvest in alternative energy with the revenue from harvesting our own natural resources.

Jeff & Walter, I suggest the scope of the problem is much larger. Agreed, relative overpopulation and thus energy consumption are huge problems. That said, while many US & European cultures are in negative population growth - many African and Asian cultures are growing exponentially. Some of Earth rules are unbend-able. Among those - the group that reproduces more successfully - becomes the dominant group and THEY are kicking our butts in that department. If continued on current course - your grave will be totally disregarded by vast numbers of people who cared much less about the issues you cite.

TCB...I agree with most of what you said; however, you forgot that the African & Asian overpopulation brings with it lower incomes. I think our bigger concern should be those among us who want rules written to assure they get a bigger slice of the financial pie. Technology may allow our society to grow (although slowly), while the rich get richer, but the rich have little regard for the poor. I fear that our society will suffer from insufficient: electric power, food, and overpopulation-all while our global temperatures are rising.

For a reader to be educated they should know what the latest IPCC report says about globul warming: "The summary document notes that the rate of warming over the past 15 years........citing a rate of about 0.05 degrees Celsius..... is statistically indistinguishable from ZERO"

Since IPCC AR5 hasn't been finalized or released, your mentioning means the same-ZERO.

On what will be perceived to be a sinister note by many. The system of checks and balances that nature places on us can only be ignored for so long. There is a tipping point and try as you will it can only be delayed. The issue of religious insistence on propagation is rooted in a long past era of medieval thinking. Population was needed primarily for a workforce. Most species will only expand as their environment allows. As an example take the deer population, if left unchecked, the result of overpopulation leads to disease and starvation. Then ultimately a return to a staus quo. This is natures system, we have changed that, pure and simple. I by no means am advocating a survival of the fittest, I am only pointing out that compassionate change will eventually have a cost. We need to address this where we can with conservation and thought, because nature is not as compassionate with her solutions. No one will be immune even the rich. true. Everything has a cost. I think that Earth has three main problems: overpopulation, agriculture, and global warming. To be sure, there is no easy answer. Problem is: politicians are wined & dined by rich lobbyists for coal/petroleum/agricultural industries while religious groups strive to overpopulate Earth by condemning abortion. To address these problems requires Congress to discuss them; something which they seem to avoid.

Over population is not caused by the condemnation of abortion or the Catholic church or any religion in this country. The United States is not the problem, we have far more open space and we are far more responsible with our agriculture and industries than India, China, Africa and the Middle East. We are on the right track here and our Congress can't manage our own country....much less have impact on the rest of the world.

Spoken like a 'rank 'n file' Republican. These are the guys that support: genetically modified food (plant or animal), huge agribusiness (think ADM, Dow, Monsanto), and enriching lobbyists (think ALEC and Itsa-what you fail to see is how the National Republican Party operates to the detriment to the middle class; the 'rank n' file'. They sprinkle you with pixie dust terms that inflame you and pull a 'bait 'n switch' so that the only beneficiaries of the National Republican Party are the rich corporatists. You are too blind to see how, over the past three decades, the middle class has suffered while the rich corporatists have grown MUCH richer.

The middle class has suffered for several reasons. One reason is that government regulations have severely impacted corporations so they do have to do whatever they can to make a profit. ACORN is no different from ALEC and five years ago, no one knew what ALEC was. They are just the latest scapegoat, like the Koch brothers. But, please define the "middle class" far, NO ONE on the left can really define it. If you can't define it then what you write about the middle class is simply rhetoric. And your hysterical talking points are the same ones parrotted by left leaning press, day in and day out.

Itsa...I give up, you have to be the most argumentative person on Earth. Come on !! 'Middle class'?? Google it and read any of the items. Typically more than the minimum basic for a family of four (around $23,500-or around the 20% level) up to around the 80% level. Your statement that "No one on the left can define it'" shows you really don't have a good handle on nationwide incomes. Only on your conservative viewpoints; which strike me as lacking in research. Why do you have a viewpoint, if you can't justify it??

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