As another graying environmentalist and one who, like Jay Salter, was arrested and jailed during the 1981 Diablo blockade, I must take issue with his Viewpoint in the March 6 Tribune.
Although he is correct that our energy policy needs a complete overhaul and that we should be open to considering new ways of solving the very real problem of climate change, I cannot agree that we should destroy our county’s precious resources in the process.
Mr. Salter believes that the solar projects proposed for the Carrizo Plain provide us with an opportunity to show that we can support meaningful solutions to the energy mess. But I believe that he is wrong.
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Solar does offer a solution, but we must look beyond large, concentrated projects and instead support distributed solar production, with unobtrusive collectors sprouting on rooftops and in fields across the nation. We should not jump on the bandwagon of yet another interim technology that becomes obsolete within a few years, but instead expand our horizons to encompass a more refined technology, one that will not irreparably harm that spectacular and haunting part of our county that is the Carrizo Plain.
San Luis Obispo
In response to the Tribune’s March 6 Viewpoint, I find it interesting that Mr. Salter is willing to give up his environmental ethics that he once strongly adhered to when he was a younger man. It seems that as we grow older we are supposed to change our stance on protecting the environment from Big Energy marauders intent on destroying a whole eco-system in order to provide energy to a selfish, energy wasteful society.
Now the CEQA laws are outdated, according to Mr. Salter. The CEQA laws will never be outdated as they serve to protect and defend the biological diversity established long before any of us existed. Mr. Salter says that we have to give in and give up our stance on protecting the environment to accommodate “change” — the change that comes in the form of corporate greed, environmental destruction and corruption.
The Carrizo Plain is a unique ecological wonder. If destroyed, it will never recover.
Jim Patterson is the 5th District supervisor — the district in which the solar plants are proposed to be built. Mr. Salter was an active participant in Supervisor Patterson’s election campaign. He’s a 5th District appointee to the county Civil Service Commission. It just couldn’t be a coincidence that Mr. Salter would support Supervisor Patterson’s solar plans for the Carrizo Plain.
Tim and Mary Strobridge
In the years since I first heard of the solar projects out in Carrizo Plains, I often wondered whether people had the will to make these happen. We now seem to have the eco-environmentalists pitted against the green-energy folks. The oil and coal mining companies must be overjoyed.
Wake up, people! Using the “budget” and “supporting business” as excuses, the Republican congress is doing its best to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, repeal decades-old environmental laws, defund environmental programs, throttle industry watchdog agencies, reduce incentives to clean energy and open public-owned lands for exploration and development.
To me, a solar plant on a few square miles in the vast California Valley area seems like a reasonable environmental investment.