Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Electric buildings, climate change and immigration

What about propane?

Regarding the City Council’s decision to promote electric-only buildings, I am concerned our elected officials are creating a hostile energy environment that discourages the use and development of other clean alternative fuels. It was surprising to see propane referenced in some but not all versions of the city’s proposal.

Is it because the council members are lumping propane in with natural gas due to a lack of knowledge of the differences between the two products relative to greenhouse gas emissions? Or did they have the wisdom to leave it out because they understand the many benefits of propane, which is a critical backup to solar energy systems and is already a non-toxic fuel that is becoming more environmentally sustainable by the day? I hope that the city has the good sense to see this as a complex issue that must be addressed in a way that protects such beneficial fuels as propane.

Brent Wingett, Cayucos

Where are the not-so-big houses?

I read with interest the Home and Garden articles. Many informed people today understand the Earth is at a tipping point regarding environmental concerns. Building enormous homes like the ones often featured and planting huge gardens with ornamental flowers place huge footprints on the Earth so couples may entertain a few friends.

Perhaps some homeowners haven’t learned yet that less is more. Hopefully they researched how much energy is required to manufacture the wood, metal, plaster and stone in their homes and gardens.

What environmental cost is incurred to deliver the products required to build homes big enough for five families? Perhaps The Tribune could run similar articles on homea built with future generations in mind. One where the builders were mindful of excessive consumption and understand how the overuse of resources will impact our children.

Eric Bishop, Paso Robles

No more ‘denier’ letters, please

Why does The Tribune continue to publish letters about the warming earth being a natural cycle?

That viewpoint has as much scientific validity as “the Earth is flat” and “the sun revolves around the Earth.”

The 21st century must be the time when we move away from heat-producing forms of energy generation. Primarily, this means fossil fuels that increase atmospheric carbon dioxide, but it also includes nuclear energy that generates enormous amounts of heat released to the atmosphere or the oceans, depending on the type of cooling the nuclear plant uses.

How about encouraging letters about how to address the looming crisis: planting more trees; increasing electricity production using solar panels and wind turbines that produce energy with essentially no heat; desalinating sea water, using advancements in solar collectors. Many problems can be addressed if we stop sticking our collective heads in the sand and harness new technologies.

Jan William Simek, San Luis Obispo

Thanks to John Lindsey

On Sept. 10 ECOSLO Green Drinks had a presentation at 7 Sisters Brewing where meteorologist John Lindsey spoke about climate change and our local weather.

Thanks to The Tribune for publishing John’s recent article about climate change and public health and the Green Drinks talk. John was compelling in his explanations on the long-term changes, causes and recent rapid acceleration of the impacts. He emphasized that climate has been cyclical in the past but that the peaks in those cycles are growing higher.

According to John, 99% of climate scientists agree about the startling increases in global temperatures and ocean warming. Unfortunately, many Americans and leaders are lagging behind in education, acceptance and commitment to public and private strategies to combat the effects.

We’re proud San Luis Obispo has an ambitious commitment to become carbon neutral by 2035. On a state and national level, let’s rally American know-how to slow warming now. It’s a shame that John gets hate mail when he writes about climate change. Hopefully, he and PG&E realize there is also a lot of appreciation out there for truth-tellers who care deeply about our future.

Ben and Jackie Parker, San Luis Obispo

Cut ICE funding

It feels like every day there is more news about how the Trump administration is traumatizing immigrant children and families. Children are held in cages, sleeping on concrete floors and denied necessities. These conditions are not due to a lack of resources; they are due to the Trump administration allowing the resources that exist to be used to maximize cruelty, instead of to meet real humanitarian needs.

Congress must use this year’s Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill to cut funding for ICE and other immigration agencies that are responsible for the inhumane treatment and separation of immigrant children and families. We want our hard-earned tax dollars to go to funding education, nutrition and healthcare programs, NOT the separation and jailing of immigrant children and families.

Judith Anderson, San Luis Obispo

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Countless local youths are empowered by mentors who support and nurture their growth. K-12 mentoring programs have been shown to be a cost-effective way of empowering students by boosting factors that can lead to student success, including school-related attitudes, behaviors and performance. In addition, our program offers a focused nutrition component that helps our youth learn about healthy food choices while supporting food insecure families, which is a problem faced by 45% of the children we serve.

Last school year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County’s School Based Mentoring Program served almost 200 students through the generosity of our volunteers and donors, like The Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, which has supported the program with $140,000 in funding. Since 2012, Mr. Miossi’s legacy has ignited the hope and promise of youth, allowing us to double our impact by serving two youths with every mentor match: the elementary age student who receives support and guidance and the high school or college age mentor who has an opportunity to learn leadership and impact their community.

The best outcome is that 61% of young people participating in our program saw an improvement in their scholastic competency.

We are especially grateful to The Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust and all of our program sponsors who ensure school children have meaningful access to empowering mentoring relationships that improve their outlook for the future, and our local community.

Jenny Luciano, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters

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