Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 4/27

Wars over schools

Thanks for your recent coverage of our nation’s difficult but vital environmental beginnings.

It’s heart-wrenching to realize our government readily spends tremendous sums of money on wars and destruction in foreign countries while our schools must fire teachers and even close down completely for lack of money.

If the terrorists responsible knew that’s what is happening in our society, they would feel that they had won those wars.

Neva and Charles Glenn

Atascadero

PG&E’s Prop. 16

Most of us just received a mailer from the supporters of Proposition 16: Taxpayers Right to Vote Act. It is an initiative to require any city wanting to establish electrical service, instead of getting it from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. supplies, to get a two-thirds majority of its voters to approve a project. As we have seen recently, it is next to impossible to get that kind of majority to approve anything.

Interestingly enough, the sole supporter of Proposition 16 turns out to be PG&E. It has committed to spending $35 million to get the initiative approved by voters in June. This is the same company that is requesting huge rate increases over the next three years. Even the California Association of Realtors has come out against this — not the most progressive group in the state.

Increase our rates? Stop the ability of cities to purchase alternative energy from someone other than PG&E? Sounds like a blatant power grab to me. Investigate for yourself — do a Web search and find out what is really at stake.

Doug Bates

Paso Robles

Change our behavior

I’ve followed the often emotionally laced letters for some time now addressing global climate change. Is it occurring?

If so, what’s causing it? People like to think that their responses to these questions are based on “objective” and “verifiable” scientific “facts,” but the truth is our answers are little more than statements of faith since none of us has performed the research, nor do we have the expertise to interpret the results.

It boils down to which scientists we believe.

But it does appear that people on both sides of the issue can agree on the answers to at least two questions. First, are carbon-based fuels a serious and substantial cause of pollution? Second, is it wise policy for the United States to rely so much on carbon-based resources when we have relatively little of the resource within our borders? Of course, the answers are “yes” and “no,” respectively.

Debating the existence and cause of global climate change has become yet another subject to be used by pundits and politicians to divide us, but it’s really a debate that is better suited for qualified scientists. Let’s use our time and energy, instead, to change our behavior and the policies of our government.

Eric Parkinson

San Luis Obispo

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