Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 18

Governor should proceed with plans for climate study

Gov. Steve Beshear should be applauded for efforts to address energy independence and climate protection.

Regarding news of the legislative committee recommendation to cancel the State Climate Action Plan study, it would be in the state's best interests for Beshear to override that recommendation and complete the study as soon as possible.

With regards to the committee member quoted as saying the study would, "destroy the Kentucky coal industry and raise utility rates," we do not believe this to be the case.

As one example, the climate action plan for Pennsylvania, the fourth-largest coal-producing state, has apparently not caused any disruption to its coal industry.

And according to a new Center for Climate Strategies report published with Johns Hopkins University, federal energy policies could generate as many as 2.5 million new jobs and $134 billion in economic activity in the U.S. while keeping energy costs down.

Virtually all greenhouse gas reduction efforts mean improved energy efficiency and, thus, energy cost savings.

There's a strategic economic issue the committee should consider as well, and that is the reality that the U.S. and the world are moving away from fossil fuel energy, except natural gas. It makes sense to invest at least as much effort in exploring alternative energy sources as in trying to conserve our existing markets.

The state can pursue fossil fuel and also consider opportunities in renewable energy — a win-win situation. This is an opportunity for leadership that would be an immense service to the state and reflect well on its national reputation.

Henry Jackson

Chair, LexCoolCity.org Work GroupCitizens & Government for Climate StabilityLexington

Wind-mining combo

Cris Ritchie's Aug. 4 column on wind farms was interesting to me, not for what it said, but for what it did not say.

Ritchie, the editor of the Hazard Herald, mentions early on that research is being done on the viability of constructing wind farms on abandoned coal-mine sites.

Several sites show promise to be able to provide power to a lot of homes. Ritchie also said, and I agree, that wind energy would be supplemental to coal-fired power plants, not replace them.

If all of this is true, why not drop the other shoe? Why not allow mountain-top mining to create flat lands where bigger and better wind farms can be constructed?

Sounds logical, doesn't it? But there was no mention of this possibility in the column.

I guess we mustn't ruffle our environmental buddies. That would be too much to ask of a newspaper editor.

J.L. Lombardo

Lexington

Media gut fish

Reports on the update to the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans continued a disturbing trend in the news media of ignoring the overwhelming health benefits of eating fish.

That's not a position taken by the seafood industry, but the conclusion of a March 2010 study published by the Journal of Public Health Nutrition.

That study analyzed 310 health-related news stories about fish over a 15-year period.

According to the researchers, risk messages outweighed benefits messages by a ratio of four to one; four out of five stories focused on seafood safety concerns, mostly mercury. The risk messages resulted in negative perceptions of seafood, leaving consumers less likely to eat fish.

Researchers from Harvard University estimate 84,000 Americans die every year because they do not eat enough fish.

The World Health Organization recently released a report urging governments to better communicate fish's heart-healthy benefits, as well as the proven health risks of not eating seafood.

In light of that research, reporting that suggests consumers should eat less seafood could cause significant public health harm.

Gavin Gibbons

National Fisheries InstituteMcLean, Va.

Defining marriage

Courts again are contending with the efforts of homosexuals to define unions of two or more people of the same sex as marriage. Homosexuality was not invented yesterday. People of the same gender have the same rights as all citizens.

They can — and do — live together, share sexual practices, observe hospital visiting rules, vote, obey the same laws and have associations, partnerships and friends. They may, and do, seek laws and amendments, as any citizen may.

What they cannot do is redefine marriage in an evolving language. Neither courts, legislatures nor executives should redefine an institution that has been defined over thousands of years by thousands of cultures and marriages.

Marriage is a stabilizer of human society.

Rex J. Phillips

Gilbertsville

Palin poor leader

After reading a recent letter saying that Sarah "I can see Russia, so I have foreign experience" Palin is the best-qualified candidate for president, I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

She is a darling of the right-wing fringe because they have no intellectual spokespersons. She has no credentials to say she even understands any of the pressing issues in our country.

From my limited knowledge of Jesus, he was against the status quo. The conservatives are for the status quo and want no change.

Conservatives (remember I am saying conservatives, not a party) have voted against every attempt to improve people's lives: the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, minimum wage, to name a few.

The fringe is narrow-minded and does not want to see improvement of our society.

David Wachtel

Lexington

Patriots, not racists

Merlene Davis' rationale in her Aug. 1 column makes her a part of the open borders/immigration-law-be-damned crowd bent on building a dominating political coalition of minorities and liberals.

Their go-to tactic is to label as racist anyone who disagrees with them. Why not? It worked for then-senator and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in 2008.

Davis may be mortified to know that her views put her in league with Republican strategist Karl Rove, who came to Washington, D.C., in 2001 with the avowed determination to make Hispanics part of a Republican coalition.

Confronted by a Republican member of Congress who was an outspoken advocate of secure borders and immigration law, Rove dismissed him by saying, "You just don't like brown people, congressman."

Thankfully, a strong majority of our countrymen see illegal immigration for what it is: a virulent, cynical attempt to stack the political deck against American patriots and taxpayers with no regard whatsoever for the havoc it will cause to our national security, economy, law and order, schools and hospitals.

Let's save America before it is too late. That isn't racism; it is patriotism.

Larry VanHoose

Lubbock, Texas

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