Letters to the Editor

From the week of December 18, 2003

Forcing power companies to build alternative power systems before the technology is ready is foolish. Forcing them to do so before the market is ready is stupid, comrade. But then, socialists -- er, that is to say, environmentalists -- don't really care about that, do they?

JM Schell
Arvada

The coal, hard facts:Thanks for the great article on wind power. I wish renewable energy were at the forefront of America's consciousness. Of all the issues we face, energy will probably be the one that can solve a host of interconnected problems.

A whole article could be written about the ramifications of coal-fired energy -- not just "dirty air," but what, exactly, the pollutants are from burning coal. Mercury is chief among several metals released; mercury is a known cause of autism and other learning disabilities. Mining regulations for coal have been drastically reduced. Entire streams in the West will disappear as coal-mining companies strip mine to their profits' content. Water, too, will disappear; coal mining uses a mind-boggling amount of water just to slurry the coal to a central location to be loaded onto railroad cars, and it cannot be reused.

"Coal is still the most cost-effective and reliable energy source," they say. That's patently false. It's an extremely heavily subsidized industry. We pay for coal mining with our taxes. We, the people, pay companies to mine for coal and sell back to us what we already paid for. Any cost comparisons between coal, wind, solar and biomass musttake into account the amount of money each energy industry receives in the form of government subsidies. In lieu of hard data, I'm willing to bet coal would be at least 25 times more expensive than any other kind of energy. The current subsidy structure completely hides the true cost of coal and artificially inflates the cost of renewables.

Stuart Steers quoted Senator Steve Johnson saying, "As technology lowers the cost, I think renewable energy will be able to stand on its own merits. Renewable energy should be a choice for people, not a mandate." I would ask Senator Johnson why there is an artificial mandate nationwide that lowers the monetary costs for the coal and oil industry, but not renewables! He cleverly omits or just doesn't understand at all that there is an explicit mandate handed down by federal government that the chief use of all federal public lands is for oil and coal first.

Government itself exists to serve the will of the people; therefore, the government should reflect the will of people. I'm glad I left Colorado. I grew up there. The laws are ass-backwards. There are just too many obstacles, mostly due to, what, altitude? But that wouldn't explain the rural co-ops' attitude toward wind turbine. At any rate, Colorado and its citizens seem to specialize in needless obstacles, while Texas, Iowa and California have clear paths, as mandated by their citizens.

Peter Bockenthien
Tucson, Arizona


Income Tactics

Role play:Regarding Stuart Steers's "It Takes a Village," in the December 11 issue:

You say that mixing low-income residents with residents who are expected to pay full price to live in the same building sets up a role-model system. Who is the role model for? I would imagine the guy who works all day for 200 hours a month is probably pretty envious of the guy who can sit at home all day, end up with more actual spending money, and never have to work a day in his life.

Chuck Norris
via the Internet

Clear Thinking

Hate radio:Regarding Michael Roberts's "Little Big Man," in the December 11 issue:

I read with interest the story about Tim Brown's struggle to compete with the Clear Channel monstrosity. I know what's at stake here, since Klear Khannel Kowards are heard very clearly in Pueblo, and I would like to add my two cents' worth.

Is anyone listening to the vile stream of hate pouring out of KOA radio, the 50,000-watt burning cross of the Rockies? If so, why aren't they fighting back? In just the last few weeks, I've heard KOA defending rogue cops who beat and kill African-Americans; attack Mexicans as somehow being responsible for the terrorist threat to the U.S. and therefore deserving of inhumane treatment because they're part and parcel of the dark-skinned invasion threatening American values; and clamoring for the rapid transformation of our country into a police state.

As the 2004 elections loom, I expect the raw sewage pouring from KOA to grow shriller in tone and even more divisive in its impact on America. We are being goaded to fight one another over issues like gay marriage, immigration and race relations, all so that KOA and its ilk can advance the Republican agenda of unbridled corporate profit-taking. It's all about money, folks.

I left Denver six years ago partly because a new, rude class of people was arriving, hell-bent on ruining both the city and the state. Can it be that KOA's message is what the new Denver wants to hear?

Pablo Mora
Pueblo

Talk is cheap: Tim Brown is talking out of both sides of his mouth when he touts KNRC presenting both sides of the arguments that propel talk radio. Both sides is double-talk for the conservative and liberal viewpoints of white guys. Don't take my bitter opinion as the burning-bush truth, just listen to KNRC, his so-called Psychedelic Shack, and you'll discover that ain't where diversity's at.

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