To the Editor:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I try to consider this as I read the Guest Opinion, published in Saturday’s issue, written by Lt. Col. Steve Russell (“Eco-warriors use unsound logic,” July 6, 2013, The Edmond Sun). He states that wind-powered electrical generators are but “an abysmal eye sore,” and laughs off its current percentage of total energy production. His disdain of what he calls “eco-warriors” and their advocacy of renewable energy systems is obvious. Therefore should I assume he sees beauty in coal mines and coal powered plants surrounded by giant piles of black, spewing poisons into the air? Maybe his eye beholds the beauty of an oil refinery, or one of many oil spills, such as the recent one caused by a train derailment destroying a small town in Quebec and killing multiple people. But he must really have to squint to see the beauty of a massive open pit tar sands mine, such as the ones in Alberta, that will supply the Keystone pipeline he advocates.
To me, efficiency is beauty; like a wind-powered generator producing electricity cleanly and safely. The new generation of solar collectors, most developed by China and Japan, produce electricity with no moving parts or waste: Now that’s beautiful.
He incorrectly asserts that “unsound logic” is used by clean energy proponents. Yet he uses unsound logic when comparing wind generated power to crude and tar sand oil. One directly produces electricity and the other produces fuel primarily to power our motor vehicles. The Keystone XL pipeline will have zero effect on the price and availability of electricity. Fact is, the world is developing and converting our motor vehicles to run on electricity; no one is converting our home air conditioners and lights to run on oil. Electricity produced by wind and solar is the future. Oil as a source of power is found mainly in the halls of government where money from big oil and energy companies is the only thing keeping this dying source alive.
If we Americans are really serious about our vulnerability to foreign oil supplies, we would take the most effective course of action; drastically reduce our consumption of oil. This course is never mentioned by Lt. Col. Russell. Instead he uses the same old misleading statements used for decades by the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries. They degrade anyone who using sound logic and facts to offer alternates to those sources of energy.
Speaking of facts, the average “energy returned on investment,” or EROI, for conventional oil is 25:1. For tar sands oil this ratio is 2.9:1, meaning one unit of natural gas is required to create less than 3 units of energy. Some estimate that the ratio is closer to 1:1, when transportation, environmental costs and end use efficiency is taken into account. So energy from tar sands is only efficient if you make money from its production.
The lieutenant colonel is free to use any logic he chooses to behold beauty in anything he sees. In the meantime the rest of the world will see the beauty of sound logic, based on facts, to inspire the transition to renewable clean domestic sources of energy, all while drastically reducing the number of our soldiers sent into harm’s way to defend foreign energy sources.
To the Editor:
County budget issue drives away road improvements
I am interested in working with other local officials to present a town hall meeting about the earthquakes that have been torturing area residents during the past few weeks. The forum would allow local residents to ask questions of the energy sector and state geological professionals. Would you have an interest in attending an event like this? If so, please let me know. If there is enough interest, I plan to help coordinate the effort.
A bailout for Ukrainians, by Ukrainians?
Like the reigns of many corrupt leaders, that of Viktor Yanukovich ended in farce. But there’s nothing farcical about Ukraine’s situation.
Russian troops have taken over its Crimean region, and President Vladimir Putin last week said that Russia “reserves the right to use all means at our disposal to protect” Russian-speakers in Ukraine.
Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court, don’t tread on small investors
For more than a quarter of a century, investors have been able to bring class-action lawsuits against companies that have fraudulently inflated their stock prices without having to prove that each buyer of the stock had been individually duped. Now, industrial giant Halliburton Co. is trying to persuade the Supreme Court to make such lawsuits significantly harder, if not impossible, to bring. That would be a fantastic result for publicly traded companies, but a terrible one for the average investor.
HEY HINK: Obama loses vote in Democrat-controlled Senate
This week, the Senate dealt President Obama a humiliating defeat. His nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division was derailed by a 47-to-52 talley with eight Democrats among the “no” votes. This outcome is tragic for all concerned; the president, the nominee, the Senate and the American people.
CONSIDER THIS: Why does American Indian Cultural Center matter?
We can fulfill an obligation to our Native American brethren, cultures, histories and ourselves by completing the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.
Women raise their voices for peace, security
International Women’s Day has been observed on March 8 since the early 1900s. From factory workers to abolitionists, women began to speak out against women’s oppression and inequality. They organized to demand better working conditions, equal pay and the right to vote. As 50 percent of the world’s population, our foremothers realized they had a critical role to play in the political, social and economic life of their society and it was time for their voices to be heard.
Education Savings Accounts are worth the fight
Throughout the course of a legislative session, many bills are proposed, discussed and voted on. Lots of times, good bills pass and become law. Sometimes, good bills focused on important topics do not make it to law. For one reason or another, it just didn’t receive the votes. That can even happen to measures that have widespread support.
Shotgun homes stand in Oklahoma
In 1791 a slave rebellion broke out in what was then the French colony of Haiti and over the next several years French citizens fleeing the conflict made their way to New Orleans. Those refugees brought with them traditions that were to have an impact on their new homeland.
They included the custom of constructing small homes that were one room wide and featured several other rooms behind the front one with doors at both the front and back of the structure that in time became know as “shotgun houses.” The term shotgun is said to reflect the fact that a bullet could be fired through the front door and go through every room in the house.
The Kansas City Star: Ukrainian victory turns toward tragedy
The stakes are changing rapidly in Ukraine. The people have spoken in Kiev. But now Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken more loudly.
By Sunday, Kiev’s new interim leaders charged that Russians had invaded. Putin asserted that his forces were merely protecting Russian interests in Crimea. He appeared undeterred by his 90-minute talk with President Barack Obama on Saturday, leading experts to question if Ukraine’s regime could stave off a military conflict and possible partition.
President’s budget a disappointment
Last month, President Obama filed his annual budget blueprint for fiscal year 2015. While the contents of his proposal have been a major topic of discussion in the news since then, its official release on March 4 will determine the next steps for lawmakers, who must work together to ultimately find a common agreement.
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