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:
RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?
Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.
Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here
To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.
New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”
On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”
OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation
When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.
Holding government accountable for open meeting violations
A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.
GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices
A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.
HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech
The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.
We're raising a generation of timid kids
A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?
RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?
The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.
VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities
The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?
- More Opinion Headlines
- RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?