Letters to the Editor

Environmental Priorities

Dear Editor: The past month’s onslaught of I’m-a-Republican-so-I-despise-environmentalism letters have been as embarrassing to Catholic morality as they are ironic that these people use the term “conservative.” Recent ones have used logic so twisted that Keystone development is a solution to save “society’s soul” and cure our “love of greed, lust and power”.

Let’s first look only at what big oil/natural gas have done recently, ignoring all the warnings that 97 percent of scientists assure will happen in the next 50-100 years if we do not make drastic changes. Fracking has led to a massive increase in earthquakes, while people have tap water that is literally flammable. The BP oil spill, after killing 11 people, poured over 200 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico, doing countless damage to our beaches, wildlife, fishing resources, etc. And pipelines are not much safer in that regard, already spilling 4.1 million gallons of petroleum and other hazardous liquids in the past decade.

Imagine that al Qaeda or ISIS were poisoning our waters, making our shrimp inedible and our water flammable. I imagine calls for nuking the entire Muslim world would be common in such a scenario, but when BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, etc. are the ones responsible, they are the divinely ordained infallible job creators who have come to heal all our souls.

Pollution from fossil fuels kills over 100,000 people annually in India and 670,000 in China. This is over 2,000 deaths a day, or a million every 16 months. Now imagine that non-white lives really matter to Americans, including non-white Communist ones. If ISIS were anywhere near that good at killing people, they would feel the full force of the American military machine.

Now let’s stop pretending that people who make and install solar panels and wind turbines are not employed. How many solar panel-related deaths do you know of? How many doomsday predictions, backed by 97 percent of scientific inquiry, are related to wind turbines? When every coastal city in the world is flooded, when hurricanes like Sandy and Katrina are the ordinary ones, and humans are fighting for resources in a way we have never imagined, how much will that help society regain its spirituality?

Solar and wind are no longer more expensive than fossil fuels. Countries like Germany, Scotland, and Costa Rica are getting 50-100 percent of their energy from wind and solar, while we, the only country in which global warming is still a debate, want to invest billions in 19th century technology. In a recent episode of “Madame Secretary,” the fictional secretary of state railed that our children and grandchildren will wonder why we hated them so much. When we destroy our Lord’s creations, we also show a criminal negligence to the poor, and to future generations, which is no better than the most potent hatred.


Dear Editor: While I can certainly understand Mr. Aspera’s concerns (April 11) about the Keystone Pipeline, I would like to speak to some of the issues he has raised.  The U.S. is becoming more reliant on our own production of energy…and Canada and Mexico (hardly “nefarious foreign governments”) are our largest suppliers of petroleum products.

The pipeline, which will carry heavy bitumin products  to refineries in Texas, as will more new pipelines carry these products to the East and West Coasts will not help our energy needs, as these products once refined, will be exported mainly to China and Japan.

I do agree with Mr. Aspera that God has indeed given us a magnificent place to live and that we must do everything we can to protect it for without a healthy environment humanity hasn’t a chance.