Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 17, 2008

Pushing for oil imperils planet

Sunday's Sun reported that President Bush is encouraging Americans to allow oil drilling in pristine wildlife areas that have been set aside over the past generations ("It's time to drill for oil, Bush tells Congress," July 13).

The work of many dedicated people and the support of many citizens allowed those sacred public lands to be set aside. The point was - and still is - to avoid the eventual spoiling, by humans, of every inch of natural space.

It is sad enough to hear our so-called leader actually encourage the reversal of conservation. It was equally distressing to read, in the same article, that about half the American people support him.

The reason, of course, is the current price of gas.

For our chief executive and his followers, this is all about money, politics and consumption, really - not quality of life, saving the Earth, respecting nature or planning ahead.

But when the chips are down, can we so easily sell out the future?

Edgar C. Ludwig, Baltimore

Playing politics with oil shortage

Let me get this straight: President Bush insists that it's time to start drilling for more oil ("It's time to drill for more oil, Bush tells Congress," July 13) and has overturned an executive order prohibiting offshore drilling that was put in place by his father, President George H.W. Bush.

Then he has the audacity to turn around and blast the Democrats and suggest that the current fuel crisis is somehow their fault?

Well, if that's the case, why are fuel prices so high around the entire globe?

Are the Democrats more powerful than we realized, or is this just the same old tired and somewhat childish game of finger-pointing?

Scott Schools, Catonsville

Nuclear power still risky, expensive

I was dismayed to see Walt Handelsman's editorial cartoon (July 14) that implied that citizen activists now embrace nuclear power.

The truth is that Americans want better energy options. Poll after poll shows that citizens are concerned about global warming pollution and the health impacts of smog and soot from coal-fired power plants.

They're concerned about the rising cost of energy, and they want to reduce our dependence on oil. They want a clean energy future.

Power companies like Constellation Energy have seen those polls too. That's why they are waging a full-scale public relations offensive to attempt to re-brand nuclear power as clean and green.

But when you compare apples to apples, nuclear power is less safe, more expensive and less reliable than a clean energy strategy based on energy efficiency and truly clean sources of energy such as wind and solar power.

In fact, if the Maryland Public Service Commission prioritizes the implementation of the EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency goals, those efficiency measures alone will save 1.4 times as much electricity a year by 2015 as the new reactor proposed for Calvert Cliffs could generate.

Many citizens' groups in Maryland, including some leading advocates for action on global warming, have done their homework on nuclear power and see that it doesn't measure up.

Johanna Neumann, Baltimore

The writer is state director for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

Population poses threat to planet

Howard Bluth's column "Population factor" (Commentary, July 11) was right on the mark.

It is way past time for Americans as a group to take action to curb our expanding population.

We have too many cars, traffic jams, buildings, houses, towns and cities, too much refuse, pollution, sickness, etc. - all as a result of our ever-expanding population,

The government needs to provide strong incentives to entice people to have smaller families and work to tighten our control of the borders to make it harder for noncitizens to gain access to the United States.

If our population indeed increases by an additional 150 million people by 2050, as Mr. Bluth suggests it may, that would be an absolute nightmare.

W. Wiesand, Baltimore

Immigrants today fail to assimilate

My ancestors were also widely considered a burden on our government and economy who were taking jobs from "real" Americans ("Immigrants spark vibrancy, revenue," letters, July 12).

My grandparents emigrated from Sweden. My husband's ancestors came here from Ireland.

The difference between the immigrants back then and the illegal immigrants today is simple and clear: The earlier immigrants arrived legally, and they assimilated.

They did not give up their culture but they recognized that they were now in America and had to adapt to its language and customs.

It was a struggle for my grandparents to learn English, but they did.

Today's immigrants expect America to adapt to them. And that is the difference.

Susan O'Connell, Baltimore

A wonderful way to stop bank runs

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