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Month: September 2021 (page 2 of 5)

Discussion of 9/24/21

Cutting down fossil fuel emissions from cars might seem harsh due to individual’s perception that cars are a necessity for freedom. American individualism has rooted itself into the very core of America yet these ideals do not factor in that America as a whole is suffering from fossil fuel emissions. Does American individualism outweigh the health risks, greenhouse gases, and pollutants that affect Americans as a whole? We realize that the affordability to purchase an electric car is not plausible for everyone however, electric cars are becoming cheaper and innovations to gasoline cars are being made to ensure more efficiency in gas usage. Although in more rural counties the consumer, despite wanting to make a change, cannot justify getting an electric car as many companies probably will not place charging stations there because of the lack of profit. One way to get rid of this disadvantage is to harness solar power to cut down fossil fuel intake. This is our future, we must take action for this big impact on our environment; we must demand continued modifications of cars to cut down emissions.

Position on reducing carbon emissions

I chose to take the neutral position on reducing fuel emissions as I did not find fully converting to EV cars as a viable, wide scale solution. It is expensive and unreasonable to think everyone has the capability to buy a new electric car to replace the fuel cars that dominate society. However, I should have taken the “we need to cut down position,” as I do believe the need to be cut down for the health of our environment. In class I chose the side of “neutral” because I was thinking of it as an all or nothing, when realistically it is not and there are multiple options when thinking of solutions to reducing carbon emissions even it is one small step at a time in the right direction.

Car and Gasoline Issue -Alden G

A big reason I took the “neutral” position is because of where I am from. In Lewisburg, PA, there is no public transport, and most travel cannot be biked or walked. Although taking steps towards reducing emissions is something we all want. In my opinion, the cost is too high. Frequently driving around is something that I don’t wanna pay more for. Gasoline is inelastic, meaning changes in prices in gasoline (gas tax) will not change its quantity demanded substantially. Meaning unless the cost of gas increases to fees Americans cannot pay, they will just pay more for gasoline and pollute roughly the same amount. Additionally, most PA power plants burn natural gas and coal. Meaning electric cars in PA, unless powered by a person’s individual solar panels, are about as pollutive as gasoline. We all want a green future, but currently, the price is too high, which is why I took a neutral position.

Car and Gasoline Issue

I chose to join the “we need to reduce our gas use” side because I don’t think that the answer needs to be all or nothing. I understand that cars are a critical part of modern society, and I know that expensive electric vehicles likely aren’t a viable solution. However, I interpreted the statement “we need to reduce our gas use” as meaning that we need to work toward cleaner and more sustainable transportation. It’s very unreasonable to expect everyone to either stop driving or transition to electric cars. However, I think that society can work toward making more efficient cars or more affordable electric cars. There has already been significant progress even in the past few years with electric cars. While drastic changes to transportation may not be possible, I do think that we can and should consistently make incremental changes that would reduce gasoline usage.

Re-Write Letter #3

In her recent opinion piece (“Community Voices: Don’t bite the county that feeds you,” July 11), state Sen. Shannon Grove argues that people who oppose continued oil drilling in Kern County are “out of touch” with what our county needs; the reality is what we need most is a responsible transition away from fossil fuels, to protect our health, our climate, and our economy.   

Climate change is not a made-up problem or something far off in the future. Our community is already experiencing extreme weather from climate change, as well as the pollution that the oil industry dumps into our air and water every day. The American Lung Association rates the county an F in ozone and particle pollution. The cost of the destruction of health is nowhere near the $200 million the oil and gas industry paid the county for, with health risks including cancer, pre-term births, and over 30% of kids under 17 diagnosed with asthma. The oil industry is on its way out, and transitioning to clean energy is inevitable; it’s happening right here whether we like it or not.  

Kern County can either embrace its role as a leader in energy and meet the challenge of an economic transition to clean energy or continue with business as usual, relying on a single source of revenue and allowing oil executives to reap massive financial benefits while our community suffers from toxic air and water left behind. Elected officials who want to keep us in the past are the ones who are really out of touch with what Kern County needs. 

 

-Mercedes Macias, Tehachapi

REWRITE SET LETTER #3

Dear my folks, I know that we all love our liberal agenda. It is our home, our livelihood and I believe that none of us want our community to be contaminated. Environmental pollution in general is a far-reaching issue that we have spent decades to combat and it is never, as you can see, an easily solvable problem. I would not say about the stuff of environmental issues again as if you are a caring person to our national affairs, or at least to yourself, you must relentlessly have heard of many speeches and seen many daily newspapers about how destructive our surroundings are and how people were making attempt to protect them, from everywhere and every time in our country. And at this moment, we are no longer a passive audience who just read and comment about those matters and other’s actions, it is time we became a protagonist for our own life, our health and economy.  As I have mentioned above, dealing with an environmental issue is always complex and oil drilling in our Kern County is not an exception: It is an incremental process. That’s as to why a transition to a green energy is inevitable and we have to experience it now or later, no matter we like it or not. Whether Kern County will play its leading role as a clean energy initiative once facing an initial economic recession as a trade-off or continue with its business as usual and leave its workers and civilians suffering from toxic air and water resources depends on how much we can love and respect ourselves and our community. I do know how much time, effort, and prices it would take us to make it but as long as we still love our community, that day is inevitable.

– Bill Platton, Bakersfield

Stop exaggerating about climate change (Letter #2 rewrite)

I am commenting on a column that appears on your website on June 17 by Gene Lyons: “America gains nothing from denying global warming.” 

In his criticism of President Trump’s decision to get out of the Paris Agreement, Gene Lyons dismisses the coal industry as “dirty” and describes the unemployment of coal miners as inevitable by concluding: “it’s going to happen anyway.” This claim is beyond exaggerating because, despite the controversy on coal, it is still a desirable and predictable form of fuel, therefore, it is unlikely for coal miners to be unemployed. Furthermore, Lyons’ went on to inaccurately demonize the coal industry despite the latest statistics from the Department of Labor released in May recorded an increase in mining jobs by a whopping 44,000 since last October, showing that mining is once again thriving in America. Lyon’s claim about coal miners inevitably becoming unemployed is clearly false. There is a rising trend in coal mining employment, which further suggests the rising in coal demand. 

Despite the controversy on coal, we can’t deny that clean coal provides an affordable and abundant supply of electricity to many homes and businesses. It is estimated that over “one-third of global electricity is supplied by coal.” So it is irresponsible to falsely make exaggerated claims about climate change to try and close down the industry that allows one-third of global business to thrive.

Tom Harris, Executive Director Internation Climate Science Coalition, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Further edited by Sonyta Bun

Letter Set #1 Rewrite

It is so easy to blow off health care reform if you are healthy.  But countless others and I stare at our inevitable demise as we feel left to die.

I am 62 and every day I grow weaker.  I have congenital myasthenia gravis syndrome and there is no cure.  I choke often and I cannot get up without help if I fall.  I cannot climb stairs at all.  I cry internally as I am left to slowly deteriorate exteriorly as people turn their backs on me.

But I want to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible and so does everyone else who shares this burden with me.  An estimated 40% of the United States population has a chronic disease, so why are we being abandoned?

I believe that it is our right as American citizens that have done what we could for our world to have a chance to survive, to live.  I have applied for long-term health care insurance five times and have been shut down five times.  Even the people at AARP, whose sole purpose is to help people over fifty years old live our lives as we see fit, shut me and countless others down.

Please, people of Pennsylvania, think about me and the millions of others that are and will be fighting this battle against our fatal diseases.  We cannot win this downhill battle without your genuine support.

VINCENT J. PETROSINO, Harrisburg

Letter set #3 rewrite

Pushing the liberal agenda is what is wrong with society. Oil is a necessity that the entire world depends on, without it our economy would start to crumble. The use of clean energy is beneficial for everyone and needs to be on the forefront of  research and development in our country.  Although wind and solar energy is expensive through more development it could be made cheaper so even the poor could afford it. The idea of taxing the middle class is worthless because it will end up just leading to more poverty within communities. Another liberal ideal that is detrimental to our country is the banishment of firearms. In a survey of Prison inmates it was found that 93% of the firearms were obtained through another source then a person purchasing it legally. This means even if the sale of guns were completely banned criminals would still be able to get their hands on weapons. The final talking point of the liberal agenda that I will go over is the idea of defunding the police. Taking away the polices money and power will only sky rocket the amount of crime committed in the streets. Crime won’t go down without police because cops aren’t the reason people steal, rape, and murder. There are just sick people in the world who don’t care about the difference between right or wrong. Liberals need to understand that through their crooked agenda they will only worsen the issues at hand.

-“Billium Pattonson, Bakersfield Town”

Letter #2 Rewrite

To the editor,

I am commenting on a column that appears on your website on June 17 by Gene Lyons: “America gains nothing from denying global warming.”

 

In his criticism of President Trump’s decision to get out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, Gene Lyons dismisses the coal industry as “dirty” and describes the unemployment of coal miners as inevitable by concluding: “it’s going to happen anyway.”

 

This assessment of the coal mining industry is ill-informed; the mining industry is responsible for the employment of 297,000, which, compared to the industry in 2005, has increased employment by roughly 30,000.  The coal mining industry is clearly still growing.

 

In states that rely on coal powered electricity, the cost of electricity is 30 percent less then states that rely on other forms of electricity.  Coal mining benefits citizens living in these states by lowering their cost of living.

 

Trying to close down the industry due to exaggerated climate change concerns makes no sense.

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