Letters Jan. 27, 2022

Hospital vs. low-income housing

I cannot believe that Essentia Hospital would spend $25 million to tear down a solid building instead of helping our community with housing for low-income people.

Several years ago the hospital tore down many homes and apartment buildings for parking lots above the hospital between 4th and 6th Avenues East. This created great housing shortage, mostly for low income people!

Now that they are building “Tajma Hall” hospital for about $1 billion, with a lot of help from federal, state and local governments, they should show consideration to the communities. 

The citizens of Northeastern Minnesota, Northwestern Wisconsin and elsewhere are happy about their success in becoming a great regional health center.

Mike Jaros
Duluth, Minnesota

Swords and pens

The technocrats and fearmongerers are in high gear to jam up and then partake in the dissolution of our damaged democracy.

The fear-mongers swing swords and the technocrats are pens.

The tenets of our hard-won democracy work fine when practiced.

Someone said: “You can have it if you can keep it.”

Gerald Norrgard
Duluth, Minnesota

Green energy won’t solve our problems immediately

While rummaging through some of my old Readers, I saw a letter by Bryce Makala which cast doubts on freeing us from oil and oil products in a way that implies that climate scientists and green energy advocates are simply too gullible. The reason his letter worries me is because many things said in it are on their face, true, yet in other aspects he can’t see the forest for its trees. He and others should understand the lengths that scientist have already gone to while considering the same facts.

First of all, the Water for life program, is not directly related to limiting all CO2, it’s related to providing drinkable and safe water to areas of the world that have been ravaged by greed, ambition, brutal warfare and climate catastrophes that equals or surpasses the horrors caused by Nazi Germany. So wanting to provide clean water to the world is not some sort of fake pastime contrived to misinform us about C02 emissions.

Secondly, Why should the attendees at the concert be expected to drive vehicles powered by renewable and green energy sources?

I’d would like to ask Makala if he or the people at the concert were financially well off? If not, wouldn’t they want to get optimum usage out of their old vehicles before spendings thousands of dollars on a new car? Besides, all electric vehicles are not yet accommodated by nationwide charging stations, which are available in localities like areas of California but are far from being readily available everywhere. He might as well wonder why screwing in a lightbulb will not work without electricity? The goal is not to replace all gas cars with electric cars at once. They must be phased in gradually until a large supporting infrastructure makes them feasible.

Thirdly, For many years scientists have known that marketing green vehicles and replacing carbon products such as those used to manufacture asphalt, are formidable challenges to face. However, innovative technologies are being applied and developed right now, which might eventually be used to work high power systems needed to drive trucks and fly airplanes. Currently all electric is not feasible, but biomass fuels which can be renewed, are being considered. Researching how practical their uses are, is not chemistry 101, yet many scientists believe they will be used eventually.

Lastly, as stated, let’s (not) consider that the reduction of C02 must be total and immediate. Currently, fossil fuels cannot be used to run fast planes and eighteen wheeled trucks. But renewables might accomplish that relatively soon. However, don’t expect science to jump the gun. Oil-based fuels used to power passenger cars and heat homes, as well as hydrogen-powered vehicles, can reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases as soon as we build the technology and infrastructures that make them feasible.

However, we must lower the gargantuan emissions from hundreds of millions of cars and large industries around the world. Doing so can prevent warming too quickly or in catastrophic amounts.
Before the industrial revolution, the Earth had many natural ways of absorbing CO2. Lush forests and green plants as well as our immense oceans, absorbed vast amounts of C02. However, though green plants absorb C02 and emit oxygen, and oceans have absorbed C02 for thousands of years, right now they cannot regulate nature’s delicate balance as they did for many thousands of years. Carbon release and absorption were remarkable and naturally balanced, and as long as we reduce the excess C02 from burning coal, and using gasoline, we will be giving nature a hand.

And remember, climate scientists did not fall off of the turnip truck yesterday, they have been studying the factors at play in global warming since the 1970s, and they are motivated by concern, not economic wealth.

Sources: EPA, Brookings Institute


Peter W. Johnson
Superior, Wisconsin