Concerns for future generations
Stan Rosenzweig says the coal business is slowly dying and will be pretty much gone by 2036 [May 5, 2016, City Weekly]. Unfortunately, this is not possible. In the "Straight Dope" column titled "Nuke Needed" [June 16, 2011, City Weekly], Cecil Adams notes a study by Daniel Nocera, "On the Future of Global Energy," and concludes, "... we need to dispense with the illusory notion of 'alternative' energy, which suggests we'll get to be choosy about energy sources. Sorry, not going to happen. We'll have to use them all."
I am not aware of any refutation of Nocera's paper. The alternatives that I think are implied by it are pretty simple. We can drastically curtail population growth, or we can suffer great reductions in our standard of living. Reductions in living standards would take one of two forms: greatly reduced per capita energy consumption, or greatly reduced environmental quality.
We regulate firearms a lot more than we regulate population. This is a major cultural failure. We need to look at fixes: What about tax credits for vasectomies? Or phasing out child tax deductions and credits? Cap-and-trade on how many kids you can have? A world-wide blitz on birth control education and facilitation? If you don't like these options, don't complain that we will leave a world of squalor to our grandkids.
Lend me your [Bears] Ears
As a young person whose story is written in the public lands of Utah, I appreciate United States Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's vision for America's conservation future. On Tuesday, April 19, Jewell called for landscape-scale management and the inclusion of diverse voices—from young people to Native Americans. In this spirit, President Obama must protect Bears Ears as a national monument to respect tribes and conserve one of America's largest unprotected wild landscapes.
Our public lands are central to my identity. As a Utah millennial, these lands are not just my playground—they are my spiritual refuge and teacher of humility. In the digital age of constant connection, it is critical to preserve places in which young people can experience solitude, silence and deep time. I second Jewell in calling for a "holistic look at an ecosystem" to preserve our wild places.
Lastly, my generation demands a climate-just future—one that respects frontline communities today and future generations. We will not tolerate decisions that disrespect diversity or spiral climate change further out of control. We need Secretary Jewell and President Obama to protect our future. First step? Protect Bears Ears now.
Salt Lake City
Socialism Never Works
History demonstrates that socialism has been a failure every time and every place it has been imposed. Danny Bates needs to better inform himself on the subject if he is going to promote it. [April 14, 2016, City Weekly]
Cuba, for example, is a failed economy, poorer now than it was in 1958—a fact acknowledged by Fidel Castro himself. Mr. Bates should contact some of the 45,000 Cubans who entered the United States in 2015 alone, to find out why they left a socialist utopia.