LETTERS: Seems like a lot of extra work; make foreign aid policies, not war
Seems like a lot of extra work
Research Boulevard, between Austin Bluffs and Chapel Hills surely turned out to be a gigantic fiasco for Colorado Springs residents. First, the quickly added, then removed bicycle lane. Now, all the road-work being done to repair the roadway. Removing the barriers at intersections, grooving the right lane in both directions, and now putting new asphalt, new lane markings in the three lanes in each direction.
The city could have started filling the potholes to begin with, then job done. Seems like a lot of extra work after a costly "experiment" of a bicycle lane.
The swamp is a profitable place
Once again Congress has failed to make meaningful progress on health care reforms. This time, however, there is a glimmer of hope. Relative to Obamacare, President Donald Trump tweeted the question "why should Congress not be paying what the public pays?". Regardless of what Congress does next, he should use his executive powers to revoke the Office of Personnel Management rule that certified the House and Senate as "Small Businesses" (Oh, but were that so!) making the members eligible to purchase subsidized health care plans on the District of Columbia exchange. In fact, he should use his powers wherever possible to force Congress to live by the same laws they impose on everyone else.
Draining the swamp would be a lot easier if it were not such a profitable place for our privileged governing class to live.
Bill Healy Jr.
When the wind doesn't blow
Scott Weiser's column in the Tuesday Gazette concerning renewable energy highlighted one of its many drawbacks. That is its lack of reliability. It sounds wonderful to have 100 percent renewable energy, but what do we do when the wind doesn't blow?
I was reminded of this problem a couple weeks ago when I had the opportunity to drive across northern Illinois on three consecutive days. This was during the recent heat wave and the temperatures were in the low 90s and electric demand was likely at it peak. There is a large wind farm with at least 50 wind turbines but likely more. (It is hard to count them while driving.) On each of those three days, with soaring temperatures, not a single turbine was rotating. Why? Because there was absolutely no wind.
So in addition to paying for the cost of the turbines, ratepayers have to also pay the cost of enough "conventional" electricity production facilities to supply the peak electric demand. It makes no economic sense to burden ourselves with paying twice for electric generating capacity.
Someday we may be able to store electricity to overcome the lack of reliable wind or sunshine, but not in the near future.
Make foreign aid policies, not war
Wars such as the Syrian civil war clearly demonstrate the violence and danger present in the world today. For many people within the United States, it feels as if this violence threatens to overflow into our own country. Some believe that the only way to fight it is with military force, but fighting firepower with more firepower often prolongs or worsens the conflict, leading to even more shattered lives. Instead of using force and military might, foreign aid provides at least part of a solution. Foreign aid is much more cost effective than going to war, and it can save millions of lives while simultaneously increasing stability and sustainability in previously war torn areas.
After WWII, the Marshal plan was an act of foreign aid meant "to promote world peace and the general welfare, national interest, and foreign policy of the United States" by giving money to rebuild the war torn economy in Europe. This was an act of giving meant to support American interests, not just a selfless, kindhearted action to get Europe back on its feet. A healthy economy in Europe meant a healthy economy in the United States, and the same is true today.
Foreign aid is an investment into the future of the United States and the rest of the world. It fosters peace as stability improves due to better living conditions. It also reduces poverty, improves health, and increases job opportunities and economic growth. The more foreign aid the U.S. gives, the more this country can expect to receive in return, so instead of increasing the military budget, already at 18 percent of U.S. spending, adding a small amount to the 1 percent of foreign aid spending would go a long way to making this world a better and safer place.
Protecting public lands
We appreciate your coverage of the outdoor recreation industry in Colorado and felt compelled to weigh in on an important issue facing our nation. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the few truly unspoiled places in the United States, and here at Deuter USA, we think it should stay that way.
Protection of public lands is vital not only for the health of our ecosystems, but for the outdoor industry at large, which generates more than $28 billion annually in consumer spending in Colorado.
Most of us in the outdoor industry ended up here because of our strong connection to wild places. That's why our industry has always been a natural leader when it comes to conservation issues.
Opening the Arctic to energy development would set a dangerous precedent for public lands energy policy and does not promise a reward commensurate to the environmental toll that energy development would take.