To the editor: It seems a bit hypocritical the way the government is presently handling natural gas drilling. Just a few years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency was so worried about our groundwater that they required every derelict filling station to remove its fuel storage tanks. And they were willing to fund digging them up. In the same effort, they banned hydraulic lifts inside those buildings because they are notoriously leaky and allow hydraulic fluids to seep into the groundwater.
But it’s acceptable to wreck a million gallons of water to fracture each new gas well (“Evolution of a Rebel,” May 17, 2013)? And that water is ruined once it’s used, and we dispose of it by injecting it so deep we think it can’t infiltrate our drinking water aquifers? Nobody will convince me that we know for sure what’s going on a thousand feet belowground nor what passageways might already be there allowing seepage.
If we have to do this, the drillers should be forced to re-use their wrecked water, which is not happening at this time. We are going to wind up having to build and maintain desalination plants if we don’t quit ruining the fresh water. We already know how much trouble it is to drink seawater, and the cleaning process is just too expensive to even think about.
Chris M Waring
Sequester Those Legislators
To the editor: Jeff Prince’s exposé about government sequestration of Meals on Wheels funding (“No Sequester on Hunger,” March 20, 2013) is a wake-up call for advocates of the elderly and disabled to take up the crusade and save this needed program that deliver nutritious meals and kind words to the homebound. Meals on Wheels workers make referrals for their clients for other needs such as personal assistance, utility bills, fans, and walkers. Meals on Wheels is their lifeline to remaining healthy and independent in their own homes rather than being relegated to institutions. Should Meals on Wheels be eviscerated, legislators who supported this sequester ought to be voted out of office. They’ve been sitting on their perches long enough.
Considering the amount of profligate spending the government does, sending billions of our tax dollars to foreign countries that pledge allegiance only to our generosity, they ought to be able to find some money for a humanitarian program like Meals on Wheels. Cutting it would be a coup de grace for our least powerful demographic group.
Thanks to the Weekly and Jeff Prince for giving this story the exposure it needed.
Delores Cantrell Taylor
Eat Greens, Live Green
To the editor: A review of 12,000 papers on climate change (Static, April 24, 2013) in the May 15 issue of Environmental Research Letters found that 97 percent of scientists attribute climate change to human activities. Although we’re unlikely to reverse climate change, we can mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, energy use, and meat consumption.
Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 United Nations report estimated that meat consumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that it might be closer to 50 percent.
Carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, is generated by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport, and slaughter animals. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
Each of us has the power to reduce the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarkets offer a rich variety of soy-based lunchmeats, hot dogs, veggie burgers, and soy- and nut-based dairy products, as well as an ample selection of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes, and transition tips are available at www.livevegan.org.