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Readers Right: Making renewable energy cheapr; looking for a solution in Israel

Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17, 2014 weekly magazine:

Barnshaw: Increasing the amount of renewable energy will push down the price.

Aeschbach: We must work toward creating a secular Israel where all religious and nonreligious people have equal rights.

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Making renewable energy cheaper

The Oct. 20 letter from Rick Berlet regarding the recent cover stories about climate change raises some interesting issues. It is true that climate warming hasn’t increased as much as predicted over the past 15 years, but the overall picture is very clear. The past 100 years have seen an increase of 1.4 degrees F.; 2000-10 was the warmest decade on record; icecaps are melting and oceans are more acidic. 

Increasing renewable energy and making it accessible is a challenge. There is a big cost differential, but it is decreasing and would decrease more if fossil fuel production and use had a carbon tax on it to offset its contribution to greenhouse gases. Even without increasing renewable energy production, we could decrease the huge demand for energy, which would have a big impact on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted and consequently help curtail global warming.

H. Douglas Barnshaw
Springfield, Mass.

Looking for a solution in Israel

The Oct. 27 cover story, “Fortress Israel,” seemed so sympathetic to Israelis that readers may forget why there is no peace. The Oslo Accords are mentioned as if they were the beginning of the present disastrous situation. Nobody who was interviewed even alluded to the real end of the peace process: A Jewish right-wing extremist shot the peace-loving Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Since then, the governing Likud Party has pursued an Israel that dominates Palestinians, rather than treating them as equals. Israel has continuously absorbed land from what is supposed to become Palestine. There is a system that looks like apartheid, while some areas look more like an open-air prison campus.

We must stop choosing sides. We must look for a constructive way forward. We must work toward creating a secular state where all religious and nonreligious people have equal, democratic rights and dignity, including the mixed-racial Jews, Arabs, and other groups.

Heinz Aeschbach
Austin, Texas

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