Readers Write: Why renewable energy isn't the answer; minimum wage is a major threat to the country

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 20, 2014 weekly magazine:

Berlet: Renewable energy won't solve the world's energy problems. 

Soule: Low minimum wages and a growing income gap are putting pressure on the economy.

David Gray/Reuters/
Wind turbines at the Infigen Energy wind farm can be seen on the hills surrounding Lake George, located on the outskirts of the Australian capital city of Canberra on October 15.

Renewable energy isn’t the answer

I have read in a thoughtful state of mind the Monitor articles over the past several weeks, including the Sept. 22 cover story, “Climate controller,” and the Sept. 29 cover story, “The accidental oilman,” offering different perspectives on the concerns of climate change. They all seem to treat the science of human-caused warming of the planet as an assumption, rather than a question – even though there is little evidence of warming over the past 15 years. Even more frustrating, the articles ignore basic facts about the renewable sources of energy, particularly those – wind and solar – that survive largely because of government subsidies. 

Anyone can read a simple pie chart of energy sources and readily recognize that, for the next 100 years at least, nonrenewable sources of energy will continue to dwarf the output from renewable sources. And renewable resources will never be able to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand.

Where is the journalist who is willing to at least take the risk of open-mindedly exploring the real facts and effects of energy resources and power production, so that policymakers can no longer get by creating facts to fit their agenda?

Rick Berlet
Ashland, Ore.

Minimum wage is a major threat

The Sept. 29 One Week article “Income gap dents state tax revenue” marked the second time this year that Standard & Poor’s has documented the harmful macroeconomic effects of wage disparity. While congressional Republicans block an increase in the national minimum wage, is it any wonder that state and local governments, which rely on income and sales taxes, are increasing their minimum wages as a solution to low revenue? A Pew poll found 56 percent of Americans say their income is falling behind the cost of living. Income inequality needs to be more prevalent in the national dialogue. It is starting to look like a major threat to our economy and our way of life.

Rick Soule
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

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