Friday's Letters to the Editor
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.
EDITOR: To paraphrase an old saying: If you give a man a fish, the next day he will be hungry and need another fish. But if you teach a man to fish, the next day Ken Salazar will come and put him out of business (“Oyster farmer seeks courts OK to resume work,” Wednesday).
Labeling for choice
EDITOR: Labeling genetically-modified organisms in our food would give people a choice about what they want to buy. Consumers could truly dictate the market, and the cost is nothing on the consumer. If you are not concerned, that is your choice. But let others have a choice, too.
On the cost of labeling, Emory University law professor Joanna Shepherd-Bailey found that the one-time average per-product cost to manufacturers of redesigning all food labels is $1,104, which represents only 0.03 percent of annual per-product sales, and that the one-time average per-store cost of placards disclosing genetic engineering would be $2,820, or about 0.1 percent of the annual sales in the average supermarket. Besides, manufacturers change their labeling all the time — anytime a product is “new and improved” or a logo or box is redesigned — and those costs are not passed on to consumers.
Many GMOs are found in fast food and hidden in other food products. Studies have linked these processed foods to obesity and other ailments. Do you want to pay a minimal cost, if any, to label a product or a larger cost of obesity in our county?
End the violence
EDITOR: I’m really tired of turning on the TV and hearing about shootings, vigils and memorials. I’ve seen enough candles, flowers, balloons and Teddy bears to last at least five lifetimes. When are we going to get real about certain types of weapons in our society? Do we have to wait until it happens in Santa Rosa — and believe me, like the next quake, it will happen. The time is now to contact our legislators and encourage them to support a ban on assault weapons and high-volume magazines before it’s too late.
EDITOR: Regarding solar farms on ag land (“Power project divisions,” May 10), I am in a unique position to comment as a co-founder of the Sonoma County Farmlands Group, a farmland preservation group formed in the 1980s; and a co-founder of Solar Sebastopol and of Solar Sonoma County.
Preserving farmland and promoting the development of renewable energy are high priorities for me. First, there are acres of industrial and commercial rooftops and parking lots in this county to accommodate more solar than we need. Why not follow the lead of Sebastopol and require solar on all new construction? Solar carports in parking lots provide triple benefits of generating energy and providing shaded parking and electric car charging stations fueled by the sun.
If we have to move to ag land, let’s allow solar on a small percentage of a piece of pasture land to provide shade for livestock while generating energy.
Sonoma County is a national leader in providing solar energy, and we have done so without blanketing our open space with big solar farms. Let’s all work together to come up with a plan that works for all and gives us the means to combat climate change without sacrificing our wonderful agricultural lands.
EDITOR: We’ve seen Hillary Clinton with perhaps feigned exasperation ask “What difference at this point does it make?” concerning the State Department’s talking points mischaracterizing the Benghazi attack. Apparently, there was a lot of difference since the CIA’s talking points were revised 12 times before Susan Rice delivered them. Had the attack indeed resulted from a spontaneous, unpredictable demonstration, then the Obama administration’s doing nothing in preparation for such violence would be excusable — and such a demonstration run wild may well not justify mounting a potentially messy military counter-force response.
But the fact is Benghazi personnel informed the State Department (read White House) almost immediately that our consulate was under a coordinated terrorist attack and the administration, paralyzed by fear that President Barack Obama’s re-election might be somehow jeopardized, did absolutely nothing to save our fellow Americans.
The attack lasted only seven hours but it might well have lasted seven days — we had no way of knowing — yet no rescue attempt was mounted, effectively consigning our people to death. In military parlance, this is callous, dereliction of duty. In civilian terms this falls under “high crimes and misdemeanors,” rendering Obama eminently impeachable — because he must have, or should have, known of the Benghazi attack.