Inbox — July 1, 2008
Letters to the Editor
FOSSIL FUEL JUNKIES
Kudos to LEO Weekly Editor Stephen George for being the only journalist in Louisville who gets it when it comes to energy and the problems we face (regarding the Editor’s Note in the June 25 LEO Weekly). Former Rep. Anne Northup, in full pander mode, claims that we can drill our way to energy independence, if only the Democrats and silly environmentalists would get out of the way. While just the latest example of why voters sent her packing in 2006, her rant is nonetheless one that is gaining traction with people everywhere. The fact of the matter is, the United States will never again be energy independent, at least not as long as we rely on fossil fuels to cure our energy cravings. Domestic oil production peaked in 1970, and it’s been downhill ever since.
For the past four years, global oil production has been on a bumpy plateau, unable to significantly grow despite increasing demand. Compounding the problem is that exports from such countries as Saudi Arabia and Russia, all rich with oil revenues, will continue to fall as those countries see dramatically rising internal consumption. For all intents and purposes, we are now at Peak Oil, the point in time when oil flows begin to diminish as the remaining oil becomes increasingly more difficult and expensive to extract. We have been on a fossil-fuel binge for more than a century now, and we Americans deserve most of the blame. Despite what Dick Cheney might say, the American way of life will have to be negotiable.
Sadly, here in Louisville, it’s still business as usual. We are about to spend more than $4 billion building two bridges that few will be able to afford to drive across. We continue to rely on energy intensive industries, conventions, tourism and air cargo that, because of shortages of fossil fuels, will become a thing of the past. We have no vision, we have no sense of urgency and we have no idea what kind of mess we will soon find ourselves in. The time to plan for a transition away from fossil fuels has come and gone, and now all we are left with is the need to find someone to blame. I’m tired of people blaming big oil, speculators, environmentalists and Congress. Even if they were to blame, what are they going to do about it? Not much, at least not until we demand leaders who are willing to admit that all of us are going to have to make dramatic changes in the way we live. As Alan Drake likes to say on TheOilDrum.com, best hopes for a low energy future.
Kelly Armstrong, Louisville
Nice touch, your ode to the underappreciated shotgun (LEO Weekly, June 25). I recently moved back into my camelback shotgun in Schnitzelburg after a dozen-year absence.
However, what’s disappointing is LEO Weekly’s invisible coverage of another shotgun story last week — more than 100 folks (black/white, young/old) showed up on their lunch hour in front of Humana to push back against the health insurance lobby’s unjust shotgun control over healthcare policy in the United States.
In plain sight, big pharma and the insurance lobbies hold the legislative system hostage, using big bucks like Blackwater mercenaries goosestepping through Congressional offices.
Stephen George’s Editor’s Note regarding Anne Northup was amusing — positioned next to Anthem’s ad with the banner “Need Health Coverage?” The Humana/Anthem ad dollars may help LEO, but their Kool-Aid ain’t gonna get the rest of us there.
How about some ink on the single-payer movement as you ramp up coverage of candidate positions/track records in our 3rd District Congressional race? Yarmuth is a co-sponsor of HR 676, the U.S. National Health Insurance Act — the single-payer plan (Medicare for all). Northup? I’m guessing she’ll be with the dudes in suits packing shotguns, fat wallets and plenty of pulp fiction. Me? I’m riding shotgun with the single-payer crowd —
Mark McKinley, Louisville
Editor’s Note: LEO Weekly posted a story and photos from the protest on our news blog, General Sense of Outrage (leocitystrobe.blogspot.com), on the day of the protest.
PUBLIC POOL SHARKS
The top picture was taken at the Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center in Crescent Hill and the bottom picture was taken in Breslin Park, where the pool will not open this year. Both of these parks fall within Metro Council District 9, but the difference in the way they are treated is alarming. The Meagher pool is open and thousands of dollars have been spent on its repair and upkeep. There is a wading pool and water spouts. The playground equipment is in excellent order, and a picnic table is available with shade for parents.
The Breslin Park pool is not open and the park is poorly tended. There are no waterspouts or wading pools, there is no picnic table or seating place and no shade. The only playground equipment is rusted and in very poor condition. There are many children in the area surrounding Breslin. The children in that area need summer activities. I understand the city spent $450,000 updating and repairing the Meagher pool, but tells the Breslin area residents that if they want a pool to open, they must pay for it themselves. The unfair and preferential treatment within the same Metro Council is dramatic. When $8,000 can be spent by their councilperson for such things as signage at the corner of Lexington Road and Grinstead Drive, why is Breslin Park in such an appalling condition? The needs of these children are being ignored and discounted! Something should be done.
L.C. McKinley, Louisville
PLAIN BROWN WRAPPED
I have always enjoyed your paper. It’s a nice “other” view of events, as presented by the other paper. I also have always enjoyed the “Plain Brown Rapper” column, by Carl Brown. Now, I don’t always agree with Carl, but he does make some good points. I think it’s the other way of looking at issues that is very important in the world.
I will miss Carl Brown a lot. I wish you could work out a way for him to still speak his mind to us, the readers. He will be sorely missed!
Garry Burke, Louisville