Letters: Park City purchase of electric vehicles is misguided and misleading
November 18, 2018
A misguided mission
I am responding to the recent announcement that the City Council is doubling down (thanks to federal subsidies) on electric vehicles by replacing three diesel buses with electric buses. This move is trumpeted as a great advance in promoting the Council's goal of "sustainability." In fact, this is a triumph of political correctness over common sense and basic science. Electrical vehicles obviously run on electricity. Electricity in this country is mainly generated from fossil fuels and, in Utah, over 90 percent from fossil fuels with around 64 percent from coal-powered plants. Coal consumption is the worst contributor to carbon emissions. Accordingly, electric vehicles in Utah might more appropriately be described as coal-powered vehicles. The only thing that has changed is that we have shifted the site of the emissions. How does this advance Council's goal of "sustainability?" For another perspective, see Wall Street Journal August 4, 2017: "City Pledges for '100% Renewable Energy' Are 99% Misleading."
What should the Council be doing? First, it should continue its conservation efforts. This should include an honest assessment of its vehicle fleet to determine whether or not we should be moving towards hybrid vehicles or natural gas powered vehicles. It should also be noted that simply replacing diesel vehicles doesn't mean that these diesel vehicles will not be operating somewhere else. Second, the Council should urge the Utah Legislature to pressure Rocky Mountain Power to quickly convert its power plants to natural gas. This is a great interim step and very achievable. It should also urge the Legislature to deregulate the retail electricity market, which should promote more renewable power choices for consumers. Finally, the Council should focus on common sense solutions and not politically correct ones.
Eric B. Brown
Pardon a turkey
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While President Trump is pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving, every one of us can exercise that same presidential power by choosing a non-violent Thanksgiving observance.
And here are some other good reasons:
• You can brag about pardoning a turkey — like Trump (or not).
• You will stay awake for your entire favorite football game.
• Your sensible vegetarian kid won't have to boycott the family dinner.
• Plant-based holiday roasts don't have to carry government warning labels.
• You won't have to call Poultry Hotline to keep your family out of the hospital.
• Your body will appreciate a holiday from the fat, cholesterol and hormones.
• You won't sweat the environment and food resources devastation guilt trip.
• You won't spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.
Seriously, this Thanksgiving, let's give thanks for our good fortune, health, and happiness with a life-affirming, cruelty-free feast of plant-based holiday roast, vegetables, fruits and grains.
Our own dinner will feature a store-bought plant-based holiday roast, mashed potatoes, stuffed squash, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. An internet search on "vegetarian Thanksgiving" is getting us more recipes than we could possibly use.
Nationalism doesn't equal patriotism
We recently had our midterm elections, and I have to say I was pleased at the high level of interest and the high voter turnout. Here are a couple of thoughts I'd like to share.
Speaking as a veteran, I believe we in this nation must be very introspective about who we support in our national leadership, and we must be very suspicious of those who stoke nationalism or seek to pit one group against another. I am here to tell you, nationalism at the expense of others is not the same thing as patriotism, which is an all-inclusive value.
We citizens should strive to work together to resolve problems, never ridicule or demonize those who have an opinion different from our own. We must also be very suspicious of anyone in power who solicits undue adulation upon themselves because we don't have to look very far back in history to see where that leads.
Working together to solve problems in our society is a privilege we must cherish, one of the sacred principals our democracy was built on. That privilege must be vigorously protected.
The leaders we choose must always think of the good of others over personal gain; they must have solid values and an unwavering sense of service above self. And anyone in public life who can't or won't work with others to solve issues is not worthy of your support.
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