Make us your home page
Letters to the Editor

Shock of gas prices will make us change our ways

Higher gas prices may wake up Americans.

Associated Press

Higher gas prices may wake up Americans.

Shock of gas prices will make us change our ways

Americans and the media and politicians are treating higher gas prices with the doom-and-gloom attitude that suggests high gas prices are bad for us.

On the contrary! It's a good thing that people are buying more fuel-efficient cars, and it's a great thing that people are taking public transportation. Americans seem to have this idea that consumption is good, and conservation is below our standard of living. How arrogant of us.

I just watched a segment on NBC Nightly News about how Sweden has cut its consumption of fossil fuel (gas) by 30 percent in the last several years by the "carrot and stick" approach: Charge more for consumption ($8 a gallon for gas) and less for conservation (public transportation, more walkways on city streets, etc.).

Of course, if we have politicians like John McCain and our own Gov. Charlie Crist pandering to voters by wanting to give us a gas tax holiday, which of course would increase consumption, we will never face the reality: We cannot keep depending on oil, and we must think about what its consumption is doing to our planet.

We need a complete change in attitude, and I think it's great that higher and higher gas prices will force that change because if left to spoiled Americans, it will never change.

Nancy Morgan, Lutz

Make transportation alternatives convenient

Gas prices have soared to the height of "shock and awe," but I don't believe we citizens know how to deal with this reality. We complained when we saw $2.50 at the pump, but seem to have gone belly up as prices have continued to escalate to the present highs.

As a mass we continue to drive and ride one in a car. We don't appear to be excited about carpooling or a ride on the local PSTA. Perhaps it is inconvenience. We may be overwhelmed by changing our lifestyle or our transportation style. We may need a little help from our local government. There are many private corporations that have unused parking spaces where drivers can leave their cars and meet up with a car pool or a bus. Perhaps government can give tax breaks to these corporations in order to utilize these many empty spaces.

By utilizing this new transportation lifestyle, we will cut down the use of gas, and highways will be less congested. It needs to be convenient, and I believe we will come.

Michele Shriver, Palm Harbor

Curbs sought on teen drivers | April 20, story

Age and driving

The driving skills of teenagers will improve over time. Just ask Sen. Carey Baker and Rep. John Legg. I am sure they are good drivers who were once teenage drivers.

Senior driver skills are on a decline due to age. It is a scientific reality nothing can change. As boomers reach seniority they too are on cell phones or rocking out to the Rolling Stones. Distraction is not the province of age.

If we are going to enact legislation aimed at teens, let's be brave and enact driving legislation aimed at seniors.

Seniors often cause accidents from right-of-way violations to confusing the gas and break pedals as their reflexes and awareness decline. Driving is a privilege and not an inalienable right: Both age groups could benefit from well-thought-out legislation. Sadly, more seniors vote than 18- to 21-year-olds and politicians tread lightly on their voting blocs.

Andrew Nappi, Hudson

A solar subsidy?

We can go greener easily enough. Solar power can be a very large start-up expense for most Floridians, but if we pre-bill our power companies for the power we will sell them back in the future, I think a lot of us would be glad to help our state be less energy dependent. Maybe we wouldn't even need to build so many more power plants.

Rick Reynolds, Largo

Who in the world is Panfilo de Narvaez? And why should we care? | April 18, Floridian story

Remember the Vikings

According to your report, a Spaniard (Panfilo de Narvaez) was the first "white man" to explore North America. Apparently your reporter and editors have never learned that "white men" roamed the northeastern edges of North America more than five centuries before even Columbus stumbled on the continent. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of those early Viking settlements, at L'Anse aux Meadows.

John G. Nash, Homosassa

Who in the world is Panfilo de Narvaez? And why should we care? | April 18, Floridian story

Don't honor cruelty

I read this article half disbelieving and half aghast. I do not understand how the invasion, rape and destruction of native people in Florida could be taken with such little gravity! The article takes a light-hearted approach to a piece of history that few want to recognize: the American holocaust.

We fill our parks and waterfronts with statues and plaques proclaiming that this conquistador or that "explorer" first set foot here on whatever date. But we readily forget the native populations who faced some of the most gruesome treatments in history. How do you dedicate something to someone who cuts off people's noses and feeds others to dogs? If you do any sort or research, you'll find that these are the least of the atrocities committed against Native Americans on this continent.

I truly hope this article was written in jest, for if not, you have only perpetuated the ignorance of American history.

Alexis Meyer, St. Petersburg

Who in the world is Panfilo de Narvaez? And why should we care? | April 18, Floridian story

Conquistadors covered

This article says that something should be done to commemorate the 1528 landing of Panfilo de Narvaez in what is now Pinellas County. Actually, the Dunedin Historical Museum, in the old railroad station at 349 Main St., is currently featuring an exhibit that commemorates the exploits of Narvaez and the other 16th century Spanish explorers of Florida.

James Nelson, Largo

Shock of gas prices will make us change our ways 04/22/08 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2008 4:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours