1. Opinion

Why fossil fuels aren’t going away

Here’s what readers had to say in Friday’s letters to the editor.
In this Jan. 20, 2015 photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.
Published Oct. 3

Why fossil fuels aren’t going away

Fighting climate change at home | Letter, Oct. 2

State Rep. Jennifer Webb’s comments related to improving energy efficiency and expanded use of renewables are well directed. However, neither the state of Florida nor any city can have any meaningful impact on climate change. Let’s assume that carbon dioxide emissions are the major cause of rising temperatures and sea levels. Various reasons limit what can be done to eliminate the problem:

• While the campaign to eliminate fossil fuels is well-intentioned, it is not practical. Renewables represent a small portion of our energy inventory and are neither reliable nor cost-effective. They will always need fossil fuel power plant backup. The only alternative is nuclear power, which is reliable and does not emit carbon dioxide but does not seem to be in favor.

• While solar energy may be a reasonable alternative in residential use, it cannot provide sufficient energy to power the industrial and commercial segments of the economy.

• The success of a campaign to dramatically reduce use of fossil fuels requires a world-wide effort. While wealthy western nations may be able to indulge their climate concerns, the only way economically depressed developing nations can provide opportunities to enhance the living standard of their citizens is to have accessible, low-cost energy resources to expand their industrial and commercial base. For the foreseeable future, only fossil fuel can provide this.

State Rep. Jennifer Webb [Jennifer Webb]

Living with fossil fuel as a significant source of energy will have to be accepted. If we are to spend our funds wisely we must strike a balance between reasonable efforts to reduce carbon emissions and spending on protective measures to mitigate the effects of rising temperatures and sea levels when they occur.

George Post, Clearwater

All politics is about party

City Council Member Ed Montanari with a campaign flyer attacking him from the Florida Democratic Party [SCOTT KEELER; MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Tampa Bay Times]

St. Pete elections aren’t about Trump | Editorial, Oct. 2

This editorial’s position that local elections should not be fouled by partisan politics is quaint, anachronistic and completely unrealistic, especially in the age of Donald Trump, a man who has fundamentally reshaped the Republican Party in his image.

Today more than ever, one’s partisan leanings tell us quite a lot about a politician’s values, ethics and attitudes. While the corridors of power in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., may be amenable to Republicans’ divisive, reactionary and undemocratic brand of politics, plenty of St. Petersburgers are determined to keep our city clean.

L.E. Brinkley, St. Petersburg

What some words truly mean

President unleashes his fury | Oct. 3

I propose a practical dictionary of politics that would include the true meaning of common and commonly understood English words when spoken by politicians. Here are a few examples.

President Donald Trump speaks at an event concerning Medicare Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in The Villages, Fla. [JOHN RAOUX | AP]

“Not” is a meaningless denial, for example: President Richard Nixon said, “I am not a crook.”

“Is” is an uncertainty, for example: President Bill Clinton said, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is,’ is.”

“Though,” particularly when preceded by a comma, means a condition placed on an offer you can’t refuse, for example: President Donald Trump told the Ukrainian president, “I would like you to do us a favor, though.”

Al Brendel, Clearwater


  1.  LISA BENSON  |  Lisa Benson -- Washington Post Writers Group
  2. Exhaust rises from smokestacks in front of piles of coal in Thompsons, Texas. [Associated Press]
    A proposed rule masquerades as transparency when it actually is a favor to polluters.
  3. Using a tool provided by NOAA, this map shows what parts of the Tampa Bay region would be underwater if sea levels rose 8 feet, which could happen by 2100. NOAA
    The real-world impacts of climate change are accelerating for us in Tampa Bay.
  4. An architect's rendering of a foster care village proposed for Lake Magdalene. Ross Chapin Architects
    Here’s what readers had to say in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
  5. Campbell Park Elementary School is one of the seven schools included in St. Petersburg City Council member Steve Kornell's plan to help homeless students in the school system. SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The City Council appears poised to help homeless families find places to live more quickly.
  6. Kimberly Clemons, 41, a resident of the Kenwood Inn, St. Petersburg receives a free Hepatitis A vaccination from Fannie Vaughn, a nurse with the Florida Department of Health Pinellas County, Tuesday, October 22, 2019. The health department has issued a state of emergency over the hepatitis A outbreak in Florida.  SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The strategy regarding vaccinations is working and benefits all residents.
  7. Fiberglass planters remain in place at Lykes Gaslight Square Park on Friday, July 5, 2019, five months after city workers removed all of its benches for refurbishing. There is still no sign of them returning. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times
    Quit clogging up precious downtown green space.
  8. Florida's unemployment rate was unchanged in October at 3.2 percent, according to numbers released Friday. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    The latest numbers were released Friday morning.
  9.  Jim Morin -- Morin Toons Syndicate
  10. Career Foreign Service officer George Kent and top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, right, are sworn in to testify during the first public impeachment hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday Nov. 13, 2019, in Washington. JOSHUA ROBERTS  |  AP
    Here’s what readers had to say in Friday’s letters to the editor.