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  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

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