Keep Tampa Bay clean
Tampa Bay needs prompt — and sustained — cleanup | Column, July 16
Concerning recent articles about the ecology of Tampa Bay, well, we have been here before. But we know how to recover the bay. We have learned to cultivate seagrasses, accelerate their growth, transplant them, and to grow them in nurseries. We have learned how to protect existing seagrass beds. We have learned how to plant and protect mangroves. We have learned to remove nitrogen from the water to slow the growth of algae. We have learned to decrease nutrient runoff. And we have cleanup days to remove junk from the bay. We can recover a damaged ecosystem, so let’s get moving and clean up the bay. What are we waiting for?
J. Nicholas Ehringer, Seffner
The Swiss cheese model
How worried should you be about Omicron BA.5? | Column, July 19
There has never been a clear and consistent message on COVID-19, even less so now. Advice that is generic and general fails to account for the large differences in individual exposure and vulnerability. Sensible experts have recommended the “Swiss on ham” model, which says that just one layer of protection — like a piece of Swiss cheese — has holes, but overlay a bunch of different pieces (vaccinations, information, masks, etc., etc.) and the holes are covered up. That gives greater protection than the over-dependency on single measures that many favored. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was correct in February 2020 in warning that sooner or later, everyone would be vulnerable. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci got it, but he’s fine now, and so have been the vast majority of those infected from the onset. Finally, the truth can be counterproductive. It would be perfectly correct, but unwise, to send the message that, presently, masks, shots and all the rest have greatly reduced efficacy. However, we can wait for new versions of vaccines and other interventions without dissuading the public from using tools that still have some benefit.
Pat Byrne, Largo
Let the sun shine
Biden vows ‘strong’ action on climate change | July 17
The electric power grids are strained trying to keep up with record high temperatures. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if a free source of energy were available in the Sun Belt, something that each home could use to produce its own power? Wouldn’t it be good if power companies, oil and coal lobbies, and politicians stop putting roadblocks to the expansion of solar energy? We are called the Sun Belt for a reason. We can and should have energy independence. Solar must be part of that plan.
Carl Zielonka, Tampa