Letters to the editor – December 1, 2016

Energy sector jobs

I’ve done the math, even in these lean times I’ve taken the time from trying to put food on the table to try and understand why Premier Brad Wall does not do the obvious: put the unemployed energy grunts back to work by embracing clean, renewable energy with equal enthusiasm as how he worships old, dirty extractive energy production.

The amount of money media has reported spent on clean-coal technology alone is enough to outfit two-thirds of the houses in Regina with solar panels capable of satisfying those houses’ needs. Building, installing and maintaining that many solar arrays is job rich instead of job poor with clean coal.

Solar is not the only source of renewable energy. There are tremendous advances worldwide in clean energy production that hugely reduces green house gas emissions.

There are incineration devices that reduce GHGs 95 percent in everything from human and animal wastes to wood, flax straw, and most of the contents of landfills (to name a few sources of feed stocks). We can turn those GHGs into energy and heat, that’s without even mentioning wind or moving water.

Yet Wall seems stuck in a prehistoric mindset that concludes only dirty extractive big industry can and will supply our energy and those are the only sources of energy that are going to be funded by the taxpayers, even with those industries’ historically horrible, uncaring, environmental reputations.

I may have certain neanderthal characteristics in technology. I am 65 and can have difficulty manipulating a TV remote, but the real knuckle draggers are those global warming deniers who are so invested in the old, dirty system that they are afraid to endure any transition by embracing renewable resources. To them I say, reinvest.

The big difference between non-renewable and renewable energy resources is that non-renewable resources can be, and are, owned and diabolically controlled by, and for the benefit of, a few well-placed individuals who squeeze the public for huge profits. To own the non-renewables allows for corporate rule over the entire world.

It’s not about economy or jobs and definitely not about the environmental sustainability, it’s about concentrating wealth and power.

Renewable resources, on the other hand, put ownership, control and consumption in the hands of individuals and local communities.

With personal, local supervision, efficiency and supply would increase, and energy costs would decline, giving individuals huge opportunities to be creative in economic pursuits, job creation and environmental stewardship.

There would be increasingly reduced necessity for huge expensive, aging, centralized production and transmission facilities, pipelines, extraction processes and all the associated pollutions.

We could have a better, healthier, richer and more responsive democracy.

Greg Chatterson
Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask.

Food security

In your article “Hunger called human rights issue,” the writer, Ed White, conveniently forgot to mention how much of the grain the world produces is fed to animals so that First World countries can gorge on meat.

We currently produce enough food to feed all people on the planet an adequate diet, but ag producers are feeding almost half of what we grow to livestock, not to mention the amount of water that is used and polluted for livestock production.

If people truly are concerned about world hunger, we have to stop feeding resources (grain, legumes and water) to animals, change the rules on the grades of crops allowed to be fed to human beings and work to fix distribution problems.

The Western Producer is talking about expanding markets to Africa and the Middle East for meat. That again will not be feeding people who are starving. Get out of the meat production and stop wasting resources.

Read the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations report on animal agriculture: Livestock’s Long Shadow.

North American and European animal agriculture is a slap in the face to those who are hungry, it’s killing the planet and damaging human health.

Karin Nelson
Edmonton, Alta.

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