wind energy (copy)

Wind turbines are shown at Grande Prairie Wind Project  near O’Neill, Neb. 

Our country needs Green New Deal

Thanks for reminding your readers of the seriousness of climate change with the Sept. 25 World-Herald article, “We’re all in big trouble: climate panel sees a dire future.” Truly, we are in more trouble than anyone expected. We do not have time for half measures. That is why I support the Green New Deal as outlined by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders’ plan not only addresses the need to stop putting CO2 into the air, but it also lays out the best way we know of to sequester carbon, by putting it back into the soil. It’s known in other circles as carbon farming. Farmers get paid for practices that improve soil quality, like planting cover crops and forgoing tilling, at least as long as is required for the practices to pay for themselves.

The result is increased soil organic matter. That means more carbon in the ground. Farmers have an opportunity to get out from under the expenses of pesticides and other chemical inputs. Eaters get better food. We all avoid the worst of climate change.

Think of the Green New Deal as the outline; Sanders’ plan lays out the details.

Chris Lantz, Omaha

Green New Deal is wrongheaded

The proponents of the Green New Deal are missing an important point. Clean energy is simply not a viable substitute for fossil fuels. Not even close. It is not reliable. Any application of these “green” energy sources is made doubly expensive because of the need to build redundant facilities to ensure that reliable fossil fuels can be called upon when necessary.

These technologies also require too much land. There is just not enough space on the planet to build enough wind farms and solar facilities even if it did work. These technologies also require vast amounts of raw materials which can only be extracted via the use of, you guessed it, fossil fuels. Electricity is fine as it goes, but it normally requires gas or coal to generate.

Fossil fuels have driven tremendous improvements to our lives in the last 100 years. Worldwide life expectancy is higher that it has ever been. We have largely tamed a planetary environment.

All of these and other improvements are due to the efficient exploitation of the great energy resources that lie beneath us. And contrary to what we always told, we are not running out. In fact, we keep finding more. Yes, there are some risks. But I submit that the benefits of fossil fuels far outweigh these risks. For example, ingenuity and technology have made pollution a smaller problem with each passing year.

The Green New Deal as it exists would destroy our economy. I for one believe it is really a Trojan horse intended to expand governmental control by those seeking such power.

John Freeman, Omaha

Don’t ignore economic progress

I don’t understand why the headline of a Washington Post story in the Sept. 27 World-Herald had as its focus the amount of income inequality. Upon reading the story, one discovers that poverty is at a near-record low and the nation’s median household income reached $63,000 for the first time ever. Aren’t those two facts wonderful news? I would think we would celebrate a declining poverty rate and high household income levels. Those facts should have been the headline.

Instead, the headline focused on greed and envy toward the rich, two of the least honorable attributes of human beings. Unless they are stealing from me, what Warren Buffett and Bill Gates make has nothing to do with my income, so why should I care? It is not as if they stuff money in their mattresses. They reinvest it in the economy, creating more jobs for the rest of us; again, a good thing.

I do understand why some politicians focus on the amount of income inequality. They hope to buy votes by telling people, “I will take money away from others and give it to you,” but we should ignore such talk and focus all of our attention on helping those who need the help to have the dignity of supporting themselves.

Randall Bradley, Papillion

Troubling Medicaid approach

Once again it seems the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is determined to undermine the interests of the citizens of Nebraska. In its recent moves it seeks to not only stall implementing Medicaid expansion, but to make it far more difficult for clients to obtain and keep their insurance. The state’s new plan will create more red tape for providers, clients and government employees.

As reported in a Sept. 21 Omaha World-Herald article, State Medicaid Director Matthew Van Patton didn’t attend hearings scheduled before the Appropriations and Health and Human Services Committees and sent no other representative. The state’s approach relies on a two-tier system of benefits that will require some to reapply every six months, according to Nebraska Appleseed. This is taxing on the individual as well as the provider who is asked to resubmit diagnoses and paperwork again and again. For those who have to take time off of work, pay for additional child care or seek transportation for such procedural requirements, this is potentially devastating.

As a former mental health support specialist, I have seen firsthand how the disabled are cruelly hurt by lack of reliable transportation and providers unwilling to take Medicaid clients. It seems that the state is not interested in providing “The Good Life” to all of its citizens, only the healthy ones.

Aimée Folker, Omaha

This says it all about Trump

His brilliant idea to shoot migrants is all you need to know about Donald Trump.

Scott Thomsen, Omaha

Guns, cars, humans

In his Sept. 20 Public Pulse letter, Don Brunken said he doesn’t approve of Walmart stopping sales of guns, and he suggests they also should stop selling auto parts. It is not the guns that kill people, it is not the cars that kill people — it is the people behind the guns and drivers behind the wheels of autos who do the killing!

Guns and cars have no feelings. You cannot outlaw hate. If you figure that one out, the world would be a much safer place to live.

R.E. Kistner, Omaha

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