LETTERS: Get solar out of desert, into parking lots

To the editor:

After reading Glenn Cook’s flippant Aug. 24 column (“Save bats, birds or the planet?”), we need to consider saving all things by first opening our eyes to the facts. Giving away public land to green energy developers is not the answer. If our politicians would use better judgment at the this week’s National Clean Energy Summit, we could save or at least limit the damage to our desert ecosystem, instead of paving the desert to plant mirrors.

We have thousands of acres of parking lots in Clark County. Every school, mall and church has one. Our politicians need to lead by example and learn from what the schools in Simi Valley, Calif., have created. Many of those schools have constructed solar panels in their parking lots, creating acres of covered parking for both students and faculty, while conserving school district funds, as well. This is an option the Clark County School District needs to strongly consider.

Additionally, rooftops of all government buildings throughout the desert southwest could be utilized for solar panels, alleviating even more environmental damage to the habitat. Granted, all green energy development will have some environmental consequences, which should be mitigated and minimized — first and foremost by locating mirror fields on already disturbed sites.

The destruction of habitat in our fragile desert ecosystem could take a century or more to recover, if at all. Let’s not destroy our nonrenewable ecosystem for short-term goals such as solar fields with obsolete heliostats that can be optimally placed in pre-existing, nonhabitat-threatening locations.

PHILIP A. MEDICA

LAS VEGAS

Science and solar

To the editor:

I always enjoy Glenn Cook’s realistic analyses of alternative energy issues. Most recently, he took to task the emotional environmentalists and their efforts to mitigate the deaths of a few hundred bats and birds at the wind and solar power plants they have so strongly backed (“Save bats, birds or the planet,” Aug. 24 Review-Journal). Environmentalists want alternative energy, but can’t tolerate the side effects.

Mr. Cook also questioned whether these groups have any clue about making risk assessments, or if they are just perpetrating a massive fraud. The real issue is whether global warming is just a natural phenomenon, rather than the result of burning fossil fuels. Using the results of a poll of 10,000 climatologists as scientific proof is about as far from science as it gets. And so are the conclusions made from simple statistical models based on extremely limited data that carbon dioxide causes global warming.

Until the science really is settled, there is no justification for spending billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for these solar facilities, forcing consumers to pay tens of billions of dollars for the very expensive power they produce.

TOM KELLER

HENDERSON

White House priorities

To the editor:

On Aug. 25, the Obama administration sent three representatives to attend the funeral of Michael Brown, a noble gesture to be sure, but a sneaking affair to say the least.

On Aug. 5, Maj. Gen. Harold Greene of the U.S. Army was killed in Afghanistan, the highest ranking officer to be killed in a war zone since the Vietnam War. The White House did not send one representative to attend his funeral to console his family and friends.

Where is this administration’s values?

BILL TURNER

LAS VEGAS

Impoverished Clintons

To the editor:

I’m responding to the editorials, letters to the editor and comments from UNLV students about poor old Hillary Clinton’s claim of being so broke after the Clintons’ eight years in the White House. Eight years in the White House? Food, clothing, shelter and all expenses were paid by our tax money. The Clintons must have squandered every dollar. Wow!

Mrs. Clinton is asking an outrageous fee, plus expenses for her and her staff, for a 90-minute appearance to benefit the UNLV Foundation. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, poor, common people struggle to feed their families, and the jobless rate remains high. And people want this woman for president?

MARGARET RAE BACON

LAS VEGAS

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