Editor of the Reformer:
The village of Bellows Falls has a park with no name, but for half a century it has been referred to as Hetty Green Park. It is recorded in history books and newspapers on the subject of the first female millionaire in the United States. Her name is nationally known, perhaps internationally, but little remains of her today, except the park, and her family's resting place in the cemetery of the Immanuel Espiscopal church.
Today there is fighting and controversy in our little village over leaving the park as it has been, or to dedicate it to those who served our country in time of war. A war memorial already graces the park. She is a female warrior who has quietly hosted countless veterans' ceremonies, heard the praises and the prayers for our fallen countrymen and women and stands waiting to defend our beloved America.
Well, I believe Hetty Green fought for the freedoms of this country as well, in her way. Fought society's preconception of what women can accomplish, still an issue today. Built an empire in the world of the captains of industry. Should she be publicly vilified now by one agitator to accomplish the goals being played out here today?
Seriously consider this rush to select a name without citizen input. Consider setting this as an article on the Annual Village Meeting in May 2015.
Editor of the Reformer:
As climate change unfolds, the United States needs to be on the frontier of response. The recent agreement with China on carbon reduction was a welcome takeoff. But the Obama Administration must do far more to demonstrate that the United States is already making progress in reducing carbon dioxide emissions to safe and acceptable levels.
Nuclear power is an emission-free source of electricity and is currently supplying two thirds of the nation's zero-carbon free energy, five times more than wind or solar energy. This country's carbon "footprint" was steadily decreasing largely because nuclear power was increasing in output. But the last few years minor increases occurred. Those increases can be attributed largely to the removal of several nuclear power plants from the grid.
Emission free nuclear power along with wind and solar must be part of an effective national energy policy that replaces oil, coal and natural gas in electricity production.
Every effort should be made to keep nuclear plants online because the U.S. fleet of nuclear plants produces electricity on average 90 percent of the time, reliably and safely. To avoid the lamentable loss of more nuclear units like Vermont Yankee and Kewaunee in Wisconsin, the administration should encourage the continued operation of existing nuclear plants by persuading EPA to attach 100 percent value to nuclear power in its carbon reduction plan. Over 3 million tons of carbon dioxide will be put into the air each year to replace the power lost with the shutdown of Vermont Yankee (assuming natural gas produced electricity, this number will about double with coal or oil). The recognition of nuclear power as an emission free source would send an important signal to state public utility commissions.
Marshalling nuclear power to help prevent an irreversible degradation of the environment would show that the United States is determined to prevent the worst effects of climate change. It would go a long way toward the U.S. Government's goal of being on the vanguard of fighting global warming.
Editor of the Reformer:
In reference to your editorial ("One more small step for humanity," Dec. 6-7) approving the development of space travel to Mars: For most of my life my love of cosmology and astronomy has kept up my interest in the space program but at this point I feel we've had enough. No amount of minerals from some other planet is going to be helpful to us here on Earth. If the problem is our diminishing supply of natural resources then the cost of getting sufficient quantities here will not be economical any time before we are overcome with far more destructive problems. It isn't so much the availability of natural resources killing us, but the distribution of what we have and will ever have if our dominant economic policies remain intact.
The Reformer should, for laughs, talk about who would own those resources if they ever did become available. China has far more money to spend now and, if they were interested, could probably "develop" Mars before us. If they land there first can they claim it as theirs? Can space and its bodies be owned? Imagine a science fiction story in which an enormous interstellar spacecraft from a distant part of the galaxy lands on Earth. Beings emerge and, speaking English perfectly, inform us that they are representatives of a "trading company" from Planet X and have recently purchased our sun and solar system. They even have a deed from the galactic government. They are entitled to file the claim, pay the fees for the deed and claim ownership because they are the first to discover and map us. They bought our solar system because we have minerals that they want.
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