Wise decisions by NW cities

Many northwest cities are taking actions to address climate change by increasing the use of renewable energy within their jurisdictions. Boise recently changed its city code so all garages in newly constructed homes will be wired to allow electric car charging, an incremental step in addressing the need to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels for transportation as utilities including Avista and Idaho Power move to 100 percent renewable energy for electricity production.

Avista is making it easier for customers to install electric vehicle chargers in homes and businesses. The city of Spokane is purchasing Tesla’s electric cars for its police department. Pullman has installed solar panels on one of its new buildings. The Nez Perce Tribe has installed solar panels, with battery storage, on its tribal buildings. (The Feb. 4 Lewiston Tribune article about the tribe’s reasoning and goals is worth reading.) These are examples of incremental, cumulative actions to reduce global warming.

In Moscow, as I watch the new police station going up, I am glad to see the progress. Yet, I simultaneously get a sense of lost opportunity. Adding solar panels to the station makes good economic sense and should have been a no-brainer. Sadly, I sense that the city’s discussion of ‘maybe someday doing so’ is more empty words than real commitment. I urge citizens to contact the mayor and councilors and ask them to add solar energy production to the station.

Let’s add Moscow to the cities wisely using assets to address climate change. The environmentally conscious Biden administration will likely establish grant programs to help cities do these things. So, let’s take advantage of this limited opportunity to help save our Earth’s climate, for the sake of future generations.

Don Crawford


Remain skeptical

There are many fallacious and ridiculous assertions made by Nick Gier in his most recent opinion piece. There are many sources of information available to the curious skeptic who is not hoodwinked by the progressive party cries of systemic racism, police brutality and a riot/“insurrection” perpetrated by the most inept cast of characters to ever attempt to crap out a coup. I encourage anyone interested in thinking for themselves to investigate those available sources and consult the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, www.bjs.gov. Remain skeptical, curious and discerning.

I do want to address the argument Nick Gier presents in the title of his article, “The difference between the BLM Rioters and those at the U.S. Capitol.” Nick acknowledges his dismay with BLM rioting. He argues BLM rioting was in response to, “fighting the ugly truth of systemic racism and police brutality” (claims that cannot be supported by available evidence). Nick then states the Capitol riot resulted because, “Trump spread the big lie about election fraud that led to an assault on the seat of our democracy.”

Through a quote from Rabbi Yosie Levine, “the Capitol is not a liquor store” and a quote from an unnamed commentator, I understand Nick suggests a fundamental difference between the two forms and locations of riot. It seems Nick is suggesting burning and destroying your neighbor’s property and livelihood is less grievous than rioting at and in the building which represents the seat of government against which the rioters hold their grievance.

The heart of American freedom and democracy is in the value of the individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is the “hallowed democratic institution” most under assault during BLM associated riots. I do agree with Nick, “BLM has lost the moral high ground.”

Dennis Pratt


Superior results needed

After reading Mike Beiren’s Feb. 26 letter, I sat down at my keyboard, eager to yet again dissect the myriad fallacies and inconsistencies of a Trumpist’s “arguments.” It feels so good to slap down mindless demagoguery with facts and logic and get my daily self-righteous high. But, I soon realized that I had already refuted each of his points here previously to no effect other than to satisfy people who agree with me and frustrate my detractors.

The problem is right there in Mike’s letter. Facts he disagrees with are “B.S.” Evidence he disagrees with is “doctored” and “lies.” Ideas he doesn’t like are “crazy” and from another planet. My arguments will never reach people like him because, rather than drawing conclusions from facts, they start with the conclusion that feels good and use it to filter all incoming information, accepting what fits and rejecting what doesn’t. For them, “truth” is not coherence with reality; it’s coherence with their existing beliefs. It’s whatever makes them feel good.

But, let’s be honest: we all do this to some extent. We all apply far less scrutiny to ideas we agree with than those we don’t. I would argue that my own views have the advantage of greater logical consistency and empirical support, but so would the Trumpists.

In short, the culture war will never be won by superior argumentation. It kills me a little inside to say so, but it’s true. Liberals, being right is not good enough. We can’t win with superior arguments; we have to win with superior results. The bar set by four years of Trump is a country more angry, fearful, divided and adrift than it has been in decades. Let’s press forward, build something better and let the results of the next four years settle the matter.

Ryan Urie


Rumors about infertility

There is a rumor circulating that says that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility and the vaccines are a means of population control. Where on earth did this come from?

There is absolutely no evidence or science to support this. In fact, we have not had the vaccine long enough to collect data like that. In reproductive health we consider that a woman of reproductive age who has unprotected intercourse for a year and doesn’t become pregnant may have fertility issues (the partner has to be considered also). If a woman is younger than 35, has unprotected intercourse for six months and doesn’t become pregnant, fertility issues may be involved.

We have not had this vaccine long enough to make any sort of evaluation of fertility that may be correlated with these vaccines.

Consider: women of reproductive age, as a population segment, haven’t begun to receive vaccines in large numbers. As vaccine supplies are limited, we have had to prioritize recipients. Nursing homes, front line workers, those over 65, those with underlying conditions, etc. So the very segment that this rumor is highlighting has not yet begun to receive the vaccine in large numbers. Yes, some individuals from this age group have because of special circumstances. But not large numbers and not yet for a long enough period. How can you possibly draw a conclusion about an activity that has not yet begun?

Show me the science. The evidence. You can’t — there is none.

Believe what you want. Do what you think is right for you. But please, don’t spread false ideas and try to dissuade anyone from trying to protect themselves and those around them by being vaccinated.

Suzanne Thomas


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