Not enough being done to save geese
I have the privilege of living near the Mohawk River. I walk my dog by a small tributary, in all kinds of weather. This spring, I shared it with three pairs of Canada geese and the babies they had in the spring.
The geese were vigilant and at any sign of danger, moved their babies into the water. The danger on June 22 was in human form when a “team” of wildlife service agents, early in the morning, herded them by the water and then by land into a fenced area and into yellow plastic crates. Canadian geese are vocal, and as I stood by the crates, they made no sound at all.
I approached “the team” and asked if they were relocating the geese. I was informed they were being sent to a processing facility — their meat to be used for the hungry.
I then asked, by whose order and was told the Federal Aviation Administration, because the birds were invading air space. In this location, there are very few large planes, and the geese and goslings, when they take off, cannot gain that altitude. I was also informed that the homeowner has to give permission to access the property in order to remove the geese, which only number six adults and their babies.
I am angry at this approach to conservation and saddened yet again by a human race that seems bent on destroying our habitat. We should be respectful of nature and feel privileged to be part of it. Instead, it’s in our way? Move over, get out or be exterminated.
A few years ago, a group of concerned citizens worked successfully with the Schenectady County Airport to prevent the geese from being killed at Collins Park.
I am hoping that by writing to you, the public, and bringing this to your attention, we can prevent further loss of life. That, once again, we can save the geese.
Jacquelyn G. Mountain
Improperly situated solar panels cost all
It’s hard not to notice the proliferation of photovoltaic solar panel installations. They’re found mounted on rooftops and on ground frames all over the state and country. The ground-mounted units can generally be positioned and angled to maximize exposure to the sun and, therefore, maximize production of electricity from sunlight.
Mounting on an existing roof should consider orientation of the roof and shading from surrounding structures and trees. Of course, all roofs are not appropriate for solar panels — they may face the wrong direction or be shaded part of the day.
Yet solar panels can be found on both sides of a home’s roof or surrounded by trees, and those installations often have a SolarCity sign prominently displayed. Why should we care? Because part of that installation was funded with public money, either through tax incentives or grants from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA gets its grant money from the utilities that get their money from you, the rate payer.
Proper solar installations are good for the state and the country. But when they are erected anywhere (presumably just for the credits), they are a waste of taxpayer money. NYSERDA used to be a vigilant watchdog, demanding that installations be appropriate and erected properly. Perhaps they are overwhelmed. I know they have not found time to answer me on this subject.
Cold fusion not taken seriously enough
Cold fusion, the appearance of nuclear reactions at low temperatures, was viewed as physically impossible by hot fusion (putting the sun in a bottle) physicists who, to maintain a stranglehold on funding, vilified their peers. They threatened any scientist who had even one graduate student working on cold fusion with loss of funding. They spent $30,000 to hire Gary Taubes to publish a book, a hatchet job, on cold fusion scientists. They installed one of their cronies in the patent office to deny cold fusion patents to inventors even though patents were awarded in other countries. They denied cold fusion scientists with access to scientific journals.
Cold fusion has never received extensive funding from the federal government, despite the fact it reached break-even in the very first test, i.e. it got more energy out than was put in, in contrast to hot fusion, which has never achieved break-even despite 30 years of research and $18 billion in investments.
The status today of cold fusion is that thousands of experiments have revealed the presence of excess heat and transmutation of elements, i.e. the change of one element to another element. More importantly, Industrial Heat, a company run by Tom Darden of North Carolina-based Cherokee Investment Partners, spent at least $25 million to purchase the rights to Andrea Rossi’s e-Cat, a cold fusion device, in January 2014. Obviously, Darden believes in cold fusion.
Richard Moody Jr.
Krauthammer loose with the facts on Iraq
In his May 25 column, “Forget hypotheticals, focus on the reality,” Charles Krauthammer cautions the reader to avoid speculation and to focus only on the “facts” regarding the Iraq War. According to Mr. Krauthammer, the facts are that “by the end of Bush’s tenure, the war had been won” and “Bush bequeathed to Obama a success.” However, the veracity of his “facts” is certainly questionable, as noted below.
It is true that when Mr. Bush left office, the Iraqi military had been defeated. However, the insurgency was certainly not over and the performance of the Maliki government has been far from a “success.” In fact, the dismantling of the Iraqi military, the dissolution of the Ba’ath Party, and the failures of the Maliki government destabilized the country and sowed the seeds for the rise of ISIS.
Mr. Krauthammer further claims that after the war ended in 2011, we “abandoned” Iraq. In this context, he fails to note that in 2008, President Bush signed the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement, which included a deadline of Dec. 31, 2011, before which “all the United States Forces shall withdrawn from all Iraqi territory.”
Moreover, Mr. Krauthammer omitted the fact that prior to the December 2011 deadline, President Obama tried to reach an agreement with the Iraqi leadership to keep thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq as trainers. However, Mr. Maliki refused to pass laws that would give our troops immunity. We did not “abandon” Iraq, but rather, we were no longer welcome.
Mr. Krauthammer’s column is both disingenuous and inaccurate.
Pope needs to stick with religious issues
Catholics worldwide are blessed with an active pope, and an admirable advocate for the poor of the world. Pope Francis’s recent encyclical claims that it has been proven that global warming is man-made. He further states that the warming will mostly hurt the poor of the world.
I am sure the pope does not do the research work himself to back up his claims and statements. No doubt his Vatican staff does the work.
My concern is the Vatican analysis, which was provided to the pope, was made to be consistent with the liberally biased countries around the world. But despite the pope’s announcement, the fact is there is no evidence that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is the culprit in the warming trend.
We are coming off “the Little Ice Age,” a cold period between AD 1550 and 1850. Scientists have proposed several causes of the ice age such as an inherent variability in global climate. This normal variability is now in a warming trend.
The believers of man-caused warming base their belief on a U.N. study in the 1990s, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Significantly, just a few weeks ago Dr. Philip Lloyd, a former lead author of the IPCC, wrote in a new paper that the global temperature change observed over the last 100 years or so is well within the natural variability of the last 8,000 years. “This suggests that while some portion of the temperature change observed in the 20th century was probably caused by greenhouse gases, there is a strong likelihood that the major portion was due to natural variations,” he concluded from his study.
Therefore, any action taken by man, as suggested by Pope Francis, would have negligible effect. But these same actions would most certainly affect the poor negatively by restricting availability of low-price energy to them.
A prior statement from the Vatican was also critical of capitalism and free markets around the world, as it was claimed to be causing increased worldwide poverty. This was another misguided idea. Actually, over the past two decades capitalism was welcomed in more poor countries, primarily in Asia and Africa, and that has resulted in 2 billon to 3 billion individuals escaping from poverty.
We love the pope, but we wish he would keep to matters of faith and religion and stay out of the realm of world economics and sectarian politics.
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