Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Alternative energy isn't just a bunch of hot air

Well, Baker City's biggest romance novelist is back at it. I have read many of Pete Sundin's pot boilers and I must admit I did enjoy reading his fiction. I have seldom enjoyed reading his letters. I wish he would write more books and fewer letters. However, to listen to the politics of Pete Sundin one would think he sold more books than Louis L'Amour and owned a national chain of supermarkets rather than a run down deli.

Unlike the wind, Pete blows hard all the time. His latest epistle dealt with alternative energy. And, like a fiction writer, Pete sometimes makes stuff up. Several people I know in Eastern Oregon live off the grid. This means that they rely on solar and wind for electrical power. But, unlike Pete's scenario, these folks take their solar and wind and store the energy in batteries. Then at night, when the sun doesn't shine, and the wind doesn't blow these doughty pioneers take the power out of the batteries rather than run generators.

To hear Pete tell it, once the poles are up and the windmills are churning, the power is free. I do wonder how much the windmills cost, but Pete didn't tell me that. He did tell me that the alternative energy costs way more than the regular kind. I naturally assumed that if windmills are anything like the modern house, it's going to take many years to pay off the construction costs. Even after the mortgage is paid off, living in the house isn't free. Personally, I'm glad that some people are testing and developing alternative energy sources. If in fact the world does run out of cheap energy someday, it would be nice to have something ready to fill up our houses with hot air.

Richard Nase

Baker City

Consequences of being wrong on global warming

In response to the letter by Pete Sundin on Friday, Feb. 1, on alternative energy not a panacea to problems. I would like to start by saying I would never try to get Pete to agree with me, we are polar opposites on most of his opinions and getting Pete to agree with me would be like getting the Congress to compromise and get something done. I could talk until I was blue in the face and accomplish nothing, so I won't try.

This is one time, however, I would like Pete and the people like him that don't believe in alternative energy, global warming or the consequences of it to at least consider this.

Would you rather err on your side of the argument or mine? The consequences of which are as follows.

If you are wrong and we all follow your argument, then the world in 100 years will have oil shortages, food shortages due to drought and the lack of water, excessive heat and disease, and continuous resource wars leading to more and more killing. In short it will be an ugly world. That is to say only if you are wrong.

Now if my side is wrong and we all follow my argument then the world may be a little warmer, but we will have cleaner air, abundant water supply, less disease, hopefully fewer wars, at least they won't be resource wars. We will have by then replaced oil and coal as our source for electricity all together. In short a healthier and cleaner planet.

Now I know you have children and no doubt will have great-grandchildren alive 100 years from now. Consider this then, would you rather err on my side or your side of the argument? Do you want those great-grandchildren to say grandfather cared about me, or grandfather didn't give a damn about me?

Bill Ward

Baker City