Opinion » Mail

June 6-12, 2007

Otter: Wise Up

Concerning your recent order to track greenhouse gas emissions, that information already exists in the State Energy Data System. The Energy Information Administration uses that data and has estimated state CO2 emissions dating back to 1990. The results are organized by fuel and sector and are available to the public. It is interesting to note that Idaho ranks 47th in the nation as a carbon emitter as we contribute only 0.27 percent of the total U.S. carbon emissions.

Upon review of this data, you will see that more than half of our emissions came from the transportation sector. One can only speculate that our emissions from that sector will increase as we continue to grow and more people move, with their cars, into the area. It seems obvious that if we want to reduce carbon emissions in our state, we must change the types of vehicles we drive and the way we drive them.

Not only does the data you are seeking already exist, but I am also confused as to why you are charging the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) with "coordinating the inventory and making recommendations for reducing greenhouse gases in the state." They should be doing that already. On April 2 of this year, the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 is a pollutant as defined in the Clean Air Act, giving the authority to the Environmental Protection Agency to charge the DEQ with this task.

The bottom line is that your order serves no purpose and therefore may be seen only as a political gesture. Also, it is disappointing that you are receiving accolades from the Snake River Alliance and the Idaho Statesman editorial staff. Apparently, these groups are tied into the politics of this issue as well.

Greenhouse gas emissions are a behavioral problem and require a behavioral solution. We already know what our emissions are, their sources and what we need to do about it. We don't need more data; we need action. Fortunately, 82 percent of Idahoans surveyed in the 2007 Idaho Energy Policy Survey agreed that we should have incentives to encourage the purchase of efficient, flexible and alternative fuel vehicles. Make something happen along those lines, and then maybe we will believe that you are serious about this problem and that you are actually doing something about its solution.

—Timothy Kempf, Ph.D.,Eagle

Pro-Life For Paul

I am endorsing Ron Paul for president. He has been in Congress many years. He is an M.D., and has delivered over 4,000 babies. Mr. Paul says, "I am the most conservative politician in America." Well, it is true. He is an honest man, one of very few politicians to be honest.

—Pro-Life (this is my only legal name),Letha

We Like Our School

Your article on the Garden City Community School overlooked what our school is about, what makes it unique and why we have so many new and returning students. This is the story that needs to be told. This school is what the charter school concept was originally intended for: free, public education that is truly innovative.

This school is the most truly learner-centered school in the state. We make children partners in their education.

This school was designed comprehensively around how children actually learn and with regard to the needs of society today and tomorrow.

This school has an incredibly active parent group which is treated as a partner.

This school, small though it is, is capable of pulling off amazing events, such as this past year's auction and carnival.

This is a school where children are learning to become critical thinkers and to apply knowledge to the real world.

This is a school whose staff are brilliant, inspiring, dedicated and ...

This is a school that kids are actually happy to go to every day.

—Matthew Shapiro, teacher, Garden City Community School

Love That School

Garden City Community School has been an inspired learning experience for my two boys. Having already raised five children in the traditional school systems of Boise, Meridian and Middleton, I can tell you it is the inspired learning that is taught there that has unleashed a sense of being empowered to learn not only the basics but to be inspired to help the community.

If Garden City (which does not have a school of its own) will choose to stand up and support our school, the kids will have a positive effect on the city. From what I saw at the school, they are teaching the children to be responsible and responsive and involved, and that can only have a positive effect on the community, for they are teaching the children to love learning. Inspiring them to be responsible for themselves, instilling in them a responsiveness of self and becoming involved in the community.

So I would encourage all within the community to stop by, meet the staff and look at the work accomplished during the first year of hard times and transitions. If they can accomplish all that, then only time will tell what can and will be done in the coming years. Teachers, students, parents, staff and board members are committed to living to learn ... learning to live.

—Joan Spencer, from BW's online comments


IQEQ's new CD is titled Quietly in Line.

(BW, Noise, "Smart Chaos," May 30, 2007).