Letters to the Editor - July 1


Published: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:20 p.m.

What's the rush, President Obama?

I was just wondering why Obama needs to have everything he thinks of pass in the first six months of his presidency; rush, rush, rush.

Seems we are at the hands of those who once again think that putting more taxes on those of us who are still working is going to make the country better. Now this so called energy bill that is going to deprive us and businesses from producing must pass quickly.

Businesses cannot all run on sunlight or wind power for their manufacturing. Most of us will not be able to afford a hybrid car or solar panels for our homes. This energy bill is for the birds; smart meters on our home electric meter will only lead to the rationing of electricity, as without coal or nuclear power the number of homes in the U.S. will not be able to have the proper amount of electricity provided.

Stopping the production of coal will only lead to more people out of work. Building more nuclear power plants will create more jobs, that's a no brainer.

These senseless ideas about going green at this moment is ridiculous. Bombarding us with taxes is also.

Health care is important to everyone, the hospitals are going broke as Medicaid cannot pay for services now. So what makes you think this national health care will be any better?

I'll keep my own health insurance, thank you.

Glenn Dippel,

Gainesville

I like government-run health care

For the last five years, I have had two health insurers: a private company (Blue Cross and Blue Shield) and a government one (Medicare).

I have spent countless hours with my private insurer trying to get it to correctly pay my medical providers. In addition, there have been hours talking to my doctors and hospitals for the same reason: trying to arrange proper payment from Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

I have had no such problems with Medicare. Medicare's bureaucrats efficiently arrange for the government to pay the authorized amount, send me a paper confirmation and refer the remainder to my private insurer. It's then that my time-consuming sessions with my private insurer begin!

Over a year ago, I was hospitalized in an out-of-state hospital (a university-affiliated teaching hospital). I just received a letter from the hospital stating that they had referred my billings to a (private) firm not to collect but to act as an extension of their business office to resolve the delays in payment.

This pleased me somewhat, for I was relieved from doing so, but I was also dismayed to learn of something that will only drive up medical costs.

How ironic that medical providers have the need to employ a private-sector firm to resolve payments from a private-sector health insurer!

So I am pleased with the effectiveness and efficiency of my government health insurance. I have been discouraged by the inaccuracies and delays of my private insurer. Give me a government plan run by professional bureaucrats any day!

Jack Elzinga,

Gainesville

Solar won't do the job in Florida

In its June 27 editorial, The Sun calls on the Legislature to increase Florida's renewable power contribution from almost nothing to 20 percent in 10 years mainly with solar power.

Solar panels produce electricity only during 20 percent of the day when the sun is high in the sky. They sit idle 80 percent of the day. Solar would have to contribute 100 percent of Florida's power during its five-hour duty cycle to make a 20 percent total contribution.

I doubt if the entire world's capacity of solar panels is sufficient to turn off Florida's 60 conventional power plants for five hours a day. But let's say it is. What are we going to do the other 80 percent of the day when solar doesn't work?

The Sun holds Germany up as a success story with its feed-in-tariff programs and 250,000 renewable energy jobs. However, The Sun fails to mention that after a decade of huge investments, solar power now represents less than 1 percent of Germany's total electric power capacity. Their government hopes to increase solar to 3 percent by 2020.

Meanwhile, Germany's dependence on Russian oil grows every year. Following Germany's example is following failure.

The Sun might look to France for a proven solution. France produces 80 percent of its energy with nuclear power plants that do not emit CO2 or other greenhouse gases. Their plants have been running 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week safely for decades and the waste product has been safely recycled or stored.

France has enough electricity to run its extensive train system and even has some excess power to sell to Germany.

CO2 poses a serious threat to our way of life. We don't have time to waste on intermittent solutions like solar.

Doran Oster,

Gainesville

Climate change a global jigsaw puzzle

Weather varies from spot to spot in a county or even in a city. So I shouldn't be surprised when forecasts vary between page 1B to page 6B in The Sun. Variation from here to there is quite normal.

Today, June 29th, The Sun forecasted on page 1B that the high would be 91 degrees F, but if you lived near page 6B, it would be a trifle hotter at 92.

Cheer up back page dwellers! The forecast through Friday is for two or three degrees cooler highs than predicted on 1B of The Sun's local and state section.

I guess the lesson is that weather can vary everywhere, even from front to back, but climate is something different.

Climate is like a global jigsaw puzzle with trillions of those constantly changing bits of weather in three dimensions.

Scientists with powerful computers study our planet's constantly changing weather bits over the long haul for decades, centuries and millennia to understand and forecast climate trends. They have reached an unequivocal conclusion. We are cooking the planet.

That is bad news for coastal Florida where some 77 percent of Floridians live and work. We have to stop delaying and start cutting greenhouse gases quickly. Otherwise melting ice, expanding water and rising seas along with our usual storms, could make our beloved coasts uninhabitable sometime in our grandchildrens' lifetimes.

Let's set a global example in saving energy and switching to renewables.

Lee Bidgood, Jr.,

Gainesville

Do the right thing even if others don't

I have been reproved by Ian Martorana (Voice 6-25) for tweaking Cliff Stearns on his stand against unilateral action on carbon emissions in my letter of June 21.

While he displays a commendable knowledge of statistics, Martorana completely misses my simple point, which is that doing the right thing should not depend on what others may or may not do.

While people like him and Stearns dither about the presumed economic effects of capping emissions, the ice caps are steadily melting. I suggest that we think of the entire planet, not just our small part of it, and do everything we can to avoid ruining it for future generations.

Frank Cunningham,

High Springs

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