Holy car exhaust!
Monday’s opinion piece by Ashley Nunes about the liberal/Democrat love of electric vehicles was an example of obfuscation and misdirection regarding the reasons governments and green-minded individuals are touting electric vehicles (“Combustion engines are still the future”). The reason to move to EVs is because internal combustion cars and trucks are a major cause of the earth’s warming to dangerous levels. Global warming is an insidious crisis. It’s here, it will worsen, and we have to try to limit the damage. We need to use all tools available to do this, even imperfect ones. I would hope a research fellow at Harvard Law School would understand this. I think his opinion piece is dangerous propaganda.
Nobody with a brain would suggest EVs represent a nirvana of low-cost, zero-emission travel — there is no such thing. However, internal combustion engines fall far short. The writer states that internal combustion technology has reduced air pollutants by 99%, but this is a misdirection. Although fuel mileage is much improved, further improvements will cost more than switching to electric. Why else are essentially all car companies going to EVs?
Vehicle range and charging infrastructure will improve the convenience of EVs. We will eventually have to have a carbon tax that will increase the cost of running internal combustion engine vehicles to reflect the true damage to the environment, and people will flock to EVs. We eventually will anyway, because it is a better technology in terms of performance and maintenance.
I applaud the people and governments buying and encouraging the use of EVs. There will be applications for internal combustion engine vehicles into the future, but they are not the future, any more than the horse and buggy were 100 years ago.
David Brockway, Hopkins
• • •
Once again we have an electric vehicle naysayer weigh in with a myopic view of the future of EVs, this time advocating increased government incentives for improving the gasoline engine. Nunes acknowledges there have been improvements over the 100-plus years of the internal combustion engine’s existence but somehow thinks throwing more money in that direction will somehow overcome the inherent engineering, financial and, yes, environmental advantages of electric vehicles. Meanwhile, Daimler, Porsche, Audi, Hyundai, Samsung, Nissan, LG, Siemens and Ford have begun pouring billions into making the affordable, practical EV a reality within the next 10 years. Some have correspondingly shut down their internal combustion development entirely. Why? Because they see the reasons why the internal combustion engine is a dead man walking.
EV technology development today is moving fast, just as internal combustion engine technology did in its early days.
Both Nunes’ children and my grandchildren will be driving electric vehicles. The only question is if any of them will be American made.
Gary Box, Golden Valley
FUTURE OF FARMING
Support farms — the good kind
I have great respect for any people choosing farming as a career, and even more for those who chose it as a way of life. Nonetheless, it seems to me that the Daley family in the Feb. 22 article “For dairies, is big bad?” not only wants to purchase 3,000 more cows but has bought into the Big Agriculture narrative, “Get out or get big,” and claims efficiency as a very high-ranking value of farming today and into the future.
No matter who owns the farm, a corporation or a first- or sixth-generation family, a factory farm is one that, among many things: confines thousands of animals in a concentrated area, injects these animals with large amounts of antibiotics and feeds them grain grown with pesticides to keep them alive and productive, and produces massive amounts of manure that can cause great environmental impact on air, soil and water quality, thus harming the health of animals and humans, both locally and beyond.
As Ben Daley seems to suggest, I am not one of those people who has “that American Gothic picture in mind” of a farmer, “the wife right there.” Rather, what I picture and support by my actions and buying power are people who farm sustainably for themselves, their local communities, their state and nation and the next generations. I encourage readers to research the factory farming movement and then decide if this is the type of farming that a nation, state or local community should pursue.
Mary M. Kiemen, Roseville
• • •
My heart breaks reading about the dilemma the Winona community and the Daley family face as they consider the pros and cons of expansion of the Daleys’ dairy operation.
I’m a strong supporter of the sustainability model the Land Stewardship Project advocates. The groundwater issues of runoff and manure pits and the methane gas created from large scale operations like the proposed Daley expansion are concerning and legitimate as our scientific knowledge of the environmental impacts become public knowledge.
Yet I feel deeply for the dilemma this family faces as they struggle to hold to a family livelihood they’ve practiced for generations, not to grow wealthy but to provide a means to assure a dignified retirement for the older generation they’re replacing.
I grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York and saw firsthand the futile struggles our neighbors and friends waged to hold on to the land. Our family chose to grow a larger operation and ultimately left the no-longer-profitable dairy business for the hay and grain business.
There are no villains here, only good people, some trying to preserve their heritage and others to protect our waters.
Blanche Hawkins, Dellwood
Release all or none, Bloomberg
Mike Bloomberg offered on Friday to allow three women under nondisclosure agreements with his company to speak (“Bloomberg to release 3 women from NDAs,” Feb. 22). Just three out of I don’t know how many — but a lot. Do we really want a guy as president who isn’t perceptive enough to see that allowing only three of the group to speak is worse than allowing none? Every person reading about this sudden “openness” is thinking: “These must be the women who were just offended by his speech. How about the others?” If he allows no one to speak, then he is defending the sanctity of the NDA — bogus, but at least a defense. If he opens three but not the others, he is waving a flag that says, “The real nasty stuff has to do with these other women.” If he doesn’t get that, he is not bright enough to do this job — certainly no smarter than President Donald Trump. Goodbye, Mike.
Robert Veitch, Richfield
• • •
NDAs that result from sexual harassment primarily protect the people who harass — not the victims. So kudos to Sen. Elizabeth Warren for challenging Bloomberg to release these victims who have signed NDAs with his company. But why stop with Bloomberg? Any entity that receives federal support should be required to review NDAs and release victims of on-the-job sexual harassment from them — the public has a right to hear their accounts.
It is common practice for institutions to pay victims but end their employment. At the same time, these institutions often allow the employees who have been credibly accused of sexual harassment to stay on the job. Indeed, they even promote and further empower these individuals, essentially investing in predatory behavior. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize this action in any way.
Julie Risser, Edina
We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts here.