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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, June 07, 2017 1:00 am


Oath Keepers pervert our nation's freedoms

On the Courthouse Green this Memorial Day weekend were a number of American flags, along with the armed services' flags. One flag that stood out to me is the Oath Keepers' flag. This group is a radical anti-government faction that advocates armed, violent resistance to legitimate government authority. I believe in free expression, and the Oath Keepers have a right to express their beliefs. However, I think their flag's presence in this Memorial Day display does not honor our veterans who gave their lives to defend that freedom.

Dick Schwartz

Fort Wayne

Google remarks show alternative energy viability

A May 14 letter by John Paul claimed to cite Google Environmental Report and commentary by scientists who worked for Google. Paul claims that conclusions were drawn that wind and solar energy efforts were too costly and will not work. We were curious about these reports, so we did some digging to read them firsthand. Paul has taken these statements out of context to assert his views. This is a good example of why we need to fact-check when there are so many people who are paid to obfuscate and spread disinformation. The conclusions in the reports not only stated the imperative of moving to 100 percent renewables as soon as possible, it went further to say we must do even more to reverse climate change.

Paul quotes scientists as saying“…renewable simply won't work.” The article was written by Google engineers in 2014 about a project that ended in 2011 to reduce the cost of renewable energy and concluded when they realized they needed a more aggressive strategy. The team was given a new set of goals that also included finding a way to take carbon from the atmosphere. Apparently the engineers were more successful after that. The Google Environmental Report released in 2016 is an impressive 72-page description of the multifaceted approach Google has to push the needle forward on efficiency and renewable energy.

Nowhere in either report does it say that renewable energy is not worth pursuing. Several things do stand out. Here are a few: “Google is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world … also looking beyond our business to drive wide-scale adoption of renewable energy … also helping to green the power grid through our advocacy of clean energy policies and our $2.5 billion in equity investment commitments for renewable energy projects.” Google has been carbon-neutral since 2007. A huge multinational company, Google will be running on 100 percent renewable energy this year.

The report also says, “The renewable energy and energy-efficiency sectors are surging, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the United States. Globally, the renewable energy sector employed 8.1 million people in 2015. In addition, large hydropower accounted for another 1.3 million jobs.” And, “Renewables have also dropped precipitously in cost and in 2015 became the world's largest source of installed power capacity.”

Paul's letter also claims Bill Gates publicly stated the cost of renewable energy sources “is beyond astronomical.” According to a June 29, 2015 article in The Guardian, the context of that quote is Gates' announcement that he will make $2 billion “investments in renewables over the next five years in a bid to 'bend the curve' on tackling climate change.” Gates also understands that we need to stop burning fossil fuels as soon as possible to keep the planet habitable. Gov. Eric Holcomb has doomed Indiana to be left behind in the dark ages of costly, filthy coal to please his corporate donors.


Fort Wayne

Downtown for vets' parade

Why is it this city will close down its downtown and primary thoroughfares for a foot race or bike race, and yet when it comes to a parade to honor and memorialize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to secure and defend our freedoms, that parade is relegated to some secondary thoroughfares that are out of the way? Our Memorial Day parade should occupy center stage in our city. Shameful. Mayor Tom Henry and members of the City Council, our priorities are upside down!

Ken Scheffler

Fort Wayne