LETTER TO THE EDITOR
This letter appeared in the Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) on 17 January 2008.
This item may be cited as M. R. Franks, Letter to the Editor: Congress emulating Stalin, Castro, Baton Rouge Advocate, January 17, 2008, at 6B.
Copyright © 2008, M. R. Franks
When Josef Stalin was confronted with a water shortage in Moscow, his solution was not to improve water service, but rather to force everyone to install washers on their faucets to reduce the flow of water to a trickle. When Fidel Castro was faced with a shortage of electricity generating capacity, his solution was to outlaw electric irons.
And now Congress, having created an energy shortage here, emulates Stalin and Castro by mandating that we all switch to curlicue fluorescent light bulbs. Never mind that they contain mercury, a deadly environmental hazard. Never mind that they aggravate eczema. Never mind that they cause some epilepsy sufferers to have seizures.
France enjoys electricity that is 80 percent nuclear - hardly any carbon footprint and cheap electric bills to boot. But the United States hasn't built a nuclear power plant since 1978. We suffer dependency on expensive Arab oil because Congress won't open up an infinitesimally small corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. We are hit dearly at the pump and on our electric bills for the shortsightedness of Congress.
"Global warming" is now Congress's diversion from its failure to deal with the energy problem. Never mind that more than 400 respected climatologists now claim the scientific evidence does not support man-made global warming. Never mind that the polar ice caps are melting - on Mars. (There are no SUVs on Mars, no people, no life. This suggests the sun may have gotten slightly warmer. How arrogant to think that curlicue light bulbs can counteract the energy of the sun.)
Any warming on Earth may be cyclical, and the cycle may well have peaked. We may now actually be entering a period of global cooling. The Antarctic ice cap is growing, not shrinking. November and December 2007 were the coldest months in years. Record low temperatures were set all over the world. Snow fell in Buenos Aires and Johannesburg. Hundreds died in 2007, not from heat but from cold.
Methinks we are being manipulated by some very dishonest people.
M. R. Franks
professor of law, Southern University
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