It is apparent that we humans simply do not learn by our mistakes, especially when it comes to our “quick fix” schemes to further “control and manipulate” nature (“ ‘Good fire’ on private lands can help protect forests,” My View, Feb. 14).
Now, we have two bills, House Bill 57, the Prescribed Burning Act, and Senate Bill 180, which gives private landowners, forest managers and others funding to continue our destructive behaviors — but with more money and less strict oversight. Wildlife species in our forests need protection, not more human interference. Instead, how about ending public lands grazing in our national forests?
Turn them off
Thank you for the article in Sunday’s paper (“Darker skies, brighter stars,” Feb. 14) regarding darker skies. Maybe now the paper can help us to get the Santa Fe Community College to turn lights off at 9 p.m. so that our bedrooms are not so brightly lit. The houses on the south side on Chili Line are directly in the path of the college lights. SFCC recently installed two spotlights that light up the entire area, arroyo and all. My question — are they exempt from state and county night sky ordinances? Why so many lights?
What I consider the sabotage of Senate Bill 155 — amending the Energy Transition Act — in the Senate Conservation Committee was a disgraceful action. I consider Sens. Joseph Cervantes, David Gallegos and Carrie Hamblen as the saboteurs. Their actions have disappointed and enraged many New Mexicans — I among them.
The Public Regulation Commission needs the power over rate-setting to prevent ratepayers from picking up the tab for the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s self-serving and myopic decisions regarding energy transition, oil and gas pollution, fracking and resultant health issues. The bill is on hold now, which will result in the detriment of New Mexico, citizens, our environment and our economy.
Wrong on forests
The article, (“Wildfire risk rising,” Feb. 1) should have been titled, “the Forest Service’s hidden deforestation plan.” This article suggests workers will just clean up tinder and, as an afterthought, thin and burn.
I feel the article is vague and asks us to trust Forest Service officials to “restore” the forest to what they think it should look like — as it was a century ago.
That history is moot: First address climate disruption. Save every tree. Each acre burned puts 4.81 tons of carbon dioxide in the air. The Forest Service has proposed to cut 85 percent of trees on up to 21,000 acres and to repeatedly burn up to 43,000 acres. That is 207,000 tons of carbon with just the first burn.
A permanent stain
Going forward, our democracy will have a permanent stain on its history, a stain that will never be erased. That stain is there for all of us — Republican, Democrat, independent and Libertarian. This is now our history whether liberal, conservative or moderate. This is the burden for us and for future generations. It is also a stain that can never be lifted from Congress. The standard of behavior for our future presidents will be measured against this day of Feb. 13. The Senate provided an escape route for dishonorable leaders in Congress and the White House. Prior to former President Donald Trump, no president in our nation’s history had attempted to overturn a constitutional process. Trump tried and lost. But our nation’s loss is greater.
I hope Trump is convicted in federal and state courts, but that is a poor second to being convicted by the Congress of the United States. The whole world witnessed Trump’s attempted insurrection. If the Republican senators put their whole hearts and minds in search of reality, they might someday find the contradiction in how they voted in the trial of President Trump. On Feb. 13, they choose to follow a flawed president rather than fulfill their sworn oath to protect our country.