Interesting thing happened yesterday: We as a country surpassed the death toll of 2020. Too bad there was so much unnecessary propaganda and opposition to the vaccine, because without the anti-vaxxers, America would not be in perpetual pandemic. We would have not lost over 1,700 Americans last week, our first responders and hospitals would not be at the breaking point, and there are still the continued lies about it efficacy.

Over 93.8 percent of those in the hospitals and intensive care units are unvaccinated. Since more than 338 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the U.S., the data reflects a vaccination-death ratio of 0.0018 percent. But don’t get vaccinated, and you are 12 times more likely to get infected and, if infected, stand a 20 times greater risk of death. Go ahead, roll the dice, gamble your life or your loved ones’ lives.

It is like the drowning man not reaching for a life jacket.

Mike DiCello

Santa Fe

Thanks to the Monroes

In this season of thanks, I want to offer a most sincere one to Sidney and Michelle Monroe, who own and staff the Monroe Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe. I have the pleasure of teaching AP U.S. History at Los Alamos High School and have often invited students and their families to visit the Monroe Gallery to participate in enrichment activities outside the classroom. I assure those students they will be welcomed in the Monroe Gallery, even if they don’t look like potential patrons. I have had that guarantee affirmed more times than I can count and was especially touched to learn a student was given a “post-show” tour recently because he and his mom had missed, by mere hours, the assigned show.

I am so grateful we have Sidney, Michelle and so many other gallery owners whose work enriches our state in so many ways beyond simple economics. I am thankful for all or you!

Jonathon Lathrop

Los Alamos

Electric vehicles’ true costs

When electric vehicle owner Francesco Crisafulli worries only about replacing his tires, wiper blades and air filter (“The future of automobiles is electric,” Nov. 22), I assume he does not know economist Herman Daly’s principles: Don’t take from the Earth faster than it can replenish. Don’t waste faster than the Earth can absorb.

Does Mr. Crisafulli know about the water taken from farmers to dope his EV’s transistors and process his battery’s lithium? The children maimed and buried alive while mining for his battery’s cobalt?

Firefighters use 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish an EV fire — and should stand watch over it for 24 hours, since EV batteries can reignite. Nationwide, only 10 percent of firefighters are trained to handle EV fires. A gas-powered vehicle fire typically extinguishes with 300 gallons.

If there’s a forum for discussing these issues with due diligence, I don’t know about it.

While marketers greenwash the fossil fuels, extractions, toxic waste and worker hazards involved in manufacturing EVs — and the roads, chargers and power plants required to operate them — by calling these vehicles “sustainable,” they perpetuate the illusion that consumptive living can continue. Mr. Crisafulli might not worry. I sure do.

Katie Singer

Santa Fe

Listen to help heal great divide

When you meet a supporter of former President Donald Trump, you are not so astonished at his opinions as at his disconnection from reality. It is only because Trump was unwilling or unable to accept disturbing news that his loyal subjects had to do the same. You cannot be a Trumpist unless you have an almost religious faith in his distorted view of reality. The central role of faith among Trump’s followers far more resembles a religious cult than a political party.

Ordinarily, I would agree with urging diplomacy; it is polite to listen to others and let them vent. However, cult members are so tightly bound to their fake reality that no rational conversation is possible.

Stephen Silver

Santa Fe

Should’ve been printed sooner

If anyone knows what is going on in the various governmental agencies that would affect so many citizens, it would be William Mee, as expressed recently (“City is not keeping annexation promises,” Nov. 21). My question is: Why wasn’t this printed before the recent mayoral election?

Marguerite Dimas

Santa Fe

Thanking Luján for his work

American Promise New Mexico thanks Sen. Ben Ray Luján for co-sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 25, following former Sen. Tom Udall’s legacy working toward campaign finance reform. The measure helps address the outsized influence of money in elections. The time wasted by politicians in search of campaign donations — instead of learning what constituents want and working toward that — is a travesty. A constitutional amendment overturning the ill effects of Citizens United is overdue.

Even before the divisive partisanship we see now, Congress was not accomplishing what the majority of Americans want because of the influence of wealthy donors. This is not a partisan issue; we are all negatively affected by the disproportionate power of wealthy individuals, super-PACs, unions and special interests — whether liberal or conservative — influencing elections and the actions of those elected. Campaign finance reform is needed to temper this influence. We need a constitutional amendment to right this wrong.

Debra Helper

Santa Fe

(8) comments

Khal Spencer

Katie Singer is spot on with the greenwashing. We can't keep on doing the same thing as we have been doing (consumption, sprawl, etc) just by doing it electrically. We are already seeing pushback on some lithium mining proposals here as these will have their own environmental cost. Not to mention, the greed and economic and environmental violence that will be inflicted on other nations as the first world (including China) devours their people and landscape for cobalt and other key ingredients meant to feed high income consumption "sustainably".

As far as Stephen Silver's letter. Who gave it the title "Listen to help heal great divide"? If I were a Trump supporter and read that letter, I would tell him to take a long walk off a short pier and the divide would be even greater. Sometimes, as my wife mutters reading these letters, its better to think something that to write it down.

Katie gives us something to think seriously about. As far as Mr. Silver's letter, I guess I too should be polite to others "...and let them vent"

D. Stark

Khal, I agree with you and Katie, wholeheartedly - Katie brings up a very important point. We are STILL extracting fuel from the earth in order to advance our technologies. As long as we continue to do this, it is inherently problematic for all the reasons Katie Singer specifies. How can we ‘harness” power to fuel our lives and not depend on natural resources and thereby, continue to not just exploit the earth, but feed into the greed which unfortunately seems to dominate the world these days? What is the Solution?

Khal Spencer

I think we have to discard the model that more/bigger is better. I'm not sure we can long sustain eight or ten billion people all trying for The American Experience As We Know It. But we can lighten our load on the biosphere if we decide to live more frugally. Then, alternatives to fossil fuels, stretching available food resources, and sharing other necessary resources might go farther.

At some point I think that we will simply tap the place out or at minimum, drive even more other species to extinction due to our requirements.

Back in grad school, I read Diet for a Small Planet and Animal Factories. That led to eliminating meat from my diet. Not long after that, I started substituting a bicycle for the car/motorcycle for short trips. The more you think about it, the more you can decide what is important and what is the stuff we just do because we always did it.

I think we all have to look inside ourselves and ask whether we are serious about treading lightly on the planet's ability to sustain us and if so, what we really need and what we don't. Until we do that as individuals, government will not do it for us. For example, the current decision to release fuel from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep gasoline costs down. Really? So SUV's and dualies are not so expensive to drive?

What is the solution? Good question to ask ourselves.

D. Stark

The pandemic is attempting to correct our numbers I believe, but there are, and still will be, too many of us in spite of it.

I cannot imagine the human population as a whole deciding to adjust its expectations, but I agree with you - we have been, and we continue to devour not just for our survival but for our comfort and pleasure. Excessive, absolutely, and mindless.

The meat industry has to go for both planetary and dietary reasons, but most importantly, for its abhorrent cruelty. I don't see a transition without there being some thing that forces our hand. For a creature with such potential, we persist in hopeful ignorance.

We ought to control our numbers and grant everyone that is born a top-of-the-line education. Perhaps that would help to move the dial and also enable equity.

Katie Singer has been speaking of these and other realities for some time now. Katie, if you should read these comments, take heart -

Red Eagle

Thank you, Katie Singer, for the excellent overview on a topic which has been completely over simplified and not properly documented.

D. Stark

Katie,

Prey tell, what is the right answer? If not electric, solar, wind, water and nuclear, how can we continue to live in the manner that we are all accustomed to or, by what means could we adapt? Are there better answers?

David Ford

Probably better that way Stephen Silver. To quote Mark Twain (again): “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

Stefanie Beninato

If we get that legislation sponsored by Ben Ray then maybe we will stop getting his regular solicitation letters even in off election years.

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