I can’t believe how many Monday morning quarterbacks there are regarding President Joe Biden and his team as they deal with Afghanistan — especially among our newscasters who seem to gloat in finding fault. This attitude is contagious, and one thing we do not need in this country is negativity. Of course there will be things to criticize regarding a monumental operation such as this. But can’t we let up on our criticism and accentuate the positive? Are we going to change anything? Should we not be giving moral support to our president as he deals with this unthinkable responsibility?
Storage is arriving
Kim Shanahan’s column (“Girding for grids? It’ll be the right move in New Mexico,” Building Santa Fe, Sept. 19) highlights how rooftop solar and battery storage, coupled with Emera Technologies’ home Block Energy allows for the sharing of excess power from one home’s battery to a neighbor’s depleted battery, and vice versa. Shanahan goes on to say that large-scale energy storage batteries that can manage utility-scale wind and solar power “don’t exist. There’s a lot of research and pilot programs trying to solve the conundrum, but they’re still a long way off.” However, utility scale-energy storage batteries with wind and solar are revolutionizing electric utility industry. Check out the 2017 Hornsdale project in Australia, a 315 megawatt wind farm, with 100 megawatt Tesla energy storage that beats the pants off gas generation in price and performance. Coming in 2022 in our backyard: Public Service Company of New Mexico will replace the 562 megawatt San Juan coal-fired power plant with 950 megawatts of solar and energy storage.
In the two greatest threats facing this country and the planet, COVID-19 and climate change, the GOP seems to have chosen suicide. The irony now is that there are solutions to both existential threats we face. The vaccine is available and free. Even more exciting, we now know there is a solution to climate change with the soil on the planet able to sequester twice the carbon now in the atmosphere cheap and easy, all we need is the will. (See Kiss the Ground on Netflix.)
So, here we are, 30 percent of the population wants to commit personal and planetary suicide and is dragging the rest of us along for the ride — refusing vaccinations and creating a petri dish for new mutations and not even admitting that climate change is real. Are we to let a third of the population drag the rest of us down with them, or shall we fight back?
Silence is deafening
What am I missing? First, we have an ongoing slaughter of wolves lead by several Northwestern states before our very eyes. Then we have ongoing wild mustang roundups leading these beauties to slaughterhouses. Next up, tule elk in Northern California are being shot in fenced areas to make room for cattle grazing. Further, we have bison in the Grand Canyon being tricked into submission by years of domesticity only to be shot by hunters at close range, reminding us all of the tragic buffalo massacres of the 1800s shot from railcars. These acts are happening now, with little protest from the Biden administration and under the leadership of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a 35th-generation Native American and Laguna Pueblo citizen. The silence hurts. What am I missing?
We all know voting is a fundamental right that is the cornerstone of our democracy. New voting laws designed to tilt elections in red states by restricting access to the polls are all over the national news. Fortunately, it is easy to vote in Santa Fe. So what are we to think about political candidates who ask for our vote, but don’t bother to take the time to vote themselves? According to public records, District 1 City Council candidate Roger Carson voted in one of the last eight municipal elections, and his fellow District 1 candidate Joe Hoback voted in only two of the eight municipal elections since 2006. While both claim to care deeply about the future of Santa Fe and their desire to serve, the fact that they rarely voted in the last 15 years tells us how much they really care.