I support the young people in the Global Climate Strike movement who asked to meet with our governor to discuss the urgency of the ecological crisis (“Protest, vote and, occasionally, say thank you,” Our View, Oct. 2). Yes, New Mexico is benefiting financially from the oil and gas boom in the southeast part of the state. It would be great to offer more scholarship money to students at our state universities. But what good is a college education if you are burning up? We can’t stop global warming, but we can slow it down if we act now to drastically decrease the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. We have a limited amount of fresh water. To contaminate so much of it in the process of creating more greenhouse gases is to jeopardize our future water supply. Let’s urge the governor to declare a moratorium on drilling permits.

Mary Ray Cate, M.D.

Santa Fe

Dwell on peace

I read about Patrick Toal (“One last battle,” Ringside Seat, Oct. 2) in The New Mexican — late-stage bone cancer. Agent Orange killed my soul brother, Jim Shover, last December. His obituary cited bone cancer as his cause of death, but he knew better, and his Vietnam brothers knew better, too. They were soaked in Agent Orange in a most inglorious war. Let their souls rest in peace.

Liz Paterson


Burning harms

Oh joy — a clear, blue sky with no smoke; no coughing, no burning or scratchy eyes; no sinus infection or asthma. I had forgotten how lovely Santa Fe is when the air is not filled with smoke.

In The New Mexican (“Restoring resilience to beloved forests,” Aug. 26), Eytan Krasilovsky suggests that everyone opposed to burning 12,000 acres around Santa Fe and 43,000 acres in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is rejecting the scientific method. Actually, he and the Forest Service are the ones who refuse to do the scientific analysis required by National Environmental Policy Act, called an environmental impact statement. Concerned citizens want the Forest Service to analyze, scientifically, the health impacts of so much smoke. The public wants the Forest Service to analyze, scientifically, the effect on climate change of burning that many trees. The Forest Service is supposed to mitigate global warming, not exacerbate it.

Jan Boyer

founder of OnceAForest.org

Santa Fe

Impose rent control

Consider: An older woman existing on a fixed income lives in a unit whose owner suddenly demands a $300 rent increase. Near panic sets in, creating worrying scenarios of being forced onto the street. Concomitantly, the city is considering ways to increase the number of affordable housing units at a time when the median rental price for Santa Fe is $1,732 a month, according to the Trulia website (“Zoning for affordability,” Oct. 7).

Want to ensure affordable housing? Impose rent control. Difficult, I’m sure. But the city cannot rely on developers to set aside 15 percent of new housing as affordable units.

Only the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey and California have instituted rent control. In Santa Fe, the only rent restriction on a landlord is that he or she cannot raise the rent during the term of a lease unless it’s month-to-month. It’s not protective enough for a tenant. Full disclosure: I’m a renter. That woman? She found a new place at a higher but manageable rent.

Richard C. Gross

Santa Fe

Green Bay way

The “Feasting With Friends” program described in The New Mexican article (“A meal with friends can help fund a good cause,” Oct. 6) presented an innovative approach to fundraising for Kitchen Angels. J&J Cafe in Green Bay, Wis., has another creative solution to feeding hungry people. J&J’s has a bulletin board full of prepaid orders ready to be claimed. The “pay-it-forward” program allows customers to pay for a meal in advance to be used by anyone who needs it. A meal of a burger and fries was apparently a popular donation option. Wondering if there might be a few Santa Fe restaurants willing to try J&J’s approach?

Brian L. Goldbeck

Santa Fe

(6) comments

Cate Moses

Thanks Mary Ray Cate and Jan Boyer, for bringing awareness of global warming home to Santa Fe. Great letters! It's a shame that the Trump Forest Service, the entity entrusted with protecting our forests, is one of the worst global warming deniers in the US. There is now scientific consensus that the best solution to climate change is planting trees, billions of them. Countries around the world are already doing it, while the US Forest Service rambles on about how we have "too many trees" and continues burning up and clearcutting forests in the name of fire prevention. Recent science has made it clear that burning up and clearcutting forests does nothing to prevent fires, but it does a lot to exacerbate global warming. 4.81 TONS of carbon is released for every acre of forest burned.

Khal Spencer

If only it were as simple as Dr. Cate suggests. Today's economy, including those efforts towards "green" energy, is still is driven in large part by fossil fuels. Add to that the Left's refusal to accept nuclear energy, which is about a million times more efficient then chemical fuels (plus, modern reactors are as far from more vulnerable sixties designs as modern cars are from Ralph Nader's Corvair). Waste is waste and as we realize, CO2 will be with us for a millenium. Finally, add to that the fact that the best science can't pin down the CO2 climate sensitivity factor much more than about a factor of three. That actually worries me; what if the high number is right? But it also adds ammo to those who want to kick the can down the road since the numbers are uncertain.

And, of course, Gov. Lujan-Grisham likes to balance the budget and fix what is broken, all of which costs money. That money currently comes from the Permian Basin.

Khal Spencer

Nice discussion of climate models and climate forecasting here.


Robert Funkhouser

Jan Boyer is right. The Forest Service and the Forest Stewards Guild claim to have science on their side but when pushed to actually apply the latest science and perform a thorough Environment Impact Statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, they refuse. Perhaps they are concerned their cherry picked studies and out of date research will be exposed.

Khal Spencer

As far as affordable housing, I'm not sure California is a good role model. It has some of the worst housing affordability problems in the nation and obviously, their controls have not solved anything:


"According to a recent report from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, California’s homeownership rate is the lowest it has been since the 1940s, and nearly one in three renter households spend at least half of their income on rent. The PPIC Statewide Survey found that 47% of Californians—including at least four in ten across regions—say housing costs place a financial strain on themselves and their families. Renters are more likely than homeowners to say their housing costs cause financial strain (61% to 30%), and more than a third of renters say they face a lot of financial strain (36%). Similarly, around a third of Californians age 18 to 34 (33%) and those age 35 to 54 (29%) experience a lot of financial strain due to housing costs (18% 55 and older). More than half of Latinos (55%) and African Americans (54%) report financial strain due to housing costs, compared with 48% of Asian Americans and 39% of whites."

Richard Reinders

Richard C. Gross the reason the housing is so expensive is the affordable housing requirement, that 15% has to be passed on to the remaining 85% as well as lengthy delays and high fees by the City. We have data from other cities like San Francisco how the city with these practices add 48% to the cost of a home, so go after the city and tell them to shorten permit periods, cost and requirements. If they did this many developers would build in Santa Fe and the market would end up with a glut of homes and apartments and the market forces would bring down the cost of purchase or rent. When ever the government get involved in manipulating the market you get higher cost. That simple no one wants to build in Santa Fe is why there is a high demand for housing driving up cost of rent.

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