Letters to the editor, November 7, 2020
Needs of Economic Recovery & Sustainability Align
At clean energy’s core lays the potential for creating long-term economic opportunities while supporting broad public goals to fight climate change. The sector, which pre-pandemic was among the fastest-growing employers, grew 10% in the last five years. It employed 3.3 million people and 40% of the total energy industry, but losses have been mounting since March. In the first three months of the virus response, 1,015 South Dakotan clean energy workers, or 8.1% of the market, lost their jobs.
Congress, however, has yet to make virus relief available to the sector in any of its virus response packages. Congress should pass a pro-growth framework that supports clean energy workers through investing in a 21st century infrastructure and extending relief to job creators. By doing this, we can continue to be at the on edge on carbon emissions reductions. It’s time to see beyond the default partisan framing of clean energy—which expands over solar, wind, energy efficiency, clean vehicles and more—and take action that recognizes its promise for job creation, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.
Kari Johnson, Spearfish
Losing tourist dollars
“We feel pretty good about where we’re at.”
With South Dakota leading the nation in new Covid-19 cases per capita, that was the assessment from a top adviser to Gov. Kristi Noem.
“The governor is not going to change any of her approach—why should she?”
My answer: because I will never spend another tourist dollar in your state.
Since the 4th of July fiasco, and especially after the nationwide virus super-spreading event in Sturgis, the world has wondered what has gone so wrong with leadership in SD.
I see South Dakota has no way to recall the governor. But you good folks do have the initiative process. Why not use that to create a reasonable path to an emergency special election?
I will have to go out of my way to get to my favorite Rocky Mountain camping sites, and will miss stays in the Black Hills and the Badlands.
But I will get to further explore Wyoming and spend a lot of money South Dakota will lose until better leadership is seen.
Stephan Melsted, Fargo, ND
Passing the buck
Kristy Noem is passing the buck and not taking responsibility when she is leaving it up to personal choice to use a mask. Science tells us that masks work . New Zealand's Prime Minister showed the world that she is a responsible leader. Vietnam,Taiwan gave everyone masks and closed their borders last December where today they are free from the virus and back to a full working economy. Even China is free of it. If the pandemic is left unchecked there will be a lot of unemployment, sorrow and loss of life in the State. South Dakota needs a leader like New Zealand's Prime Minister who cares for her citizens well being.
Patrick Maher, Indian Harbour Beach, FL
No cash grabs
South Dakota Supreme Court just ruled that our Representatives cannot grab some of that free Covid money for themselves.
Representative Arch Beal, a Sioux Falls Republican, said the court’s decision was “a travesty” for some lawmakers whose businesses could have qualified.
Senator Lee Schoenbeck, a Watertown Republican, wrote on an email listserv, “This is a big deal. There are several that have businesses seriously affected, that will forgo six figure grants due to their $12,000 legislator gig. New spin on public service. Hope it doesn’t prove to be a detriment for future candidate recruitment.”
There is a long history of fraud and graft that comes with politicians being able to dig their hands into taxpayers money.
If you are worried about “candidate” to serve then push to allow the common hourly worker to get involved by writing a law that forces employers to give unpaid time off just as Nation Guard and Jury duty requires. Also make the law so this person cannot be fired for running or winning political office in Pierre. This law would allow all citizens instead of just business owners or retired people to run for office in Pierre.
Brent Cox, Sturgis
Healthcare: Only in the US
In the year 2000 the US Healthcare system was ranked 37th by the World Health Organization. In 2017 US life expectancy was almost three years less than the average of the top 24 richest member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. We spend twice as much per capita as the average of these nations and yet do not provide universal affordable care as they do.
Spending on healthcare in the US is above 3.5 trillion dollars per year. If our Congress were to put people before profits, we could potentially have an efficient universal healthcare system while saving hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Unfortunately corporations would never allow this and Congress will continue to support our failed system. For them it seems okay to allows over 30,000 people to die unnecessarily each year and hundreds of thousands to go bankrupt.
Only in the US could politicians refuse to address the human misery caused by our lack of a functioning healthcare system. It's time we join the moral main stream of all the other rich countries.
Dr. Robert Wilfong
My Octopus Teacher
Netflix’s explosive documentary My Octopus Teacher chronicles a complex relationship between a man and world’s most bizarre animal – an octopus. It further testifies to our highly conflicted relationship with non-human animals.
We treasure our “pets” – dogs, cats, horses. Our allegiance to them transcends that to our own species. If our dog and a Congolese child were competing for life-saving surgery, the dog would live.
Yet, we torment, kill, and consume other animals who are similar in appearance, intelligence, and ability to suffer. Then, we bristle at East Asians who do the same to animals we consider pets.
We pride ourselves on being intelligent, rational beings. Yet we still have not figured out our relationship with non-human animals.
Some of us have. Vegans profess compassion and respect for all sentient beings. Every one of us can become one on our next trip to our supermarket.
Ruben Myers, Rapid City
The Bill of Rights states that all powers not delegated to the United States are reserved to the states respectfully or to the people. Since 1776 the Federal Government has increased its power and congressmen have stayed too long consolidating their power. Term Limits are a great idea for the country, but terrible idea for congressmen, who would never vote to limit their time in Washington. You thought they had your best interests in mind. Article 5 of the US Constitution states that State Legislatures can call a Convention of States to write Amendments to the US Constitution. This is the step where you have to become part of the grassroots. Go to Conventionofstates.com and sign the petition. Send a letter to your state representative explaining why they should support COS resolutions. Talk to your friends and neighbors. . Take the opportunity to find the state web site for COS and plan to attend the meeting in Pierre prior to the legislature voting on the resolution and personally show your support. Remember this does not succeed unless the State Legislatures feel the ground swell of dissatisfied citizens wanting a change.
Mike Weiler, Rapid City
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