Reader: This month, TBC ran an editorial hit piece on President Trump ("Our View: Trump ‘tilts at windmills’ with bogus cancer claim," April 7). He had made a speech about wind power causing cancer, which frankly was ridiculous. I love him but would be the first to admit that he sometimes is over the top, to say the least. It really was not that big a deal, but TBC had to make it one in order to once again vent their criticism and hatred of him because wind power is an industry in Kern County.
There was not a peep or even a whimper from TBC when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced her New Green Deal to eliminate fossil fuels in 10 years. Is not Kern County one of the largest fossil fuel-producing areas in the world? Probably 100 times larger than wind power. Once again TBC would have us believe how fair and balanced they are. Just another fairy tale they excel in telling.
Spin this, Robert.
— Jack Balfanz
Price: Gladly, Jack.
You are comparing President Trump's bizarre, irresponsible, provably false statements about wind energy with a proposed stimulus program that aims to address climate change. You might not agree with the assumptions or goals of the Green New Deal, but NASA, Exxon Mobil and the academies of science of every G-8 country say fossil fuels are driving climate change.
What can we do about it? I see two possible, mutually exclusive courses of action. One: Eliminate all fossil fuel production — an exceedingly difficult undertaking that would devastate the Kern County economy. Or, two: Continue to refine and perfect internal-combustion engines, in both vehicles and industry, so they burn fossil fuels more cleanly. But — whoops — Trump wants to roll back vehicle fuel-efficiency standards set by President Obama, and his administration has broken off talks with the California Air Resources Board, which wants to maintain its carbon emission reduction goals. And Trump's EPA seems intent on tearing down industry restrictions intended to reduce pollution. The agency's new chief, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist.
So, to summarize, Trump delivers fake news about the wind industry and opposes efforts that could actually preserve and insulate the oil industry. He has also characterized solar energy as "very, very expensive," when in fact prices continue to drop. That's the trifecta!
You call The Californian's editorial "a hit piece," but the harshest words in the article come from Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, an ardent Trump supporter, who "called the president’s cancer claim 'idiotic.'” You yourself characterize Trump's statements as "ridiculous." What am I missing here?
You seem to suggest that statements like this from Trump are essentially harmless. Hey, you love him. He's a kidder. But the problem is, core Trump supporters believe a lot of what he says, no matter how far out his claims may be.
This month, MasterResource.org, a blog run by a think tank backed by the coal, oil and gas industries, published a post defending Trump’s false claim that noise from windmills causes cancer.
And last month, Trump drew cheers and laughter when, at a political rally, he offered: “When the wind doesn’t blow, just turn off the television, darling, please. There’s no wind.”
Mr. President: We've got these things called batteries. They store energy.
You know better, Jack, but not everybody does.
So, where was our Opinion section's criticism of AOC's Green New Deal? In three of Stephen Moore's recent syndicated columns: "How the first 'Green New Deal' flopped" (March 29); "The Democrats' $100 trillion agenda could easily tilt the nation" (March 24); and "Green is the new red" (Feb. 17). In the past three months, our Opinion section has featured more criticism of AOC's energy policy than of Trump's.
Reader: What has happened to the policy that letters to the editor should be about one subject only? It is certainly appropriate to criticize politicians about foreign trips taken on taxpayers dollars, as the author of “Newsom’s trip to Central America” (April 11) has done, but why does “Wonder if Newsom took a few cases of absentee voter applications down there?” have to do with the original subject?
This afterthought at the end of his letter is without documentation, nothing more than a right-wing conspiracy theory, irrational paranoia, and a failure of editorial responsibility. Public periodicals, even in this age of right-wing obfuscation, have the responsibility not to facilitate the spread of false conspiracy theories.
— William D. Bezdek
Price: Bill, we considered rejecting your letter because it covers two subjects (our multisubject restriction for letters and the spread of false conspiracy theories) but we decided to let it slide.
I'm guessing the absentee voter application crack was based on a debunked claim that the Orange County vote was marred by fraud. It wasn't, according to FactCheck.org and others. The letter-writer seems to have offered it up as a joke, but we still should have excised it.
Reader: I really liked your April 10 "One on One" webcast with Dr. Michael Burroughs, the director of the Kegley Institute Institute of Ethics.
I would like to hear his opinion on the ethics of people who don’t have their front license plates mounted on their vehicles. I see so many new cars and without front license plates and it really bothers me about the people violating the law requiring California vehicles having both their front and rear license plates displayed. I know it's not a safety issue but it is a requirement. Do you have any suggestions how this topic might brought to the attention of the general public?
— Doug Blankenship
Price: The subject of front-plate infractions might seem a little too trivial a topic for deep-thinking ethicists like Burroughs, but I think you've got something there, Doug. If police can't or won't enforce the front-plate law, why should motorists worry about obeying it? Paging Dr. Burroughs ...
Thanks, by the way, for plugging "One on One," my weekly webcast. It airs live on Bakersfield.com every Wednesday at noon and is available (along with past shows) on demand, free as always, also on Bakersfield.com.
Reader: I am a longtime subscriber and am curious as to the daily increase in the normal rainfall column on the weather page. Over the last few years, I have been checking this column along with the daily rainfall to get an idea as to where we stood in relation to our normal rainfall.
For quite some time, up until Feb. 17, the norm had been fairly steady at 3.88 inches, but on Feb. 18 there was an increase of 0.05 and each day since this column has increased. Mostly the increase was 0.04 to 0.05 per day but over the last week the increase has only been 0.02. On April 10, we were at 5.84. Can you please give an explanation as to what is going on with this specific column and the continued daily increase? I cannot recall ever seeing this kind of increase before and trust you will have an answer.
— Kristen Sodergren
Price: Our quality control/imaging manager, Anthony Ashley, forwarded your question to our weather page vendor, AccuWeather. The response:
"The 'normal' listed in the rain table is the normal season-to-date amount. (The 'yesterday' column is yesterday’s actual amount.) Looking at the file we produced Thursday night for Friday’s paper, Bakersfield actual season-to-date total is 5.90 inches and the normal season to date is 5.86, so you’re just about at 100 percent of normal. And, yes, the normal precip increases pretty much every day during your rainy season, from about 1.25 inches in March to a half-inch in April to not even a quarter-inch in May."