Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 11, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 04/11/2013

We call it lobbying

In other countries where offices and regulations are bought, we call it corruption. In the U.S. we call it lobbying. Our U.S. government is bogged down in corruption, in money from our top 1 percent to pay our representatives to vote for the top 1 percent advantage, profit.

We are letting our real chances go to entrepreneurs in other countries. Germany, in 2000, committed to energy transition with clear and enforceable regulations to achieving 80 percent renewable power by 2050. That has created a massive and long-term new market for low-carbon technologies. It established price controls for selling renewables like solar and wind back to the power grid; 65 percent of renewable power is owned by individuals and communities across the country instead of owned by big centralized utilities. Germany empowers its citizenry through energy self-reliance.

By contrast, in the U.S., the Union of Concerned Scientists, in “Ripe for Retirement” found 353 coal generators ripe for retirement, in addition to those already scheduled for retirement. These older, inefficient generators are among our nation’s dirtiest power sources, impairing our health.

Marian Gyr

Empire

Stripped of due process

Imagine discovering your doctor removed your good leg during surgery. You’d probably sue and win damages. Now imagine a corporation that perhaps sickened U.S. citizens with its biotech seeds, but no one could go to court to stop their planting and sale because Congress and the president signed a bill, one the corporation helped write, making the corporation immune from prosecution. Sound farfetched? It isn’t.

Our government approved such a law, HR 933, with its rider, section 735, written by Monsanto. What it means is that genetically modified foods can be planted without proper testing of their safety, even if the courts rule that such foods are causing a plague. It also means that you, as a consumer, have been stripped of your right to due process. Does this sound like democracy? It doesn’t to me.

We all should be mad as hell. But it was sneaked into law anonymously, not brought before the Agricultural Committee, not mentioned on the evening news, and few people know about it. To learn more about it and what you can do, Google the Monsanto Protection Act.

Mary Eliowitz

Maple City

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