Will Owensboro lead the way on clean energy in Kentucky?
As Owensboro Municipal Utilities is debating a replacement for the Elmer Smith coal-fired power plant, many people view renewable, clean energy as unreasonable for a small city like Owensboro. However, that belief is not only misguided, it is unequivocally false. How can I say that? Well, because other cities just like Owensboro are doing it.
Greensburg, Kansas, became powered 100 percent by renewable, clean energy in 2013 when it decided to rebuild after a devastating tornado. Greensburg utilizes wind, solar, and geothermal technologies. In fact, the town has more energy than it needs, allowing it to sell the excess. Here’s a fact that might get OMU’s attention: Greensburg now saves $200,000 annually in energy costs.
Rock Port, Missouri, the small farm town that became the first in the United States to be powered entirely by wind energy in 2008, has an abundance of electricity thanks to four large wind turbines.
Kodiak Island in southern Alaska has been almost entirely powered by wind and hydro power since 2014. Burlington, Vermont, achieved 100 percent renewable electricity in 2014, and it is estimated to save $20 million over the next two decades. Aspen, Colorado, met its 100 percent renewable energy target in 2015, using primarily wind and hydropower. The list goes on.
Owensboro is at a unique cross roads. We can follow the lead of other cities and blaze the path for a clean-energy Kentucky, or we can revert to dirty energy sources that threaten our health, economy and environment.
Too much religion in Nature Notes column
As a secularist, I find it concerning to note the increasingly religious slant of the Nature Notes column of the weekly Community section of the M-I. As I recall, when the Fords authored this column, seldom, if ever, did I encounter such consistent efforts at creationist proselytism as have lately become manifest under Deborah Branch’s authorship.
In her Jan. 10 column, “Simply enjoy man, Earth, universe and nature,” I was initially encouraged by her acknowledgment that this planet is an approximately 4.54 billion-year-old member of a 13.7 billion-year-old universe, an implicit refutation of the ridiculous claims by some religious fundamentalist cultists of Earth’s being a mere 5,000 years old.
I began to see where the column was going, however, when I read in subsequent paragraphs that “Creation was outside of the natural realm … a supernatural event ...” “… With the creation of man and earth, it didn’t just happen, there was an origin and a specific design. Humankind was to be unique and not robotic. Humans were created to have emotions and thoughts …” “… The animal world … exhibits that there was thought given to the creation of the earth and the universe.” “… even ancient civilizations knew there was a creator …” “… Know that there is a far greater power that existed before anything was created.” This begs the question: Who (or what) created the creator?
If Ms. Branch persists in insinuating her personal religious dogma into her Nature Notes columns, perhaps they would be more appropriately included in the Saturday Religion & Values section.