Prehistoric policies don't get job done
At the recent demonstration in Richmond against the transfer of crude oil from rail cars to trucks at the Kinder Morgan rail facility, the executive director of Greenaction, Bradley Angel, was quoted as saying "crude oil should stay in the ground."
So in addition to a caveman diet, eating only food available to our prehistoric ancestors, we can now have a caveman energy policy -- no energy that comes from the ground. No thanks.
Money from special interests back again
I was disappointed to read the May 30 article about the SEIU Local 1021 giving a large sum of money to Sara Lamnin and Rocky Fernandez for their campaigns for Hayward City Council.
I was especially disheartened since I have worked with Sara Lamnin in the Hayward Citizens Advisory Commission and knew her as a passionate and fierce advocate for the youths and residents of Hayward.
I admired her and her leadership and development of the "Tools for Schools" program that provided school supplies to Hayward students whose families lived below the poverty level and was a sincere effort to help.
Hayward desperately needs leadership and, above all, a vision and concern for all residents of our city. We do not need politicians who are beholden to special interests.
EPA taking some steps in the right direction
I am delighted that EPA has finally moved to abate the disastrous effects of climate change by regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But, given the adverse reaction from the coal industry, the agency should have issued parallel regulations on emissions from meat industry operations. Each state could than determine its own optimal strategy for curbing greenhouse gases.
A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat production accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that the contribution may be closer to 50 percent.
The meat industry generates carbon dioxide by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport and slaughter animals. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
In the meantime, each of us can reduce the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety of plant-based lunch meats, hot dogs, veggie burgers and dairy product alternatives, as well as ample selection of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes and transition tips are readily available online.
Restrooms should be gender-neutral
There are countless transgender community members who continually feel uncomfortable using restrooms in public buildings as they may not feel like they belong in either a boys' or girls' bathroom. Not only do they feel estranged, but many claim to feel unsafe in traditional boy/girl bathroom settings.
Many institutions across the U.S., namely universities, have adopted gender-neutral bathrooms for their official buildings. It is imperative that the city of Oakland strive to create a safe community for all members, and gender-neutral bathrooms are a huge step in the right direction.
U.S. must learn real lessons of Fukushima
Tragedy describes an event of death. The Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan meltdown did not cause a single death. However, because of the environmentalists and oil-driven media horror descriptions of the event, the U.S. will continue to use coal to produce energy, causing many Americans to die. At the same time, France uses nuclear reactors for 80 percent of their energy needs, while China is building about 200 new nuclear reactors. This way, another great American invention will help others more than it will help the U.S.
The real lesson from the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear reactor is that even when General Electric botches the project, a nuclear reactor can withstand a terrible tsunami with no casualties.