Fracking is unnecessary

While I appreciated the support for the EPA’s new carbon rules in your June 11 blog post, “Fracking central to North Carolina’s energy future,” I found the author’s perspective on fracking as the best (and inevitable) solution to the rules to be both fatalistic and shortsighted.

The practice of fracking to obtain natural gas is something to be avoided by North Carolina at all costs. Yes, burning natural gas releases less carbon dioxide than burning coal. Ignoring the fact that natural gas has more methane (a more reflective and therefore stronger greenhouse gas) emissions than carbondoes it really matter which is better or worse?

Burning natural gas is a temporary solution that will not address any of the problems of climate change and ultimately will cause further damage to the environment. At some point, we will run out of fossil fuels to burn, and a switch to renewable resources will be our only option. Why not make that switch now? Every day we learn more about the ways we can harness the power of the sun, wind and water to create energy. And unlike fracking, investing in clean energy offers permanent progress for both the environment and the economy.

Turning to renewable resources to meet the EPA’s goals is a much better use of our environment than fracking it up with toxic chemicals, and North Carolina already has the resources to become a world leader in clean energy. With year-round sunshine and access to rivers and oceans, our state could easily generate a large chunk of its energy from solar and water sources. We have the technology, and what better way to develop it than to use it?

Teresa Rosenberger, Durham

Fracking is not central to North Carolina’s energy future; it is the beginning of North Carolina’s energy demise. The EPA new power plant regulations will significantly reduce carbon pollution. In light of these regulations, natural gas drillingor frackinghas been heralded as an alternative to coal. However, the EPA’s regulations must be examined holistically. The rules are about more than carbon pollution; they symbolize the culmination of a national awakening. Our energy consumption is destroying the planet, and we need to do something about it.

Unfortunately, our state Legislature is determined to keep North Carolina in the dark ages. While the rest of the country works to address climate change, North Carolina is introducing frackinga process that causes air and water pollution. Fracking will move North Carolinians away from our dependence on coal, but it will not lead us towards a more sustainable future. North Carolina must leave fracking in the past, where it belongs.

Amina Bility, Cary

Over the Rhine

To contribute to the ongoing dialogue on “The Rhine is not all it seems” (May 21), I find Professor Burk’s comments and statistics disingenuous almost to the point of being intellectually dishonest. His authority for parapsychology’s preposterous statistics for “rigorous methodology” is a man who is deeply committed to field. To say physics has “zero scientific methodology is absurd. One need only compare the contributions of physics to society to the “zero” contribution of the pseudoscience Parapsychology to see that canard.

True Parapsychology was admitted to the AAAS in 1969 before it was mostly discredited by science and it is there as an embarrassment. There have been movements to reject it. The Ganzfeld experiments have shown nothing but a flop showing only a few percentage points above chance, which proves nothing and can be found in any casino on any day.

I participated in a Ganzfeld telepathy session at the Rhine Institute a few years ago which failed, “disappointing” in the words of James Carpenter, president of the APA, “I find it poignant that people waste their time and money doing what are extraordinary efforts (I do read the Journal of Parapsychology) to prove their preconceived notions of reality.

In the meantime I will continue to use my cellphone for communication, somehow telepathy with a 33 percent or so connection success really doesn’t do it for me.

Hugh Giblin, Durham