Sadly, House Bill 298, which rolls back our Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards requirement ["Sticking it where the sun don't shine," April 3], passed through the House commerce subcommittee by a narrow margin. Though legislators and lobbyists on both sides have focused mainly on the economic consequences of renewable energy investment, we should remind ourselves that renewable energy moves us toward an environmentally sustainable future.
The switch to renewable energies will greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus limit the effects of global warming. Just by switching our household and vehicle energy consumption to renewable energy, the amount of emissions is reduced by 45 percent! More importantly, investing in renewable energies would improve our environment by moving away from dirty fossil fuel emissions and ensuring our air and water quality do not continue to deteriorate.
The right-leaning John Locke Foundation stated in its 2010 agenda, "There is nothing that North Carolina can do, either by itself or in conjunction with other states, that will have a noticeable or beneficial effect on the climate." Granted, there are still many people who agree with this argument, but if having clean air to breathe and clean water to drink is important to us, we should be taking all the steps necessary to maintain these resources.
Ting Ting Eeo, Chapel Hill
I read the story about Goathouse Refuge [March 20] with a sinking feeling in my stomach and followed the subsequent letters to the editor defending Goathouse and Siglinda Scarpa and almost felt worse. I feel compelled to address a few points that have been missed or misunderstood:
1) Rescue folks are among the most amazing, generous people in the world. But often when we do work that others don't want to, we become blind in some ways. As someone who has done rescue work and adoption, I have seen firsthand how animal rescuers lose sight of the forest because there are so many needing trees. Some of those rescuers can become hoarders of animals. Of course they continue to seek adopters, host meet-and-greets and the like, but they also continue to collect animals!
2) Responsible animal rescue organizations know their limits, which include knowing how many animals are on site; keeping accurate medical records, including correct sex and whether the animal has been altered; and providing safe, stress-free living quarters with space to move, sanitary litterboxes and responsibly dosed medications for ill animals.
3) It is certainly understandable that former Goathouse volunteers would not want to be named in their conversations for this article. It is very hard for someone, especially a volunteer, to speak honestly about problems they see within a small organization. They know how important the cause is, and they truly value the work, so they know that speaking out can bring closer scrutiny, perhaps limit donations, etc.
Many of us love animals, and I don't doubt that Scarpa does as well. But animals shouldn't "fall through the cracks," as Scarpa says in the article. No one is debating that Scarpa loves cats, but rather the question is, has that love become something else which has grown out of control? I think it has.
Elizabeth M. Johnson, Durham