LETTER TO THE EDITOR: My Native American neighbors have my great respect

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.


Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but not their own facts. I was dismayed by the inaccuracies stated by (Forum Communications) opinion columnist Rob Port, (in his column “Did Jane Fonda walk to Minnesota?” published on the Pioneer website on March 15.)

This “gotcha” journalism is meant to breed cynicism, selfishness and an acceptance of the status quo. His reference to Jane Fonda was silly and cynical. We live as communities with shared responsibility to solve complex public policy problems. Without a doubt we must all work to shrink our carbon footprint.

I am heartened by the contributions being made by major corporations. They are betting on the future by moving toward electric transportation -- including 14 auto and two aviation companies.

Mr. Port highlighted one data point from a 25-year old NY Times article to disregard all climate science, as did a Breitbart article published three days earlier. I take my information from current and reliable scientific publications.

Fact: Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).


Fact: Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world. The Arctic Ocean is expected to become essentially ice free in summer before mid-century. (NASA).

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Fact: Recently, wind turbines were blamed for power failures in Texas and conservatives seized on that detail to blame renewables. Wind turbines can come equipped with de-icing systems and operate effectively in frigid Midwestern winters. Most of the power systems that went offline in Texas were fossil fuel-based. (Popular Science).

Fact: A gallon of tar sands gasoline produces about 15% more carbon dioxide emissions than one made from conventional oil. For every gallon of gasoline produced by tar sands, approximately 5.9 gallons of freshwater are consumed during the extraction and refining process, roughly three times the amount used for conventional oil. (Union of Concerned Scientists).

Fact: Tar sands pipelines have spilled with disastrous consequences. The cost of cleaning up the Kalamazoo, Mich., spill was estimated at $1 billion, with experts questioning whether habitat in the area would ever be restored. (Center for Biological Diversity).

I relocated to northern Minnesota to live on land enjoyed by my family for four generations. Threats to us do not come from Jane Fonda, nor the committed people working to protect our water; rather a foreign corporation attempting to exploit beautiful northern Minnesota for profit.

My Native American neighbors have my great respect for their commitment to honor the Earth and I join them in the fight to stop Line 3!

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