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Environmental sense 

The loss of Diablo won't be good for energy production, pocketbooks, or the earth

For many years now I have suspected that people are just plain stupid. Since it is not fair to simply assume such things, and despite the preponderance of evidence, I have considered it my duty to try and prove myself wrong just to be sure, but I cannot say that my efforts have gone all that well.

The Trump business alone has set me back a decade or two. I have no formal qualifications to undertake this research, but I can claim a natural ability in the stupidity department. In my years I have at times been as stupid as the best of them. In 1966 I quit high school, joined the Army, and six months later found myself in some mud hole in Vietnam. It would be hard to be much stupider than that. But I do try to learn from my past stupidities in the hope of avoiding future ones, which is more than I can say for most of my fellow citizens.

In my research, I have been blessed to be right here in San Luis Obispo and be witness to the pending Diablo Canyon closure, which in my experience is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen, and I've seen plenty. I have seen dedicated environmentalists, hearts bleeding over the fate of our planet and the future of our young, falling all over themselves in clamoring for the closure of Diablo Canyon, which has been safely protecting the environment for decades. They wring their hands and gnash their teeth over nuclear waste, which is actually recyclable and over time has done far less damage to life and the environment then the waste relentlessly pouring forth from the smokestacks of coal and natural gas plants, or the poison being pumped into the earth to produce the gas. Local businessmen and government officials number among the anti-Diablo mob, blissfully ignoring the devastating economic impact the closure will have on our community.

Now it has come to light that many public officials who have gleefully fallen in with the anti-Diablo mob are also concerned about the currently underfunded status of their pensions, and well they should be. Just about the time that Diablo's doors close for good, they will be sniffing around for those pensions as a reward for their years of dedicated stupidity, and who will be left to pay up when the annual $28 million in property taxes has drifted off into the sunset along with Diablo Canyon? Duh. Why the taxpayers of course; those suckers will pay for anything. Of course, the pensioners will have to stand in line with the school district and local government to get their share of what little is left of the swill. And to top it all off, by then, the Republican porkers will have managed to disallow tax deductions for state and local taxes to provide more money for rich people and for their plane flights and other amenities. None of us will be able to afford San Luis Obispo.

When the San Onofre nuclear plant closed, the lost power production was made up by natural gas, and a fair amount of coal power purchased out of state. Wind and solar couldn't do jack because they are only available part time: not enough when needed and too much when not. Greenhouse gas emissions increased accordingly, along with the fracking required to provide the "cheap" natural gas. The majority of the San Onofre plant employees were immediately laid off and forced to seek work elsewhere; literally banished from a community they had lived in and served for decades. Now, myopic, self-serving organizations like the Mothers for Peace and the Sierra Club and their mind-numbed followers want to do the same thing right here in SLO. Have they left no sense of decency?

Have we left no sense of reason? Δ

Mark Henry thinks common sense is the way to go in San Luis Obispo. Send comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com.

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