I've been mulling over Renée Downing's column (Aug. 19). I agree with much of what she says, but I don't think that the positive environmental consequences of electronic publishing are as clear-cut as she implies.
Casey Harrell, a Greenpeace information-technology analyst, says there are energy costs associated with e-readers that make it difficult to measure their impact precisely (source: voices.washingtonpost.com/political-bookworm/2010/04/environmental_impact_of_e-book.html). The cost in downed trees is obvious in the case of a paper book, but when you read an e-book on an iPad or Kindle, or download audio files from Audible.com, you're less aware of the impact of the vast server farms that store these digital resources. But they do exist and use huge amounts of energy, most of it from nonrenewable sources. In addition, Greenpeace says that by 2020, at current growth rates, data centers and telecommunication networks will consume as much energy as France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined (source: www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/news-and-blogs/news/the-ipad-internet-climate-change-100329).
So, yes, it's true that, in Renée Downing's concluding words, "the essence of books is not their physical form; it's the words that live within them." It's not quite so obviously true, however, that the most environmentally friendly way to read those words is in a digital format—not, at least, until a significantly larger amount of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources.
The thought of having a mine tear up pristine areas is very upsetting ("Frog Flurry," Currents, Aug. 5). Going south on State Route 83 is a beautiful, designated scenic route!
Just stop to think about it: Do you want that gone, torn up by another mine?
Margaret B. Hall
Regarding "Mexico City Blues" (Currents, Aug. 26): How convenient of Enrique Peralta to forget the other reasons that illegal aliens come here (they are not "immigrants," by the way; immigration law defines an "immigrant," and it is only someone who comes "legally"). Mexican drug- and people-traffickers bring drugs, sex slaves and job thieves here to promote their evil deeds (yes, and the "job thieves" steal jobs Americans had, need and want—we now have 31 MILLION AMERICANS either unemployed or under-employed. Americans have a right to work in their own country at their own jobs! Illegals take jobs in construction, hotels, restaurants, landscaping and lots more. Only 2 percent of agricultural workers the last few years were illegal aliens).
"ALL" illegal aliens commit not one but many crimes: first by sneaking over the border, then choosing to commit fraud by buying and repeatedly using their phony documents with which they get "free" medical care (many times putting hospitals out of business), steal our jobs, and take our benefits and social services. "WE" should be choosing who comes here, but Mexican illegals force themselves on us and don't care about this nation, just what they can get from us.
Then there are those who come because they think they are going to "take over" (called "la Reconquista"). They are told they owned this land for 40,000 years, but Mexico only owned this land for 24 years—the least of everyone! Even Spain owned it for 300 years. Their indigenous were never up here! They feared the Apaches. The movement of "Aztlan" is based on lies.
The reason Mexico is in the state it is in is because few people have respect for law over there: "Nepotism" and "la mordida" are rife! Then they come here by spitting on our laws and try to make this into Mexico and wonder why Americans do not like job-stealing lawbreakers. They try to change the subject by calling "us" racists when they are the racists who hate the "gringos" and see nothing wrong in breaking laws.
SB 1070 catches criminals. If most of those criminals happen to be a certain color (because they make up the majority of those breaking our laws), so be it! That is not racist; that is "catching criminals." If you protect America, they will call you "racist." If you are an illegal alien, they instead call you an "undocumented immigrant" (LOL!)—manipulation of our words to manipulate our minds. Mexico might not be very good at running their own country, but they excel in wrecking someone else's and then changing the words.
Regarding Danehy, Sept. 9:
It is primarily because of the Democrats that families have to work two to four jobs to keep their heads above water in the first place, and Danehy—like all Democrats—wants to rob the people of their hard-earned wages in the guise of "Social Security," when, in fact, the money goes straight into the general fund, where Democrats spend it—and our nation's budget—into oblivion. The worst aspect of the Republican Party is that they try to be too much like Democrats. It's time both parties restore the Constitution of the United States as the outer limits of government authority—at all levels of government—and let the people keep what they earn and do with it as they wish. ... Obama and his cronies in Congress are sociopaths and need to be locked up.