Opinion editor's note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters from readers online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.
It is a typical gray winter day. Solar panels are not generating power. On a recent night it was 20 below, and power was essential. Snow-covered solar panels go into hibernation. No power either on our long, dark winter nights.
I enjoy sailing but know firsthand that some days are windless.
One of my sayings as an engineering and business executive is "No wishful-thinking engineering." All of us as we drive across a bridge assume that the design is sound. We don't want wishful thinkers designing our bridges.
I'm in the medical device industry. As a parent, husband and patient I want my family to be treated with devices that not only work but are safe and effective. In the medical industry, we need a plan and have to prove it.
Yet here we are with a Legislature that appears to want to codify that the sun will shine and the wind will blow ("Carbon-free energy by 2040 near approval," front page, Feb. 3). That's wishful thinking.
I'm all for efficient, clean energy, but when cold weather hits, I want to know that I will have power to ignite my furnace. Imagine the risk to Minnesotans if houses don't have heat when the temperature drops below zero.
Carbon-free energy by 2040 is wishful thinking without a plan. Has anyone done the math? The electrification of our vehicles will double our electrical consumption. Certainly, Gov. Tim Walz's plan will unite us under his "One Minnesota" banner when we are all wishing we had a reliable electric grid.
Dan Broberg, Deephaven
'Choice,' you say?
We are writing to comment on the Jan. 27 front-page story titled "DFL women lead on abortion." More accurately, we are writing to highlight one aspect of the story. As noted in the story, one of the agenda items for the DFL is to put restrictions on funding for crisis pregnancy centers. Why would anyone want to do that? Usually pro-abortionists prefer the name "pro-choice." The word "choice" implies that options exist, but it seems that the only choice the DFL believes in is abortion. The DFL is only choosing to support women who choose abortion, not those who choose life. If the DFL really wanted to support all women, if they really wanted women to be empowered to freely choose whether to have a baby or not, the DFL would support funding for these pregnancy care centers.
The crisis pregnancy centers I am familiar with do just that — they provide help with supplies and offer life coaching to aid women who are in a difficult place but want to give birth to their child. These centers truly allow a woman to make a choice without being pressured by economic worries or an unhealthy relationship. I looked at the website for Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, and they do not list life coaching as something they offer. So the life care centers are the only choice for a woman who wants help for keeping her baby. With that in mind, again, we ask why anyone would want to restrict funding for the centers that actually help women deal with life's difficulties. Why is the DFL so tied to the ideology of abortion that it doesn't want to help women make the free choice to keep their baby? Why is the DFL lying about being pro-choice?
Leo and Valerie Martin, Minneapolis
A reader wrote on Jan. 27 that the PRO Act, protecting the right to abortion, is "an abhorrent and egregious example of what is allowed to happen when a society turns its back on God." Is it any less abhorrent for a citizen to be denied rights because some people have a different view of God's wishes than their own? Would she appeal a death sentence for working a shift on Saturday after she learns that penalty is required by Exodus 35:2?
George Francis Kane, St. Paul
The recent PRO Act is a radical state law that supports abortion up until birth. Polls show the vast majority of people in this country do not support abortion with no limits.
I had a stillborn baby in the second trimester and had the opportunity to hold this baby. I cannot imagine a baby at this gestational age being killed. Thomas Charles Usset had a mouth, eyes, nose, perfectly formed little body and looked like his older brother.
For future elections, I will not vote for any candidate who supported the PRO Act or who would support this type of legislation in the future. We must speak with our votes.
Mary McGrory-Usset, Mendota Heights
We have lived in Minnesota since 1981. We have raised our family here, had wonderful careers and lived a great life in Minnesota. Over these 40 years I have been proud to be from Minnesota ... until recently.
Over the last five years, I have been told to "follow the science" and I have listened, learned and been open to doing just that. I have studied the scientific evidence related to climate change and have supported solutions that follow the science. During COVID, I was told to follow the science around masking, vaccinations and isolation, and I did.
However, on the current issue of abortion law, I have witnessed a complete unwillingness of the progressives to "follow the science." Instead of following the science, they are putting the individual rights, interests and desires of Minnesotans first and not following the science. The testimony in front of legislators the week of Jan. 17 was given by a woman stating she was so glad she lived in Minnesota, where she had gotten her first abortion because she was too young to raise a child and her second abortion more recently as a married mother of four, because she would have had too many young children that were too close to the same age. Really?
Yes, follow the science, Minnesota! When a fetus has a heartbeat, fingers and eyes, when it moves and even cries, is not that scientific enough to convince you that it is a human being whose life is being ended due to convenience or "personal rights"?
I am not a political person. This is the first (and likely the last) editorial opinion I will ever write. But this is a time when, as a longtime citizen of Minnesota, I feel a need to speak up instead of stepping back. My wife of over four decades was adopted because her birth mother was "too young" to raise a child. I feel blessed that her birth mother made the choice to choose life. I am glad she "followed the science." And so are our two children and four grandchildren.
Paul L. Annett, Victoria
I am pro-choice, so I celebrate the PRO Act. But I want to reach out to my fellow Minnesotans who are pro-life.
Pro-life and pro-choice people actually have a lot in common: We all dislike abortions. Even pro-choice people see abortions as an undesirable necessity. In a sense, each abortion is a tragedy.
But the problem is that abortion is a moral issue being fought on a legal battlefield, and that legal battlefield takes all of our energy and resources. The sooner we can walk away from the legal issue, the sooner we can join hands as a society and, working together, try to eliminate abortions by promoting its alternatives, such as abstinence (yes, abstinence!), contraception and adoption. The goal would be to eliminate abortions not by legislative force, but by better education, better resources and better choices.
Imagine if all the energy and resources devoted to the legal fight were instead devoted to helping women and couples make better choices. Imagine how much better things would be if we focused on what unites us rather than on what divides us. We might stop yelling at each other, and we might help a lot of people in the process.
John Robison, Northfield, Minn.