Marin IJ Readers’ Forum for Jan. 3, 2022 – Marin Independent Journal


Plan fixes direct threat to Farallones environment

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan to eradicate thousands of mice from the Farallon Islands has now been approved by the California Coastal Commission (“Commission approves plan to poison invasive Farallon Islands mice,” Dec. 18). It represents an effective and safe solution to this critical problem and now goes to the regional director for approval.

Critics of the rodenticide plan overlook the fact that it has been used safely and successfully many times, including on California’s Channel Islands. They have also suggested that contraception compounds should be used instead, but there are no practical contraceptives available right now.

One of the organizations opposing this plan works tirelessly to save endangered species of salmon. What if someone told that group it should stop and wait an unknown number of years until a perfect or better way to deal with the loss of salmon might be found? Rightfully, it would decline and continue the work.

The danger of mice to the unique biodiversity and the endangered populations and environments of the Farallones is immediate. This plan has been used successfully hundreds of times to solve this problem on hundreds of island ecosystem restorations.

This plan provides for careful, expeditious deployment, minimizing damage to the environment and nontarget species. It is supported by California conservation organizations closest to this building ecological crisis, including tough habitat guardians like Point Blue Conservation Science, the Marin Conservation League and, possibly the toughest of them all, the Marin Audubon Society.

An effective and immediate solution exists to deal with this ecological crisis. The Fish and Wildlife regional director should now quickly approve deployment of its plan.

— Bob Mauceli, Novato

Changing agreement for rooftop solar a bad idea

I am writing in regard to the Bay Area News Group editorial published in the Marin IJ on Dec. 23 with the headline “Rooftop solar program robs from the poor, gives to the rich.”

I didn’t realize that by investing in solar panels two years ago, it meant that my wife and I, who live primarily on social security and savings, were rich. We certainly didn’t think we were victimizing the poor. What we thought was that we were reducing our carbon footprint and, thankfully, would recover our investment in about 10 years. That was a win-win situation for us and the planet.

I take issue with the assertion that we have been selling electricity to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. at 25 cents per kilowatt-hour. It is more like 12 cents.

Recently, I got a job, after years of retirement. I planned to use some of my income for more panels and batteries to increase the reliability of our system. If the California Public Utilities Commission does what the editorial board is recommending, there is no way that I will proceed with that project. At my age, I will be dead before we recover our investment, given an expected wholesale net metering rate of 3 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The consequence would be that we will not be able to further reduce our carbon footprint. Additionally, those solar workers will have a lot less work and those poor people — who the editorial board thinks we are victimizing — may never notice the great boon that was promised. Lastly, increases in PG&E solar capacity will occur whenever their corporate board feels like it.

— Chet Seligman, Point Reyes Station

Rooftop solar should be encouraged, not penalized

The Bay Area News Group editorial published in the Marin IJ on Dec. 23 with the headline “Rooftop solar program robs from the poor, gives to the rich” only briefly acknowledges what an important solution rooftop solar is to the climate crisis.

We need to take action to stop this monster. Unstoppable wildfires have killed hundreds, North Coast heat waves are cooking sea creatures, hurricanes and tornadoes are intensifying, droughts are more frequent and floods are historically big.

According to the California Energy Commission, we need to triple rooftop solar to meet emission reduction goals that are woefully inadequate. Marin County just urgently allocated $4 million from American Rescue Plan funds to climate adaptation. Rooftop solar delivers energy cheaply and efficiently, without needing dangerous long-distance power lines. I think rooftop solar is one of the top solutions to the climate crisis.

— Susannah Saunders, San Anselmo



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