Forum, Aug. 16: Renewable natural gas a better option

Published: 8/15/2019 10:00:19 PM
Modified: 8/15/2019 10:00:09 PM
Renewable natural gas a better option

Renewable natural gas (RNG) is a better option for Dartmouth College than burning biomass.

RNG is made by capturing the potent greenhouse gas methane from landfills, livestock and human waste, preventing its release directly into the atmosphere. It is chemically identical to fossil fuel natural gas, allowing it to be used without modification in proven economical and efficient heating and cooling systems.

Renewable natural gas is available for purchase and delivery today, and it offers economic opportunities for New Hampshire and Vermont landfills, livestock owners and water treatment facilities.

While I agree with those who suggest making buildings as energy efficient as possible and using solar, wind and water as the first options for power, clearly RNG should be used before resorting to burning biomass.


White River Junction

Peaceful society is threatened

Does New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu really care about the health and safety of our children, or does he just have his finger to the political wind — waiting to know the fate of the corrupt and disintegrating National Rifle Association?

Recently, a group of people carrying firearms entered the Statehouse during public testimony as a show of force against their neighbors who were advocating for reasonable gun legislation. Could anyone be sure that none of those individuals was going to start shooting?

“Open carry” laws put our police in the untenable and dangerous position of having to determine whether someone carrying a gun is an urgent threat to others. We should end open carry in New Hampshire now.

Gun licensing, background checks and a ban on military-style assault weapons should have been the law of the land all along. Anything less begs for continued mass murder.

We have tolerated too long those who believe the answer to their personal safety is the right to carry loaded weapons without having to face scrutiny of their ability, character or mental health. Currently in New Hampshire, if a man gets out of his car with a loaded pistol strapped to his side and starts walking determinedly toward an elementary school, the police can do little to stop him.

Thirty seconds is all it took for the shooter in Dayton, Ohio, to kill nine people.

For years Republican leaders like Sununu proved themselves incapable of standing up to the unreasonable demands of the NRA. Now they are proving themselves incapable of standing up to a racist and dangerous president.

The combination of lax gun laws and morally corrupt Republican leaders has become an existential threat to our peaceful society.



Even when scared, have a goal

As conservative and white nationalist Republicans continue to dehumanize Latinos, African Americans and Jews by calling us names, degrading us and killing us daily, it is only fair to say that some white people have lost their grip on life.

As a foreigner, I have achieved success by working double the hours of my American counterparts, by not living beyond my means, by saving and avoiding personal debt, and by becoming financially literate.

White America no longer sticks to the basics, no longer has goals, and only vents its frustration on minorities. White America has allowed big corporations to dictate to it what to eat, wear, buy, watch, medicate with and what to kill us with. The conservatives and the nationalists are just the means to spread the message.

All undocumented immigrants can leave this country today, but low- and middle-income Americans will not be better off. There will be a recession, and many white males will not join the job market, as happened in 2008.

White males have jeopardized the U.S. economy. White America will shift the blame to someone else.

Supporters of President Donald Trump can line up for hours to chant all they want, but the people wearing MAGA hats only have old segregational tricks that no longer work in modern America.

I am a 61-year-old Latino woman. If one of those twisted Trump supporters does not succeed shooting and killing me, I will continue sticking to the basics to become a millionaire. White America once said that the U.S. is the land of opportunity. I will prove it.


Reading, Vt.

Making space for hope, love, support

Anger. Fear. Grief. Lament. Sadness. Despair. Anxiety. These are emotions that we have all labeled within ourselves or others from time to time.

These are some of the emotions that I have felt recently with news of more mass shootings. These are some of the emotions that the congregation I pastor, Our Savior Lutheran Church and Campus Ministry, have felt these past days, months, and years. Our “thoughts and prayers” led us to action, and we hosted a “Community Vigil for the Victims of Gun Violence (And the Rest of Us)” last Friday evening.

I spent much of the week speaking with and interviewing with news outlets about the vigil. They were all interested in the voyeuristic aspects of a church engaging violence. They wanted to know if we would have security present and what active shooter training was like.

The articles, news clips and photographs that were published all framed our vigil as a political movement against legislative actions by President Donald Trump and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.

They all ignored the realities of death.

Not one mentioned our Upper Valley community coming together to share in their lament, to support one another in their grief, and face the human realities of violence and death — forming a space rooted in love.

I shouldn’t be surprised. Our culture avoids uncomfortable emotions. But we as a church decided to sit with them and face them head on with a diverse group from the Upper Valley. That is what is newsworthy: Diverse peoples, supporting one another in their humanness, in their tears, and in their mourning.

The Friday vigil was not a cheap, partisan charade to make those in attendance feel good about themselves. The vigil was about creating space to come together to grieve, find power in being together and hope for a future.

Hear me: We need sensible action. Absolutely. But we also need to really and truly face what disturbs our souls. While that might not sell news, it is a sign of hope in these troubled times.



The writer is the pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church and Campus Ministry in Hanover.

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