Clean energy also pollutes

Regarding the recent commentary by Adam Minter, “Big Tech needs to save deep seas from destructive mining”:

I recommend reading this column. It points out that big tech companies pushing “green energy” seldom tell you about the unintended consequences. A perfect example is the neodymium extraction operation in Baotou, China. Neodymium is used to make the high tech magnets in wind turbines and electric car motors. The extraction process uses massive amounts of coal, releasing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Another byproduct of this is a pit of radioactive toxic waste 2 square miles on what was once fertile farmland. The construction of wind turbines also consumes large amounts of fossil fuels in the production of concrete, steel and the carbon fiber blades. Then there is the heavy equipment used to erect the turbines, including large ships and barges if being placed offshore.

Minter’s article points out that companies that make batteries for electric vehicles and for electric storage are running out of land-based minerals. Their plan is to scour the bottom of the ocean for mineral-containing rocks. It just so happens that these rocks are part of the ecosystem and no one knows the long-term effects that this type of mining would have on the oceans.

Any source of energy is going to create pollution one way or another. We just have to make sure that not more damage is being done in the pursuit of what is touted as non-polluting energy.

Gerald Raab

Ocean City

Don’t cooperate with ICE

I think the closing words in the Pledge of Allegiance, “with liberty and justice for all,” have been rendered meaningless by the Cape May County freeholders. This is the result of Sheriff Nolan’s renewal of the cooperative 287(g) agreement with ICE. This program came into existence as far back as 1997, but under President Trump I think it now provokes widespread terror and fear. Protect and serving by keeping criminals off the street, regardless of immigration status. The agreement drains resources and allows prison guards to assist in law enforcement.

Sheriff Nolan and Freeholder Chairman Gerald Thornton say that only criminals in the Cape May County jail will be processed under the ICE agreement. This could begin what might become the process of deportation. I think being in the country illegally should be a civil offense, not a criminal one. Many undocumented and naturalized citizens in the country are supporting the tourist industry and agriculture by working for wages few Americans would accept.

Whether Thornton and Nolan are sincere in their assurances that this ICE arrangement won’t expand at the county jail, no one should be lulled into complacency with their words.

Steven Fenichel

Ocean City

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