Celebrate Earth Day with fairness
On Earth Day we pause to reflect on our responsibility to be good stewards of our planet. For many people that means having the freedom to make moral choices about what we consume and how we consume it. This is particularly true across Georgia’s many faith communities. We honor God by making choices that protect his creation for current and future generations.
For an increasing number of faith congregations that means embracing solar as a clean source of the most basic commodity we consume each day: electricity. Georgia is blessed with an abundance of sunshine. In recent years the harnessing of this resource has provided an array of benefits for Georgia in the form of jobs, reduced energy costs and energy independence. But for many folks, the best reason for doing more solar is the moral one: It’s the right thing to do for planet Earth.
Unfortunately in some Georgia communities it’s getting harder to make this moral choice. Because local utilities feel threatened by solar’s emergence as a viable choice for their customers, some are imposing fees that penalize homes, businesses and churches for investing in solar.
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For example, Central Georgia EMC recently instituted such a fee without any prior warning to its members. The charge claws back up to 106 percent of the savings customers would otherwise reap from their solar investment. Homeowners with an average-sized solar system will rack up nearly $400 in annual charges each year before consuming any electricity. The tax adds up to $12,000 to the cost of the solar system over its 30-year life, more than the cost of the system itself.
Anti-member charges like these hurt Georgia’s emerging solar market, but more fundamentally, they thwart our ability to follow our conscience as consumers of electrons. Utilities are monopolies, but they have no right to dictate how much energy we buy from them, particularly when that energy is supplied by polluting sources. Consumers have the right to self-generate from clean sources and to be protected from unfair penalties when they do so. Utilities like Central Georgia EMC should remember that they were created to serve the public good, not to undermine it.
As Earth Day approaches, we urge utilities like Central Georgia EMC to honor their customers’ moral commitments to a cleaner planet. They should treat solar customers fairly, allowing such customers to make choices that are good for their pocketbooks and for Georgia as a whole, but also fulfill their duty to lighten the burden on God’s creation.
The Rev. Kate McGregor Mosley,
Executive Director, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light
When the adult shot for shingles became available I ran to the Bibb County Health Department and paid $270 dollars for the shot. My wonderful grandmother had shingles on her face, and I did not want shingles. The pharmaceutical literature mentions that after the pre shot, you can still have a modified case of shingles. Hopefully the modified case would not include the terrible neurogenic pain. About 10 years after my shot I developed a modified case of shingles, the rash on my flanks, but not the shooting neurogenic pains. The rashes cleared in about six months, but returned every year for another six months. I went to the computer via pubmed.gov and found out the antibody from the shot fades in five or six years. Do we then need a second shot after five to six years? The government wont like the idea of a booster shot. I guess I will just scratch on.
Charles Burton M.D.,
This Cryptoquote in Friday’s newspaper is one of my favorites.
“Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist”
If you’ve ever been a teacher, you probably agree with me.
Jean E. Weaver,
Who will stand up?
Trump may attempt to lead them around by the nose, but the proud people of the state of Georgia will, in the runoff election, be announcing to all other people who Georgians are as a people. Will their votes paint them as a scattered few disgusting, ole-boy bullies of sexual harassment like Trump, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and a large number of others who kowtow in their presence, or will it be as stouthearted men and women who look out for themselves and those they care most about and do so standing together against the bully who finds his sick fun and fury by insisting on exploiting the most defenseless?
West Branch, Iowa
Turning one’s cheek
I believe a response to history Professor Andrew Manis’ open letter to citizen Tim McCoy is warranted where a more wise person, might suggest turning one’s cheek. My say does not relate to the personage or McCoy’s leadership at Ingleside Baptist Church, recognized as exemplary and unblemished by those familiar with him.
I do not know Dr. Manis, nor does he know me. I offer him information even though he might question its relevance. I am a “card carrying” Christian of Baptist denomination since age 11. None of us lives without some bias, or a history of discrimination whether of current significance or historical. One of my ancestors fled Ireland in 1700 for the colony; another escaped south to what is Coweta County from the Cherokee removal as a 3-year-old with his family; while another was forced west from Middle Georgia, she being Creek; and there was an uneducated Baptist preacher forcibly removed from a small southern town for possibly “preaching differently,” I must assume.
I have been a member of IBC for 53 years, 27 of which Dr. McCoy was lead pastor, and my friend. Those who lead and make a difference in what “might have been” in whatever position or profession are oftentimes targets of derision or worse. I joined IBC in 1964 after moving from Atlanta with our family and joined IBC even though it was sometimes referred to as the “silk stocking” North Macon Church. I never stopped wearing my cotton socks.
Manis’ “agenda” focused on McCoy presenting himself, speaking as a citizen, not as presenting a message from IBC. McCoy was not speaking for the church just as Manis was not speaking for Middle Georgia State University although his letter reflected association with the institution of his employment, etc.
Arthur D. Brook.