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Location: Somersworth, New Hampshire, United States

I am a veteran who took seriously his oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Let's improve our environment without restricting Liberty

I believe that we need to strive to reduce pollution, and to encourage others to do likewise. Unfortunately most of our "environmentalists" are focusing on trying to restrict what kind of vehicles people can own, when the nation's largest polluter is not SUVs, but inefficient buildings. I think we need to work on creating more opportunity for people to use alternative energy sources. Solar energy has become more efficient, reliable, unobtrusive, and cost-effective. I think that we should try to get at least some government buildings that have a roof with a good view of the southern horizon equipped with solar panels. There should also be tax breaks and low interest loans available for those individuals and businesses who wish to install solar panels on their buildings. If we can get enough people to use solar panels on their homes to significantly reduce the demand for electricity, we might be able to get some of our oil burning power plants to reduce the amount of oil that they burn, thereby reducing pollution, reducing our dependence on foreign countries for our oil, and reducing the cost of diesel fuel. That would also translate to lower costs for the products that we buy that are delivered by truck and train. I think that we should encourage the manufacture of biodiesel, and use of biodiesel in diesel powered trucks and trains. I believe that we should promote the building of energy efficient homes. Unfortunately most banks are unwilling to finance extremely energy efficient homes because they are not the norm and are perceived as difficult to sell in the event of a foreclosure. Instead people continue to build homes that are energy drains, burning large quantities of home heating oil during the winter to keep them warm and using excessive amounts of electricity to cool them during the summer. A well designed earth sheltered home uses only about 1/10th the energy that a regular stick-built home does, without compromising natural lighting. Loan guarantees and tax breaks should be made available to those who wish to build earth sheltered homes.
Noise pollution - Lately there have been groups of people and trial lawyers who have been sueing ranges in attempts to bankrupt them and close them down. They complain that the noise disturbs them. If they are successful, gunowners will have to resort to shooting in their yards and in the woods around housing developments, where there aren't man-made berms designed to stop the bullets and reduce noise getting out. Closing ranges would make neighborhoods less safe. A better solution to the noise problem would be to encourage the use of noise suppressors, commonly known as silencers. (For starters, remove the federal tax and paperwork.) Also, building berms taller and planting trees and other vegetation around ranges would reduce the amount of noise reaching surrounding neighborhoods, and would better stop any stray bullets. Also, if you're going to build a home near a range or a heavily traveled road, and you don't want to hear the noise, build an earth sheltered home, because not only are they more efficient and stronger than conventional homes, the earth also does a great job of muffling noise.


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