Letters to the Editor – Dec. 21, 2023


Kudos to the diocese

To the Editor:

Thank you for your coverage of the diocesan Laudato Si’ Action Platform (Dec. 7 issue). Thank you to Archbishop Thomas Zinkula’s commitment to a vision and Deacon Kent Ferris for his commitment and perseverance in achieving the goals set. Thank you also to the many generous minds and hands bringing it to fruition. The diocese is providing a great example. 

In the related article, “Humanity must build alliances,” a Dec. 2 tweet from Pope Francis addresses the urgency, “Time is short. Now more than ever, the future of us all depends on the present that we now choose.” My parish and many others are called to step up to the challenge, which is not without its pain and hardships. Inaction, however, perpetuates the pain and hardship already being experienced in our lack of care for our common home.


JoAnn Snodgrass 
Prince of Peace, Clinton 

Objections to diocesan plan

To the Editor:

The diocese action plan for sustainability has many flaws. I will point out two.  First, Iowa is in the third-lowest level of solar incidence in the U.S, meaning solar panels in this area are not very efficient. The diocese proposes to spend $40,000 for a small solar array with a 16-year payback. CO2 emissions are projected to be reduced by 7 tons (I assume per year). China’s emissions in just the power industry increased by 45 million tons of CO2 in just the first quarter of 2023. This $40,000 expenditure will have zero impact on global CO2 concentrations. No business would invest in a project with a return and impact like this.  

Second, the support for Iowa Interfaith Power and Light’s effort to close MidAmerican Energy’s coal-fired power plants early is misguided. There are no demonstration projects anywhere proving that you can run a modern economy on just solar and wind energy. Everywhere solar and wind reach 50% of the power supply prices increase significantly (see Germany and the UK). There are no proven storage systems available to provide the energy required when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. An efficient, reliable, cost-effective electrical supply is critical for modern economies. Until someone can demonstrate that an economy can be run just on solar and wind, we should not be eliminating our current reliable fossil fuel energy sources.  

The diocese efforts should be focused on protecting the vulnerable and spending money where it will actually do some good.  

Mike McGuire

(Editor’s note: As technology improves, the cost of renewable energy projects will come down. Fiscal responsibility will be taken into account with future plans as will Pope Francis’ call to the global Catholic institutions to move towards renewable energy.)

Eternal eyes

To the Editor:

As Advent season ends, and Christmas draws near, I need to keep my eyes fixed on eternity. 

When I begin to feel discouraged by all the hatred and the horror of war, I need to keep my eyes fixed on eternity. 

When I’m tempted and seduced by the riches and comforts of this world, I need to keep my eyes fixed on eternity.

When I give in to sin and feel alienated from God, I need to keep my eyes fixed on eternity.

When someone close to me passes away and my heart aches to be near them, I need to keep my eyes fixed on eternity.

When my health begins to fail and the future looks so uncertain, I need to keep my eyes fixed on eternity.

As I fix my eyes on eternity, I realize I’m not alone. I become aware of eyes looking at me. Eyes of love and compassion. Eyes of mercy and forgiveness. Eyes of hope and belonging. Eyes that pierce through my darkness and despair and lead my heart to his holy mountain.

When I fix my eyes on eternity, I’m transformed to see the world and others with God’s eyes of love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, hope and belonging. 

As Christmas approaches, let us keep our eyes fixed on eternity.

Mike Gannon
St. Thomas More Parish

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