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Letters

A shift to biodiesel could help curb global warming

Regarding your June 6 article "Global-warming fight goes grass roots": I'm glad to see that there is a growing grass-roots movement to address the issue of global warming.

I was recently in a meeting with a Big Three automotive executive, in which the individual alluded to the fact that hydrogen fuel-cell technology would only proceed with great subsidy from the government - clearly a non-grass-roots solution that would probably cost consumers more in the long run since they would foot the entire bill.

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I have recently become aware of an arguably better solution on a variety of levels: biodiesel. It is renewable, and while diesel has been notoriously dirty, biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide emissions and sulfur.

What has really impressed me with bio-diesel is how easy it would be to implement. The technology of engines, production, and distribution is already well established and uses existing equipment.

However, companies couldn't afford to compete in the automotive industry today if they had to build multiple engine platforms. If they adopted biodiesel, automotive manufacturers would be making the decision for the right reasons, but it would be a solution that could not be economically sustained.
Tom Allison
Redford, Mich.

Enforce workers' right to a decent wage

In response to the June 3 article, "A new push against employers who skirt wage laws": Stingy employers are always making the argument against minimum-wage laws that people, legally, have a free choice to take the job or not. But because there is no legal way for most Americans to get the food and other natural resources necessary for survival without being part of the money economy, they are forced to take one job or another to survive.

Any time that there are more job seekers than available jobs, employers as a class have the greater bargaining power. They can and do try to force wages as low as possible.

We don't need just a minimum wage, but an enforceable right to work without having to wait for the employers to scrape the bottom of the barrel to overcome their immoral but legal discrimination against many of us.
Jean Smiling Coyote
Chicago

Inefficient management has led to layoffs

Responding to the June 9 article "Rising benefits burden": If someone can explain to me how companies can renege on their obligations to their workers while continuing to pay millions in salary and provide golden parachutes and more-than-generous retirement and healthcare benefits to the senior management that, in many cases, made poor decisions, then I will approve of the decisions to lay off workers and cut benefits.

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Employees, ordinary stockholders, and lower management pay the price for poor senior management and the changing market. Why can't upper management pay as well? Benefit costs are not the issue. Poor management and poor leadership cause the problem, yet are continually being rewarded.
Kathleen Cox
Indianapolis

Use of fear tactics drives new legislation

In response to the June 10 article "US arrests renew terror concerns": I really don't believe much of what this administration says, and I see a lot of fear tactics involved in the Patriot Act. This method has worked very well throughout Bush's presidency. As long as something is scary enough and he repeats it over and over, Congress stays on red alert.

Bush scared Congress into a war they should have had the guts to say no to. I do believe we need safety, but the Patriot Act should not be a license to intrude, or we surely will be a policed nation.
Christine Biedul
Broomfield, Colo.

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