***The following viewer comments were received in response to the July 9-10, 2011 edition of U.S. Farm Report...
#1: I was reared in Pasadena, CA, and have only recently developed a strong interest in rural affairs. I find your program most enlightening and entertaining. I also find your acceptance of "global climate change" (aka global warming, global cooling, etc.) troubling, as the "science" is absolutely NOT "settled" contrary to Mr Gore, and since I believe you to be an otherwise bright individual. The ONLY purpose of a "carbon tax" is further income redistribution. If you review Mr Obama's energy program (what there is of it, that is), you will find that Candidate Obama clearly stated that under his plan energy costs would "necessarily skyrocket." His plan included a cap and trade process that was a "carbon tax" system. It was a scam. The entire "global climate change" brouhaha is smoke and mirrors based on pseudoscience at its worst. If an apparently intelligent person such as yourself can be taken in by charlatans like Al Gore and Barak Obama, this nation is in far greater trouble than I had heretofore suspected.
However, I believe that such technologies as use of photoelectric cells (solar cells) and wind energy can be, and in fact are, quite well adapted for small scale use (such as single family residences or small multi-unit properties such as duplexes and four-plexes) but are wholly inappropriate, at this time, for large scale operations (such as powering a small town, or, even more absurdly, a city). And, of course, to prove this statement, I must state the contradiction. In the Palm Springs, CA, area, there is a large "wind farm" with wind turbines as far as the eye can see! I'm not sure what percentage of the areas' energy is provided by this facility, but it does exist, and on a rather large scale. However, running power lines any significant distance quickly becomes prohibitively expensive.
As I said at the start, I find your program to be highly informative, entertaining and, from time to time, quite provocative. Please keep up the excellent work!
Joe Alletto, RN
Pasadena, CA (Soon to be Phoenix, AZ)
#2: Can’t believe that you are complaining about the subsidies paid to wind power projects as distorting the market - how about the almost 100 years of high subsidies paid and continuing to be paid to the energy companies - $50-100 billion dollars a year for all these many years - how about that distorting the market for not only energy but also crops? And the current politicians continue subsidies to these same energy companies while they turn in huge amounts of profits, aided by their off-short companies hiding profits from the IRS - I think you are way, way off base on that one John.
#3: I happened to be in the hospital and heard the program this past weekend. I watch at home when the weather is right for the station to come in. I really perked up my ears when John started talking about NASA, and particularly the early years. My dad was Sr. A engineer on the Saturn V S1B (first stage booster.) Yes, he used the slide rule, but mostly he used his head. He had some degree of disdain for calculators and computers even when they came along; he could always do the problems quicker and more accurately off the top oh his head. Stress, Calculus, etc. were second nature to him. Among other things, he had the entire log table memorized. Given any miscellaneous piece of metal, he was rarely wrong as to alloy, or even the mill that it came out of just by cursory physical examination. The biggest "piece of paper" that he ever had was his diploma from "Overbrook Rural High School." Few people are aware of the caliber of people that it took to bring Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo into reality. With Mercury, they were still using modified ballistics tables left over from WWII. I did appreciate John's comments, and even that he was aware of that little piece of history.
Mark Barbee - Dry Prong,LA