The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 3, 2014

Acting on unsettled science hurts economy

The Mankato Free Press

---- — In a recent letter, a writer raises a thoughtful question. What harm will be done if we change things based on the premises of global warming, whether or not it is true?

One harm I have noticed is a 56 percent increase in my electricity rate in the last 10 years. Whereas my natural gas rate only went up 3 percent.

I see our gas tax dollars being diverted — while our transportation infrastructure crumbles — to projects like light rail that are not going to be economically feasible unless significant populations are encouraged/forced to concentrate around these fixed transportation corridors.

Arguments based on the “settled science” of global warming are used to restrain developments that could unleash our economy such as the pipelines, hydraulic fracturing, conventional and oil sand mining. How can the science be settled when we can’t even agree on how many scientists believe in it.

A study, in a peer reviewed publication (, states that only 36 percent of surveyed engineers and geoscientists “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”

I also do not believe we will be living in caves. I have faith in man’s adaptability and ingenuity. As true need arises we will triumph over any challenges that confront us. However, I see much harm in altering almost all aspects of our economy, existence and liberty based on a disputed premise. From a just published Wall Street Journal article: “it appears that in our efforts to combat warming we may have been taking the economic equivalent of chemotherapy for a cold.”

Kim Spears

City Councilman

North Mankato

FP didn’t balance Doonesbury

I find it interesting that The Free Press has chosen not to run Mallard Fillmore on a daily basis anymore because Doonesbury is no longer running a daily column.

Their reasoning, political imbalance. Just out of curiosity, I wonder how many years Doonesbury ran “unopposed” in The Free Press? They didn’t seem to mind the imbalance then.

Fittingly, the notification appeared in the April 1 edition of the paper. Maybe it was just an April Fool’s joke.

Tom Brockberg


More roundabout seminars neededStrokeStyle/$ID/Japanese Dots

Roundabouts are a big concern in Blue Earth County. It’s something new and this is great. It’s about change, and a lot of people don’t like change.

Mankato is growing bigger every year. There are new buildings everywhere. New businesses bring in more people and that brings in more vehicles, big and small. The new Wal-Mart distribution center will bring in more semis.

I lived in the Mankato area all my life and live near County Road 90. There have been a lot of accidents on that road and the intersection with Highway 22.

Driving habits have changed. There’s a lot more aggressive driving and vehicles that have more power. People are on cellphones not paying attention to their surroundings.

With roundabout construction starting in May, there will be a cluster of traffic in the hilltop areas and detours all over. I think MnDOT should have more roundabout informational showings to the public in the near future.

Jim Kietzer