Opinion: December 11, 2019

Plus letters to the editors

Artist Jory Post covers this week's issue

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

How many times have all of us thought of something we really wanted to do, perhaps some piece of art we have always wanted to create, and thought, “Well, not now, but I’ll get around to it eventually?”

Wallace Baine’s cover story this week considers what happens when fate calls our bluff, and we’re faced with the possibility that there might not be an “eventually.” Do we slink back and say, “Never mind, I guess I didn’t really want to do it, anyway?”

Santa Cruz artist Jory Post didn’t. After he was faced with a devastating diagnosis that suggested he might not have much time left, he instead threw himself into a creative overdrive, holding nothing back. His story is a moving and inspiring look at how we’re all capable of making this the day we stop saying “eventually.”

Two other things to mention this week: first, with 20 days left to go in Santa Cruz Gives, we are about $40,000 away from our goal. That means we have to raise $2,000 a day for our local groups to make it happen. I know we can! Read Alisha Green’s story this week on a big change in the works for SCG participant the Homeless Garden Project, and go to to donate to our groups.

And lastly, we’re officially opening the voting for our Best of Santa Cruz 2020 awards. Go to and vote early to give your favorite local people, places and things a head start!

Letters to the Editor

Radical Eating

Thank you for publishing Jordy Hyman’s article “Unreal Meats” (GT, 10/30). I appreciate you providing information about the toll animal agriculture takes on our environment. Given the incredible success of these products, including Beyond Meat’s IPO being the largest in history, it is important for our community to be informed about alternatives to the rainforest destruction, mass extinctions, and greenhouse gases associated with raising beef. I hope your readers will take note of the statistics Hyman included, such as an 89% reduction in greenhouse gases compared to beef.

Somehow, the main point I made when Hyman interviewed me was lost. We are in the midst of the greatest threat to life on Earth that humanity has ever faced. The IPCC has said we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically by 2030, or risk entering complete climate chaos, a point beyond which no human intervention will stabilize the climate. Many scientists think this prediction is overly optimistic.

We must make wide-ranging changes in human activities or we are not going to make it. Once we hit runaway global warming, it is possible that the cascading feedback loops will render the earth too hot for all life.

Meat alternatives exists within this context. We need to reduce greenhouse gases in as many ways as possible, and that includes radically reducing emissions from animal agriculture, one of the main sources of emissions. According to Drawdown, “if cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.” Each time someone eats a burger made from “unreal meats” instead of meat, they are decreasing their greenhouse gas contribution. Of course, Hyman’s suggestion to “eat your vegetables” works as well!

Beth Love | Founder, Eat for the Earth

Call It Sewage

The Board of Directors and personnel of the Soquel Creek Water District are engaged in a project to combat the intrusion of salt water into the Purisima Aquifer, currently our almost exclusive source of drinking water. There are a number of questionable aspects related to this project, in which they have already invested a substantial amount of money.

I am referring to the Clean Water Soquel project, which will produce treated water to inject into the aquifer to halt the intrusion of ocean water. The source of this water is highly questionable, as it is to come from the treatment of sewage—a word they seldom use when discussing the project in which they will be producing water that is anything but clean.

It has long been known that it is impossible for sewage treatment to remove all the contaminants people flush down their toilets, particularly prescribed and other drugs. A recent study at the University of Southern California found that sewage treatment plants produce an antibiotic DNA fluid that could negate the effectiveness of certain drugs, unquestionably a dangerous situation. Surely we have learned a lesson from the problem in Flint, Michigan.

It is difficult for me to understand the motivation of these folks. To begin with, we do not own the aquifer. And we are not the only ones who depend on it for their water supply. How can they think they have the right to contaminate it?

When the district notified us of their intent to raise rates, they referred several times to the need to develop a supplemental water supply. They mentioned Pure Water Soquel project, but nowhere the word “sewage.” They required 50%+1 of us to object, in writing, to stop the project (which is unnecessary, as there is plenty of water available without it).

I believe that requirement to be upside-down. To be fair, they should be required to get 50%+1 of everyone using the aquifer to approve of their shenanigans, making it more like Government of the People, By the People, and For the People.

Thomas Stumbaugh

To Top