Readers Write

Greenfield Recorder, June 29, 2022

I was gratified to read Susan Lantz’s review of Pat Hynes’s new book “Hope, But Demand Justice,” in the Recorder. Nothing better captures the American miasma we find ourselves living in than Hynes’s collection of writings for various journals.

I must confess that I rely on certain “chapters” in her book when researching such people-devastating societal ills as “Inequality: Extreme and Growing.” In this section of her book, Hynes describes her interactions with Greenfield’s homeless living by the railroad tracks behind Energy Park and her interviews with gun shop owners in Franklin County whose sales have skyrocketed in response to a politically poisoned sense of insecurity on the part of many area residents.

In her section entitled “Nuclear Power: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” Hynes uses that cliched phrase to describe how the nuclear energy industry — “in decline”— has tried to foist it’s “clean energy” marketing campaign on the general public. She writes “President Barack Obama fell for it as did Donald J. Trump, who also baptized so-called ‘clean coal.’ And now,” she continues, “the Biden-Harris administration retains nuclear power in its so-called clean energy mix, in an otherwise well-received climate plan.”

In an essay in “Science for Peace,” Hynes relates how she designed a passive solar house in 1980 based on the thesis she wrote for her environmental engineering master ’s thesis. She describes how her builder “was eager to learn solar design and went on to build dozens of similar houses over the next year in Franklin and Hampshire counties.”

The dismal takeaway from this essay was how in 1981 “Ronald Reagan had removed the solar hot-water panels from the White House roof and eliminated solar tax credits.

“We create conditions for hope,” she writes, when we work toward achieving something good, “no matter what the odds.”