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We cannot afford to ignore climate change

Thursday, August 29, 2019

We cannot afford to ignore climate change

An article in the Aug. 21 Vindicator was titled, “End Of The Planet.” While referring to the location of Greenland and not the demise of Earth, the scientist, David Holland, who spoke the phrase is bringing into very clear focus just how much different the future (not too distant either) Earth will be from that which we know in 2019.

Holland and his colleagues are studying the fast rate at which Greenland’s many glaciers are melting and adding to already rising sea levels. In one example 6 miles of glacier have disappeared since their study began in 2005. Ice that is thousands of years old will become seawater in just a couple of years.

Scientists who know how to project this unprecedented melting into future results foresee a much different looking and acting planet. Earth will continue to become warmer and wetter until we stop the global warming-climate change machine. The way to do that is to stop adding carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses to our atmosphere. While there is no urgency in the world to do this, our own country tops the list of emitters of these gasses. Yet we do nothing. Why?

Some still deny the existence of climate change even as the evidence keeps mounting. Some think it will happen so gradually that we can manage it by making small changes over several decades. Some think the situation is hopeless, so why even bother? Some feel that the negative actions of China, India, and others will cancel out the efforts of concerned countries. There are also probably some who feel that they will be dead by the time things get bad, so why worry.

We should worry for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who will have to deal with the mess of our legacy. We obviously can’t undo in the next decade what we’ve been doing for the last 200-plus years. But, if we get busy, seriously busy, we can at least make their challenge less daunting. For their sake, I hope we try.

Richard Fogo, Youngstown

US Senate must approve election security funds

During his tes- timony before Congress, former special counsel Robert Mueller had a clear message: Our election system is still vulnerable to Russian interference, and efforts to tamper with future U.S. elections are already underway.

Right now, multiple bills that would protect our elections from future cyber threats have been proposed in Congress with bipartisan support, yet Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to let them see the Senate floor.

McConnell is prioritizing his party over the safety and integrity of our elections. But we finally have an opportunity to force McConnell and the Senate to do something. The House of Representatives recently passed an appropriations bill that would allocate $600 million in election security funding to states. This key piece of legislation would allow states to replace outdated voting equipment with systems that use voter-verified paper ballots, the best way to protect vote counts from hacking and cyber threats. The Senate must pass an appropriations bill in September, and we have a real chance to make sure it includes election security funding.

I’m calling on my senators and the rest of the Senate to take a stand and approve election security funding next month – before it’s too late.

Enough is enough. Inaction on election security is unacceptable.

Barbara Protopapa, Youngstown

Whatever happened to idealism of Woodstock from 50 summers ago?

Fifty years ago, 500,000 baby boomers gathered in upstate New York to celebrate a weekend of music and peace and love. Woodstock was an incredible event.

We were full of idealism. We shunned materialism and the military industrial complex. We believed we could create a better world than our parents did.

What happened to us? We have grown up to become obsessed with money. Our greed has led to the takeover of our country by big business. Corporate lobbyists from gas and oil and Big Pharma have put profits above all else.

We are destroying our environment at a rapid, unprecedented pace. We are killing each other in mass shootings.

We are fighting a seemingly never ending war in Afghanistan. We thought our parents left us with an undesirable world with Richard Nixon as president and the Vietnam war.

We are leaving our children and grandchildren in worse shape. We are destroying democracy. If we want a government that is of the people, by the people, for the people, we, the people must vote for leaders who will do what the people want!

The people want health care and common-sense gun legislation. We know Republicans have tried to take away our health care for years. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has said if Republicans take the House back, keep the Senate and win the presidency, the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, will be repealed.

As for guns, the National Rifle Association will not allow any gun safety measures to be passed. Its leaders dictate gun policy to the Republicans.

Our only hope is to elect Democrats. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we must vote like their lives depend on it. They do.

Christine Rohde, Boardman