By Christopher Calder - 07/02/13 10:47 PM EDT
From Christopher Calder
President Obama insulted those who question the reliability of long-range global climate forecasts by comparing them to Flat Earth theorists. Obama’s attitude is more religious than scientific. Credible studies have shown that the Earth has not warmed in about 15 years, and no climate scientist has come up with a convincing argument as to why. There are so many unknown variables in the drivers of climatic conditions that absolute statements about climate change, one way or the other, are usually the product of hubris and/or the bandwagon effect. We should be worried about the possibility of a major climate change, but we should not become hysterical.
Banning Obama’s biofuels should be the top priority of anyone who cares about global warming, deforestation, water pollution, topsoil erosion, the cost of food and making sure that our own grandchildren have enough to eat.
Time to pass reform on immigration is now
From Madeline Shepherd
As Independence Day draws near, it’s important to consider what it means to be an American: to be part of a country built by immigrants drawn here to work for a better life for themselves and their families. Generations of past newcomers to this country have enjoyed economic opportunity and social mobility, and today’s immigrants deserve the same. The time to pass immigration reform is now, and the House of Representatives should quickly pass legislation with a clear, accessible and inclusive roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and aspiring citizens in the future. As a matter of basic fairness, hardworking immigrants should be able to earn citizenship in a system that recognizes their contributions to our economy and communities. Additionally, we should strive to keep families together by reducing the backlogs of family members waiting for visas and preserving the family immigration system, support policies that ensure immigrant women have the same pathways to economic opportunity as men and allow immigrant families access to basic human services during the legalization process.
Our shared immigrant history is part of the American identity, and whether we preserve the path for others to achieve the American dream says as much about our values as a country as the words on the Statue of Liberty. Which, by the way, traveled here from France without documentation.
Voting Rights Act ruling setback to a perfect union
From Denny Freidenrich
The Supreme Court’s decision to curtail federal oversight of states’ ballot laws means the long, winding road from Selma to the voting booth just got rockier (“High court strikes down key part of Voting Rights Act in 5-4 ruling,” June 25).
As Harry Truman once said, “The voting booth is the most valuable piece of real estate in the United States of America.” My hope is that, despite Tuesday’s judicial setback, the underlying truth of Truman’s premise will serve as a wake-up call to everyone who believes in the principle of one person, one vote.
The following day, the court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional: discrimination against same-sex couples cannot be tolerated.
Faced with these two judicial rulings, is it now legal to discriminate against people of color but not one’s sexual orientation? If true, whatever happened to the great American principle that all men (and women) are created equal?
Looks to me like our near-perfect union still is a work in progress.
Laguna Beach, Calif.
President’s energy plans step in the right direction
From Melanie Straessle
Climate change is a serious problem facing human health and survival, and I am excited to see that President Obama is giving it the priority it so urgently needs. We have already encountered some important effects of climate change such as heat waves, which increase ground-level ozone. This pollutant can cause lung damage and be fatal. This is just one example of the effects of climate change; there are many more, including flooding, extreme weather, and drought, which can all be detrimental to health.
President Obama’s plan to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy and decrease energy wastage is a step in the right direction. It reduces air pollution and slows climate change while at the same time creating jobs. I support these plans to assure a healthy planet for ourselves and future generations.