Gardening chores to conquer this month. 

Gardening chores to conquer this month.  Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/schnuddel

Heed UN report on climate warning

The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is conclusive and terrifying: Climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels is a present threat ["UN report: Without action, extreme weather to worsen," News, March 1].

Parts of the Earth are already becoming uninhabitable due to heat waves, drought, fires, and floods. And it is going to get worse.

Our government leaders must do more to fight the climate crisis. Ambitious initiatives get tied up in partisan battles or are pared down to appease fossil fuel lobbyists.

We need immediate action on large-scale wind and solar energy and on the transmission lines to bring them to where they’re needed. We must completely divest from fossil fuels.

— Bridget Nixdorf, Islip Terrace

Gov. Kathy Hochul has committed to requiring zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions for new construction no later than 2027, improving building and appliance standards, and proposing legislation to spur clean energy alternatives and end the obligation to serve customers with natural gas. But 2027 is too late.

The All-Electric Building Act calls for the end of fossil fuels for heating, cooling and cooking in new construction by 2024. Two years is more than enough time for developers to plan for these changes.

— Alexa Marinos, North Babylon

Cars’ direct sales should be expanded

I am a former new car dealer and franchisee. The "rules" a reader referred to are to protect franchisees from the franchiser ["Electric vehicles get two different views," Letters, Feb. 25]. These acts might include opening another outlet within a franchisee’s territory or directly competing with the franchisee. The franchise system benefits the manufacturer because franchisee purchases get the franchiser paid immediately.

This system works in other industries such as fast food. The logic of preventing direct sales because of the "rules" is thin when there are no franchisees to protect. It’s not a matter of electric versus gas. It’s a matter of competition. If I open an independent fast-food restaurant, I would not expect New York to have laws protecting McDonald’s franchisees that limit my business opportunities. Years ago, Dell sold directly to consumers, and other manufacturers sold through retailers. That worked pretty well. New York State should allow expansion of direct sales.

And how happy are Long Islanders that most franchised dealers recently are charging more than the suggested list price this year compared with only a tiny fraction last year? Manufacturers have written letters requesting dealers to respect the suggested list price. You won’t see Tesla’s Elon Musk do that.

— Robert Bialer, Glen Cove

More guns won’t solve armed violence

It always astounds me when I hear a politician, the National Rifle Association or any gun enthusiast say the solution to the rampant gun violence in this country is to create a deterrent by encouraging more people to get guns ["Different takes on the invasion," Letters, March 1].

To me, this is akin to a doctor telling an overweight patient that the best way to lose weight is to eat more.

— Jerry Giammatteo, Sayville

Native plants will help stop decline of bees

Since 2006, scientists have noted significant decline in bee colonies ["Beekeepers turn to GPS to prevent hive heists," LI Business, Feb. 23]. This resulted from diseases, pesticides, nutritional deficits, and habitat loss. Although the federal government has awarded grants to help increase the honeybee population, more needs to be done locally.

Ask landscapers and gardeners to use native plants. Swamp milkweed, common milkweed and wild bergamot are examples of plants native to New York. These plants provide shelter and food for all types of wildlife and support the bees.

In addition, native plants do not require fertilizers and dangerous pesticides to grow. They also require less water than lawns and foreign plants. They help prevent erosion and combat climate change. Some native plants, such as certain oaks and maple trees, store carbon dioxide.

We need legislation to make native plantings a priority. New York and other states have many beautification initiatives that grant money. Those initiatives should require the use of native plantings, which will give the bees and other pollinators a safe and delicious home.

— Liam BarRett, Smithtown

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