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OpinionLetters

Humanity must act fast to save the planet for new generations

Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018

A metal sculpture sits in front of the

A metal sculpture sits in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Tuesday. Photo Credit: AP / Gregor Fischer

In October, the United Nations issued a dire report on the extent, causes and effects of global warming. In late November, the Trump administration released a 13-agency, 1,600-page statement which amounted to a warning that if we don’t cut back on fossil-fuel emissions and begin to mitigate climate change, the planet is on a path to disaster.

On Nov. 26, President Donald Trump told reporters, “I don’t believe it.”

We have seen unprecedented flooding, wildfires and measurable rises in sea level and temperature [“Climate change worse than once thought,” News, Nov. 30]. Our children face much worse.

What can we expect from Trump? The United States is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, and the Environmental Protection Agency has attempted to weaken the Clean Air Act, relax auto emission and fuel economy standards, and deregulate industrial plants with respect to air quality, water quality and methane emissions.

A draft statement at the opening of the 2018 G-20 summit said 19 of the participants agreed on the importance of upholding the Paris climate accord, but the United States did not [“G-20 opens with visible divisions,” News, Dec. 1].

We have to proceed as if our children’s lives depend on it.

Hank Cierski, Port Jefferson Station

President Donald Trump continues to be in denial about global warming. He rejected a report on rising temperatures and warming released by his administration. He blames other nations for the problem. The president needs a lesson in science.

Every year, more than 35 billion tons of carbon are emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists say China, the United States and India are responsible for more than 50 percent of the emissions.

It is time to come together and address the problem. The Earth has a fever, with the planet’s temperature rising 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century and possibly by 7 degrees in this century, according to a draft report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Our children will ask what we did to save our sick planet.

Americans should demand a Manhattan Project to find alternatives to fossil fuels. We need environmental leadership, not scientific ignorance, to save our unique planet.

William Lemmey, Astoria

Differences between faith and science

Regarding “Einstein’s thoughts on God” [News, Dec. 1], a great many scientists are agnostics at heart. Religions are based on beliefs that members ultimately take on faith. Science is based on theories and laws that can be continually tested and accepted or discarded based on the results. But both religion and science seek to answer the same questions: Why is there something as opposed to nothing? What preceded the Big Bang? What created the physical laws that govern our universe?

Jim McDonald, Deer Park

Don’t allow profiteers to handle U.S. mail

I oppose privatizing our Postal Service [“Keep the Postal Service in public hands,” Opinion, Dec. 3]. I am not a business guru, but it has been evident to me that when businesses are privatized, someone makes a profit. When someone makes a profit, the little guy suffers, and so does the organization.

Diane McGuire, Northport

Recycling: Be careful what you wish for

Two Newsday letters demand that Brookhaven enforce recycling laws [“Levy fines for those who do not recycle,” Nov. 30]. Sounds reasonable, laws need to be enforced. But the devil is in the details. How to enforce?

When recycling was introduced in New York City in the 1990s, the Department of Sanitation notified communities about recycling rules. Since then, if a department officer sees recyclable items mixed with regular garbage, residents are issued warnings and fines. My question to those who desire enforcement is, are you ready for this?

Peter Kelly, Medford

Glad they stopped by a local group home

I have been a resident of Nesconset for 32 years. The first Halloween in our home, trick-or-treating in the neighborhood with our children, we stopped at a house a few blocks away. Afriend hesitated, repeating a rumor that this was a group home [“The character of our communities,” Opinion, Nov. 28].

The children rang the doorbell and a kindly older woman answered, a huge bowl of candy in her hands. She quickly called the smiling residents of the house to the door to see the children in their costumes. The woman said it was rare for anyone to bring their children to this home on Halloween. The residents felt they were the ones receiving a treat.

I don’t think the kids realized the impact their visit had on this small community of people, but we never failed to include this residence in the years to come on Halloween.

Shame on NIMBY folks who would discriminate against disabled people who just want to live in neighborhoods like everyone else!

Chris DiFalco, Nesconset

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