In recent months, I’ve been bombarded day and night by endless noise from low-flying aircraft, one within seconds of the other. I am unable to sleep at night or walk outside without the continuous drone. I feel like I am in a war zone.
In addition, there is exposure to air pollutants at so low a range. I have lived for many years in what was once a quiet neighborhood and have never experienced noise like this.
I have contacted several politicians, but so far it seems like nothing has changed and the noise is louder than ever.
I went to a town-village meeting about this issue in New Hyde Park on Sept. 24 and was told the Federal Aviation Administration and airlines are working to develop quieter planes. In the meantime, many of us are suffering [“FAA: Runway work will shift JFK jet noise,” News, Oct. 18].
I believe that not enough people are being vocal. I hope others will express their frustration to local politicians and file noise complaints with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the operator of LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.
Andrea Miller, New Hyde Park
Lower pension return could help the planet
In the Oct. 15 news story “Tension over NYC pensions,” financial expert E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy commented that pension funds should focus only on returns, and that anything else is “pure politics, and not in the best interest of New York public employees.”
Let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that divestment would result in a modest decrease in returns. Let’s also stipulate, however, that there is some probability, perhaps a strong probability, that not making strong efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will result in widespread desertification in the United States and elsewhere, catastrophic sea level rise, and other massive calamities by the end of this century. In addition, such broad-based divestment could also pressure fossil-fuel companies into shifting their businesses to more climate-friendly energy production and use.
Do we know that these will happen? Not with certainty. But to ignore these risks and their implications for our children and grandchildren would be foolhardy. One mitigates the risk of catastrophic loss by buying insurance. So you could think of divestment as a form of insurance: paying to help ensure a livable planet for one’s descendants with a slightly lower return on investment now. The risks of doing nothing about climate change are just too great.
Mark Kinnucan, Huntington Station
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Long Island Sierra Club environmental organization.