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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, June 8, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

President Donald Trump announces his decision for the

President Donald Trump announces his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House June 1, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Getty Images / Win McNamee

There is a positive aspect to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord [“Praise, fire for leaving Paris pact,” News, June 3].

This is yet another wake-up call that we have to step up. It’s time to make lifestyle changes. I will no longer buy a dozen eggs in a plastic container. Small changes by all of us make a difference.

We can’t rely on our government. Let’s all start with garbage. I walked the aisles of a supermarket to find examples of overpackaged products. Reducing packaging is a step in the right direction.

Tom Stock, Babylon

The climate accord is not what President Donald Trump likes to call a “deal.” It’s an agreement among 195 countries to do something that benefits all of them — and us.

It isn’t, “I’ll trade you one smoke stack for one oil spill.” That’s a deal, and one that would show that we’re still in the dark ages about fossil fuels.

Trump says other countries and leaders are laughing at us, and he doesn’t want that anymore. If the rest of the world is laughing at anything, it’s Trump. This caricature of a president has been a laughingstock, from his blatant lies to his ridiculous tweets. He continues to dumb down the most important position in the world.

Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn

I’m not an environmental scholar, and I’m not really familiar with the finer points of the Paris accord. But anytime the United States is lumped in with Nicaragua and Syria — two countries that would not sign the accord — that scares me!

Dick Cardozo, Westbury

Pretty much the entire planet recognizes that climate change is real and a serious threat. However, those 194 countries that will remain part of the Paris agreement also recognize that climate change is something we can combat — if we act now and act together.

Unfortunately, the administration in Washington is not just stepping away from the Paris agreement, it is also stepping away from the science that underlies our ability to understand and respond to climate change.

The presidential budget proposes deep cuts to science, but devastating cuts to the science of observing, understanding and predicting the impacts of climate change. The budget also slashes funding for the science that breeds the innovative technologies we are counting on for the future.

The proposed cuts will decimate entire scientific programs, dispersing the minds that have assembled to tackle important challenges and eroding American leadership in key research areas.

The administration should be tripling investment in science. The Trump administration will handicap American businesses that must compete in a global economy that has no respect for alternative facts.

Alistair Rogers, Rocky Point

Democratic hypocrisy on James Comey

Democrats cried foul over the firing of FBI Director James Comey, when some of them had previously called for him to resign [“WH: Won’t block Comey,” News, June 6].

I’m thinking of Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, who said in October: “He should resign his position effective immediately.” But this May, he was quoted defending the former FBI director.

This hypocritical 180-degree spin — without even an apparent hint of embarrassment — is disgraceful and should be widely recognized and deplored.

Other Democrats formerly questioned Comey’s credibility, including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders, and Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Jerrold Nadler.

Nathan Dodell, Great Neck

Create a key stop for former inmates

The column “Substance abusers get clean in jail” [Opinion, May 25] aptly describes Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco’s treatment program as transformative and remarkably innovative.

Suffolk residents released from upstate prisons could benefit as well from this approach toward restorative justice. There is a hurdle for them to clear first, however. A former inmate’s first night might well be spent in an unregulated “sober house” where drugs are accessible.

Those I mentored and communicated with upstate normally rode a bus from the prison to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, a train to Suffolk, and finally a late-afternoon taxi to emergency housing.

There is an alternative. What should be done is to repurpose a vacant building as a re-entry center. Suffolk residents could go there directly on their release days. Those in need of cognitive behavioral therapy could get immediate treatment.

A caseworker at the re-entry center could help with housing, health, employment, jobs and mentoring. This could shorten the time to becoming a productive citizen.

Tom Beirne, Smithtown

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with the Philemon Fellowship, a transitional mentoring program for ex-offenders.


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