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Global warming, Elder Parole bill, refugees and more

In this photo provided by the Bootleg Fire

In this photo provided by the Bootleg Fire Incident Command, the Bootleg Fire burns at night in southern Oregon on Saturday, July 17, 2021. The destructive Bootleg Fire, one of the largest in modern Oregon history, has already burned more than 476 square miles (1,210 square kilometers), an area about the size of Los Angeles. The Bootleg Fire is among dozens burning in the parched West. (Bootleg Fire Incident Command via AP) Credit: AP

Global warming is becoming the dominating economic, political and social issue of the 21st century ["Wildfire size, community density eyed," News, July 20]. With tens of billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the air every year, the international community needs to act now.

We ought to have a Manhattan Project to replace fossil fuels with hydrogen-made fuel. This would go a long way to ending our dependency on coal, oil and natural gas. The technology to do it is improving, but it needs more financial assistance. The wealthier nations should set up a trillion-dollar fund to accelerate the process for making hydrogen fuel cells. We can take hydrogen from water, but it requires intensive research.

Some companies have started work on how to make hydrogen fuel cells, but they need massive financial support. There could be an international carbon tax dedicated to funding research on hydrogen fuel. We cannot wait any longer.

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising, not declining. Procrastination is the thief of time. The planet has a raging fever and it needs immediate attention.

— William Lemmey, Astoria

So we see another cartoon belittling environmentalists when the American West is literally burning and Western Europe is drowning in floods because of climate change ["Mallard Fillmore," Comics, July 18]. This type of thinking is ignorant and dangerous.

— Martin Selbst, Brooklyn

Elder Parole bill may help fix system

The letter "Major flaws in state Elder Parole bill" [July 19] contains inaccuracies .

The Elder Parole bill provides strong evidence-based rationale that supports safety and restores accountability to a broken parole system. The reasoning is part of rethinking the harsh rubber-stamped parole denials, particularly in communities of color, which led to 70% of New York’s incarcerated population comprising those of Black and Latino descent.

Those 55 and older have the lowest recidivism rate of any prison population. New York State spends three times more on incarceration than it does on mental health, elder and youth services and community programs combined, according to the Vera Institute of Justice.

If the goal of corrections is to rehabilitate, then the system should not include endless parole denials, even after people have proved they have transformed and are safe to return to the community.

The Elder Parole bill has been supported by dozens of faith leaders from many denominations because it is a bill that recognizes that transformation, redemption and repair are a necessary part of a just society.

— Serena Liguori, Brentwood

The writer is executive director of New Hour for Women & Children-LI, which supports current and formerly incarcerated women and their families.

U.S. should welcome refugees, avoid wars

Just think of all the lives and money saved if we welcomed those who wish to escape the Taliban to enter the United States legally "U.S. should help Afghans come here," Letters, July 19].

The same concept could have been accomplished for the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. We get involved in civil wars and nothing changes. Our military sacrifices young lives and civilian lives.

Bring our people home and welcome those who wish to come here for a better life.

— Doris Schneider, Flanders

We definitely should allow those who supported our troops to enter our country legally. This will save them from revenge from the Taliban. But I don’t see the government letting this happen. I suggest they try entering from Mexico, and they would be given a warm welcome plus financial aid.

— Judy Riccuiti, Farmingdale

Connecticut seems smart about potholes

My wife and I recently drove to Connecticut from Port Jefferson. We entered I-95 heading north. After about a half-hour, I said to my wife, "Do you realize we have driven almost 30 miles on this road and haven’t seen one pothole?" If this were the Long Island Expressway, we would have been dodging potholes every five seconds ["Fix local roads before new high-speed train," Letters, July 13]. What does Connecticut do differently than New York? We should find out because whatever it does, it’s better than here.

— Paul Piazza, Coram

Proud that NYS isn’t restricting voting

While other states are trying to pass bills that restrict voting, I am delighted that New York State is not doing that ["Test of our time," News, July 14]. I am proud to live in a state that is trying to expand voter rights.

— Mary K. Chelton, East Patchogue

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