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OpinionLetters

Undeterred in fight to preserve healthy planet

An image of the surface of Earth.

An image of the surface of Earth. Photo Credit: iStock

Undeterred in fight to preserve the Earth

How do U.S. citizens respond to the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement [“We’re getting out,” News, June 2]?

If you live along the shores of Long Island, you don’t need more incentives. If you are in other areas of the country, you might continue to deny the importance of the issue. But ignore it or not, it’s not going away. The probability of near-term and future personal, cultural, financial and, most important, biological dynamics indicate harm and destruction.

There is work to be done. Let’s use this temporary defeat for the planet as motivation to educate and energize ourselves and others. Let’s be loving stewards of the planet and activists for our children and the animals and plants we all care for and need.

Chuck Perretti,Setauket

 

Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt said, “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact.”

Assume he’s right. Anthropogenic climate change might or might not be a real danger. So what’s an appropriate response to this uncertainty?

Let’s be guided by our reaction to terrorism. We don’t know a lot about the dangers that we’ll face. So to deal with this, do we defund the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA and the FBI? Halt our efforts to gather intelligence? Heck no! We study the daylights out of terrorism until we can better understand and more effectively respond to it.

By his own words, Pruitt shows that he can’t prove that there is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change. Yet he is happy to defund the EPA’s climate research. He’s either an ostrich burying his head in the sand or a simple hypocrite.

Christopher Paul,Bayport

Fingerprint local ride-hailing drivers

We need safe Uber service in the counties surrounding New York City [“Nassau TLC wary of any ride-sharing,” News, June 15].

Under the new state law, transportation network companies like Uber may operate with drivers who are not required to be fingerprinted. Local governments require fingerprinting for taxi drivers, and in New York City, Uber drivers are fingerprinted. Are the city’s elected officials better at protecting their residents and visitors?

Background checks are not enough protection.

It’s up to our local elected officials to stand up to this $70 billion company and pass a local law that requires fingerprinting.

When my children hire an Uber car, I want to know that the driver has been vetted.

Arthur Goldstein, New Rochelle

Editor’s note: The writer is the general counsel for the Taxicab Service Association, a lobbying organization.

Don’t blame Trump for U.S. obesity

Is Mike Vogel for real? In his May 27 op-ed, he said that by slowing Michelle Obama’s initiative aimed at improving school lunch nutrition, America’s obesity problem will worsen [“Obesity gets a boost from the White House,” Opinion].

America’s obesity problem is the result of processed food, not the man in the White House. Is there nothing the media won’t blame on this president?

Janice Mazzari, Garden City

Other trouble with Nassau’s fiscal house

Newsday’s June 5 editorial, “The key issue for Nassau vote,” was excellent but didn’t go far enough.

There was too much emphasis on “Nassau’s failed tax-assessment system.” Newsday readers are fully aware of this fiasco and that we are not all paying our fair share of taxes, thanks to County Executive Edward Mangano’s settlement program.

I didn’t see a word about the alleged property reassessment that is supposed to occur in 2018, and who will calculate the values.

I did not read anything about the shortcomings of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which allegedly is overseeing Nassau County’s finances. The county has not seen a surplus in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles since NIFA’s inception. How can NIFA allow Nassau County to budget for deficits?

Last but not least, does anybody in the Nassau County hierarchy know how to read and understand the county’s balance sheet? Do they realize that borrowing is not income and has to be repaid?

David Beldner, East Rockaway

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