Letters to the Editor for the week of 1/15/20
Guidelines for letters
All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be published. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously published letters may not mention the author by name. The deadline is Friday at noon; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing’s offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to [email protected]
Since the political season is upon us (does it ever really go away?), I’d like to make a pitch for a good friend of mine for the position of County Supervisor for District 2. His name is Mike Grant and I’ve known and been associated with him since 1979, since we both belong to the Plumas County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Team. Mike took over as Commander of the team in 1985 and now serves as the team’s Coordinator, heading up SAR responses locally and representing Plumas County at statewide and regional SAR coordinator meetings.
Under Mike’s charge, our team has earned the respect of law enforcement agencies, SAR teams and other first responders across the north state. Mike has been instrumental in making sure our team has the training and equipment to meet any challenges we might face in our region, and he has provided training to local fire departments as well. Mike is well organized, dependable and knowledgeable, not just in search and rescue, but in securing grant dollars for the Sheriff’s Office and in the fields of radio and telecommunication, which are just some of the many responsibilities that he has with the Sheriff’s Office.
Mike’s years at the Sheriff’s Office have also afforded him the opportunity to learn some of the intricacies of County government, and where improvements can (and should) be made. If you believe, as I do, that Plumas County’s local government is due for a change for the better, then I would urge you to cast your ballot for Mike Grant for Supervisor in District 2.
Generations to repair
In a recent letter, our regular contributor from Lake Davis gave us 200 more reasons why President Trump needs to be removed from office. This was his list of the conveyor belt of ultra-conservative judges being railroaded through the Senate by Trump’s chief toady, Mitch McConnell. These far-right judges, almost entirely white men, will have a deleterious effect on the civil rights of people of color, immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community, union workers and environmentalists while protecting the privileges of the already rich and powerful. Many of them will be on the bench for 20 or 30 years, and it will take generations after them to repair the damage they do to our country.
In Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar,” Marc Anthony says, “The evil that men do lives after them … .” This was true of Caesar and will certainly be true of our “want to be Caesar,” Donald Trump.
The cost of climate change
According to multiple studies, unhindered climate change will lead to financial crises on a global basis. Indeed, ignoring climate change is far more costly than tackling it right now. In the western United States we are already feeling financial impacts. Smokey air affects our health and we shell out more for MD visits. Home insurance costs have risen and some have been denied insurance. When the heat is intolerable, people who work outside can’t work. And all over the world these costs will stifle and damage economies. There will be food shortages, flooding, droughts, water shortages, more disease and more deaths. Immigration problems will be staggering as those from third world countries try to escape the dangers that their own countries are fiscally unable to deal with.
There is a way forward. A carbon fee and dividend plan, in place in Canada since 2019 and supported by more than 3,500 U.S. economists, will put money in the pockets of people and create 2.1 million jobs in the first 10 years. Fossil fuels are taxed and all taxes received are returned in equal shares to all U.S. households. The majority of people get back more money back in dividends than they pay out in costs. The richest pay the most (and they also use the most fossil fuels). This is fair for everyone. As we move toward clean energy, carbon levels will drop, and carbon taxes will stop once we meet our carbon reduction goals. The Energy and Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a bill in the House right now, can accomplish this. Please support this bill and tell your congressmen to do the same.
Oz never did give nothing*
About five years ago, a certain contributor to Feather Publishing classified anyone who believed in global warming, or climate change, as being “Flat Earth Society members.” A number of records have been set in those five years: high temperatures in Anchorage, 90 F, in Veragues, France, 108 F on June 28, and 107 F in Lingen, Germany, on July 25.**Every state, and the Canadian Provinces from Alaska to Arizona have experienced devastating and horrific wildfire activity. Looking at recent maps of Australia showing bushfires in red make it look like a measles outbreak.*** But we’re being asked to put full faith and confidence in the president who impulsively pulled our country out of the Paris climate accords? Instead of taking the first tiny steps toward a solution, we’re stomping along at breakneck speed to exacerbate the problem.
From 2017, the president was quoted as saying that trade wars should be over quickly and would be easy to win, that was 20 months and two full growing seasons ago. Another questionable statement that has often been repeated is that foreign companies have paid the costs of the tariffs imposed on imported goods. The business section of today’s (1-9-2020) San Francisco Chronicle contains an article that documents that the costs of tariffs are covered by American businesses and consumers.
It’s like: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, the great and powerful Oz has spoken.” ****
*Beginning of a song written and performed in America, by the group “America.”
**The New Yorker, Jan. 13, 2020.
***Newsweek map, available online.
****From the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”
At lunch in Washington D.C. with an old friend, a chemist, my friend told me that he was engaged in ethanol research for the Atomic Energy Commission. Even then, in 1956, I knew that fuel based on corn would not be economically self-sustaining. Years later, it was a political scam that turned much of our agricultural lands into vast fields of corn, to be used for highly subsidized ethanol. As a result, the Ogalala aquifer is being drained, and millions of tons of pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilizers have turned a state sized portion of the Gulf of Mexico into a dead, or dying, sea. All of this is at a time when climate change threatens to reduce the corn belt’s supply of fresh water.
In Brazil, ethanol is now being produced from sugar cane. The energy yield is said to be eight times that of corn and burning the slash is sufficient to produce the plant’s power. Unfortunately, Brazil is now being stripped of its remaining tropical forests. Even if left alone, these forests might take centuries to regenerate. Without forest cover the thin soil is being washed into the Amazon and out to sea. In addition, Brazil’s constitutionally protected tribal lands are being grievously trespassed, abused, and stolen outright. Sugar cane plantations are a poor substitute for tropical forests. Brazil’s auto production has also increased at a fast pace. The term homo sapien implies a species that is wise, but we are either incapable of foresight in our actions, or we are so fixated on self and money that all else is disregarded. A return to political sanity might be a prerequisite for both countries before any serious reduction in our exorbitant fossil fuel usage is possible.
Wallace B. Eshleman
War, terrorism, mass shootings, riots, demonstrations, political coups, assassination, mass incarceration, governments with internal turmoil, childhood autism, cancer and other ailments in numbers never seen before, pornography and sex perversion of all kinds, religious and political leaders with no morals whatsoever, polluted air, soil and water, dying oceans, climate change and overpopulation.
Would you believe me if I told you this was all predicted over a thousand years ago? Maybe it’s time to check out your Owner’s Manual.