|10/31/2013 9:16:00 AM ||Email this article Print this article |
|Letters to the Editor|
Global warming continues
The editor's global warming article on Oct 2 was right about the speed of global temperature rise slowing since 1998--a very hot year that was caused by the strongest El Nino of the century. Denial doesn't work though looking at how each of the last 3 decades has been warmer than all preceding decades since 1850 with the first decade of the 21st century being the hottest. CO2 levels keep rising and established physics and chemistry confirm the prediction of serious warming. We should listen to the warnings from the 97 Percent of climate scientists and not advice from those cherry-picking an extra high temperature year to draw a graph line to a low temperature year.
Consider that warming of the ocean accounts for about 90 Percent of the energy stored by the Earth and it is warming and to deeper depths. Google Arctic ice and look at the sattelite pictures of the end-of-summer ice. Google Columbia Glacier, Alaska. It has retreated about 11 miles and since the 1980's has lost about half of its total volume.
It's the law
Mr. Meyers, thanks for your recent Letter to The Editor. I particularly liked your description of your childhood memories of the Wizard of Oz and your quotes from Thomas Sowell. Sadly, I did not like your analogies nor your judgments of others - they were self-righteous in tone, dismissive and a bit like sour grapes.
You offer the same rationale that so many conservatives echo about the Government being evil and illegitimate, A supporting Government bureaucracy that is inept, and taxing you too much for purposes which you disagree vehemently. However, you certainly expect others with a different point of view to support the things that you believe in including your view of the proper role of Government.
I live in a different reality where I am guided by four basic principles. One, that I am a member of a broader American community that works together to solve our problems collegially for the benefit of all. It isn't just about "me and my money". Secondly, "that I am my brother's keeper". That means I have a special responsibility to help others, especially the "least among us", to help provide them with a solid foundation to achieve success as I have been so fortunate to have done. The third principle is, "to whom much is given, much is expected". I won the "vagina lottery". I was born a white male in a middle class family with a stay at home mom and a highly educated father who mentored me on the importance of respect of others (even when you disagree), Working hard and obtaining a good education including advanced degrees. I never experienced poverty, hunger, danger at home although I did serve as a combat Marine infantryman in Vietnam, or lack of quality healthcare. Moreover, I didn't suffer from a mental or physical disability like so many others. I was very successful in my chosen career but I did it with the help of many people; people who unselfishly mentored and encouraged me, including the emloyees I was honored and privileged to supervise. And lastly, how very important it is to follow the Golden Rule in our dealings with each other and to "listen to understand".
Unfortunately, I am painfully familiar with the conservative talking points that you regurgitated in your letter which are not "fact based". Instead, they are opinions founded on subjective generalities and supported by " distortions, distractions, misguided assumptions, misinformation, fear mongering and outright lies" regarding the Affordable Care Act.
Too many like yourself are like moths to a flame cling to these untruths. Soon to be a septuagenarian, I am old enough to remember that the same conservative strategy to delegitimize legislation has been used against almost every progressive program intended to "promote the general welfare" of the American people. These include among others Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This strategy also echoes the southern states' reaction to the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act. Rather than integrate public swimming pools, the southern politicians couldn't fill them fast enough with dirt and/or cement.
Mr. Meyers, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the Land. It was passed by Congress, signed by the President and upheld by the Supreme Court. It was scored by the Congressional Budget Office as a net budget deficit reducer. The gross cost was estimated at $1.8 trillion and with program changes and improvements, the net cost was calculated at $900 billion. These costs have stayed relatively constant. Moreover, it seems like a bargain given the scope of the program and benefits to the nation, especially when compared to the cost of DoD's F-35 Joint Fighter weapons acquisition program now at $1.4 trillion and climbing. The whole process was transparent me. Maybe we should have instead declared WAR in order to guarantee healthcare coverage for an estimated 52 million uninsured Americans.
We could have fabricated phony intelligence, lied to the American people and used a dash of good old fashioned fear mongering! I'm sure if we had used that alchemy, trillions of dollars would have been made available by putting it all on the Nation's credit card for future generations to pay for and conservative voices would have been softened because we know how they all love a good war especially when God is on their side and there is money to be made from Government contracts and someone else's children to do the fighting and dying.
And how ironic is it that we no sooner get rid of one "donut hole" (Medicare Part D), then the Supreme Court allows states to decide whether they want to expand Medicaid eligibility and receive Federal dollars to help hospitals and providers who treat those without health insurance. And not surprisingly, nearly all our Southern States (some with the largest uninsured and poverty stricken) chose to opt out of Medicaid expansion while at the same time many lowering income eligibility for Medicaid far below Federal poverty levels for individuals and families. Putting thousands in a situation where they don't qualify for either Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act. How is it that the richest and most powerful country in the world would subject the poorest among them to such a cruel fate? When you look at their income eligibility levels for Medicaid, you see just how cruel the current healthcare system is.
For instance, in Alabama, you can't get Medicaid if your income exceeds 23 percent of the poverty level - $4,500 for a family of three! "Think" about that for just a nanosecond. Could "you" find a place to live, pay your bills, and feed your family on that income? But the state of Alabama says if you're that rich, you can afford to buy health insurance.
In Texas, the state that will be depriving the most people of insurance by rejecting the Medicaid expansion. Only families under 25 percent of the poverty level, or $4,894 for a family of three, will be eligible for Medicaid. You are correct that a majority of hard working Americans don't share your views.
Last year the Affordable Care Act and the President's economic policies were major campaign issues in the General election. President Obama won 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206. The popular vote was approximately 66 million to 61 million in favor of the President or 51.1% to 47.2%.
In hotly contested Senate races, Democrats gained two and overall received 10 million more votes than Republicans. In the House, Democrats picked up 8 seats and received overall received nearly 2 million votes more than Republicans. It was a decisive win Democratic Party.
Using Presidential and/or agency authority to interpret provisions of a statute that may be ambiguous is the exercise of legitimate Executive authority and it is done by every Administration. Apparently you have forgotten President Bush's "signing statements", the rush to change many Federal regulations and the stampede to convert to career Federal jobs before he left office?
You judge and rail against your fellow citizens because you believe they are gullible and don't share your views. It is easy to be critical and judgmental of others based on a narrow belief system and world view. It is very easy to just sit back complain. It is time to listen to our Better Angels and work toward ensuring that the Affordable Care Act is a success for all. The time for foot dragging, hostage taking and brinkmanship designed to delegitimize and defund a properly legislated law upheld by the Supreme Court is over. Next time you decide to write a Letter to the Editor do some research and base it on some accurate facts.
Editor disrespectful, ignorant
In the Oct. 2nd edition of the Echo article Global warming "scientists" need to read some history books I can't comprehend how you could present such a misinformed and erroneous editorial to the Public. Your characterization of the climate science community as a mythical group of religious zealots is a horrible distortion of the lives and work of many esteemed scientists over about the last 50 years (you should check your history). Your scorn and disrespect are unforgivable. If you were at the presentation by Dr. Mike Steele at Wenatchee River Institute on Polar Climatology and global warming research methodology and data the UW on Sept. 20, you would have seen the mapping of the sea ice and water temperatures over the last 6 or 7 years. The pattern of slowly growing deterioration of Arctic ice was starkly clear. At present Dr. Steele stated the current prediction is that the summer ice pack will be gone around approximately 2050. He also noted that variations in our planet's orbit, solar cycles, freshwater influx from rivers have some influence, but their magnitude is minor and don't account for these or worldwide climatic changes.
Even if your assertion that Global Temperatures haven't risen in the last 15 years is true (I don't know if this is true or not), persons capable of careful perception and thought understand that based on the unprecedented warming of the last 200 years, this is only a plateau in a longer trend, and "historical" data regarding planet temperatures and CO2 level indicate we're in the worst shape in over 800,000 or 900.000 years. Whatever you mean when you say "many scientists are concerned we're moving into a period of global cooling" seems unimportant in the face of the evidence of catastrophic global warming due to human caused pollution agreed on by the 95 percent of climate scientists. You keep saying they are all nuts. In person they're far more than average mature, honest, intelligent persons. Maybe like the scientist who cried at the release of the IPCC report because he understands what this means. Economic chaos, unemployment, starvation, death, and so many other forms of human suffering. And you say jobs will be lost because they are trying to warn people of impending climatic disaster we are unprepared for and stop! We'll see about loss of jobs and livelihoods!
Your bold assertion that some Scientists are now questioning the veracity of global warming does little to obscure the truth that 95 percent of climate scientists are now in full agreement regarding the relationship of CO2 levels and global warming in the Industrial age and at present. I assume that the people you refer to are part of the 5 percent either disagreeing or uncommitted, and they're probably the same ones that always have. Your assertion that they have reached some singular all knowing truth that trumps the scientific community is outrageous, and indefensible. To pontifically state simply that CO2 level have been much as 20 percent higher as an excuse for current global warming human activity without mentioning associated climate conditions and reasons and when, is specious at best and a grave distortion.
The other canary in the cage is ocean acidification. This is directly related to CO2 increase. If you'd followed the recent and ongoing Seattle Times several part series on how this has and will effect sea life catastrophically you will be very scared. It's at crisis stage now.
I beseech you to check your history rather than boldly proclaim a bunch of shallow, unsupported notions as "Truth". Obviously you have never taken the time to understand even basic science, how do you figure you're qualified to judge? This is simply destructive to the truth, and welfare of this nation and the world. Demonizing and slandering good people and emerging truth and knowledge because it seems to hard to deal with is no virtue.
You could do our a community a great service by doing your homework and presenting an accurate piece on research facts regarding the real effects of CO2 and other pollutants on our planet.
Mark Weick M. Ed. LMHC
Right to know
I enjoy the Leavenworth paper very much, and find my views aligned with yours the majority of the time. I take exception to the one this week in opposition to 522. Dave and I are strong supporters of 522, and find it appalling that an abundance of GMO have found their way into the Mainstream American diet, usually without the public's knowledge. Dave and I would love to discuss this further with you and Carol. Maybe over a locally grown, organic meal!
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