What a contrast in messages between Thomas Friedman’s column in the July 4 Beacon Journal (“Set the standard for clean energy”) and Charles Krauthammer’s on July 5 (“An Obama climate plan based on faith, not science”). Friedman is a realist, and Krauthammer is a denier.
Krauthammer’s claim that Obama’s proposal is not based on science is absurd. In 2010, the National Academy of Sciences published a study showing that 98 percent of the scientists who actually do work on climate change agree that it is real, serious and primarily caused by human activity.
Krauthammer’s claim that global temperatures have been flat for the past 16 years (and the argument based on it that we should not address the problem) is false.
The data show the temperatures have been flat for only the past 13 years. This is no reason for celebration or inaction since these temperatures have all been record high temperatures. All of the hottest 16 years ever recorded on a global scale have happened in the past 20 years.
Every year since 2000 has been on the top 10 hottest years list. The cooling degree data for last year show that the 2012 summer was twice as hot as normal.
The same data for this summer are showing the average temperature at least one-third warmer than the normal so far. Krauthammer is either ignorant of the facts, or he is purposefully distorting them.
One has to question why he totally ignores the fact that this past May carbon dioxide levels reached 400 parts per million for the first time in 2 million years. Should we wait until carbon dioxide levels reach the point of Venus before acting?
Finally, Krauthammer says that he favors reducing global carbon dioxide emissions, but not if the rest of the world will not do the same. Here he needs a lesson in leadership.
A basic principle of leadership is that it works best when we lead by example. Asking others to do what we will not is certain to ensure there is no chance in getting an agreement on reducing carbon dioxide in the foreseeable future.
I agree with Friedman under these circumstances. We should lead the world to a new energy future by setting a good example instead of stalling as we have done for the past 30 years. Friedman is right, and Krauthammer is wrong, dangerously so.
Charles Chlysta III
Enough division in Norton
All of the bickering and political fighting in Norton makes this lifetime resident disappointed, embarrassed and angry.
Members of Citizens 4 Norton, whether they were called that earlier or not, have been against every administration in office that I can remember. They say the administration is using scare tactics to get the people to pass its agendas. I would argue that this group is doing the same thing.
These are real issues with real consequences. This sewer issue goes back longer than I have been alive. Just like anything else, there were opportunities to work on this proactively before it got to the current unhealthy hazardous situation. Personal agendas are getting in the way of clear thinking. Hurting the entire city to prove your own personal point of contention is juvenile.
The city of Norton is not the only entity involved in this matter. There is also the county of Summit. The county does not have to honor an amendment the city decides to impose. The expenses are not just Norton’s.
All this screaming and talking over people and insults have never been the way to solve anything.
Passing Issue 1 will clearly affect the entire city of Norton in a negative fashion. I am not willing to gamble so that this group, Citizens 4 Norton, can put a notch in its belt. This is a standoff that we cannot afford — “we” being the whole.
I am voting no on Issue 1. I hope those who agree with me stand firm and get out to do the same or cast an absentee ballot.
Enough is enough. We cannot afford to lose yet another grant or loan bestowed upon this city because of this squeaky wheel.
Spend taxpayer dollars at home
Our military is being decimated. The Army is cutting 80,000 troops. National Guard pay is being cut by 20 percent. Hot meals to the troops in Afghanistan are being reduced. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is cutting housing, and Head Start programs are being scaled back.
At the same time, President Obama and his family spent up to $100 million on a trip to Africa. While Obama was there, he promised $7 billion to promote energy. Another $53 million is helping to promote national ID cards, partly for the purpose of voting.
We need to keep our tax dollars at home to help Americans. The money spent on foreign aid would provide many hot meals to our troops and make up the 20 percent pay cut for National Guard families who are serving our country.
I am outraged by this, as all Americans should be.
Rush to quit at Bessemer Farms
Upon reading about how the Bessemer family farm of 117 years has been forced out of the vegetable game (“Bessemer Farms calling it quits,” July 7), I became incensed at how red tape can interfere with people’s lives. As I read on, however, I became more incensed at Don Bessemer, the owner.
Had he done a bit of research, as Beacon Journal reporter Lisa Abraham apparently did, he would have found that his sweet corn crop was exempt from government regulations. Moreover, as a supplier to the local community in the form of direct sales, his radish, squash and turnip crop would also have been unaffected.
So, on what seems to be a mere whim, Bessemer has laid off 30 workers in order to make an anti-government, anti-bureaucracy political statement.
Just as our produce needs to be carefully monitored, to make sure that “mistakes” like accidental mislabeling do not occur, so should his decision have been carefully weighed and thoroughly researched. It seems that he has chosen to play politics with the livelihood of 30 workers.
I am reminded of a Jerry Clower story: An old deacon in a church heard that the younger folks in charge were going to invest in a new chandelier. The deacon, mad at such frivolous spending, got up to speak: “We don’t need a chandelier. First, I don’t know where we’d put it. Second, if we got one, there ain’t a one of us here who’d know how to play it. Third, we don’t need a chandelier half as bad as we need lights in the church.”
Civil War, ‘total war’
Regarding Jim Carney’s poignant and historical article on the Civil War (“Ohioan studies historical veterans’ struggles,” July 1), the attention was given to the soldiers. Not mentioned were all the civilian casualties in that horrendous conflict.
Washington Post columnist George Will’s column (“Where choices mattered,” July 4) conveniently neglected William Tecumseh Sherman’s march to the sea and the burning of Atlanta and other major towns in Georgia at the end of the Civil War.
This is why some historians have referred to the American Civil War as the first modern war that resulted in so many civilian casualties and thus the term “total war.”
Also not mentioned in Carney’s article is the fact that in 1900, 35 years after the war ended, an estimated 1 million veterans of that war were morphine addicts due to injuries sustained in that war.
Historian Brian Matthew Jordan is to be commended for his courageous, steadfast pursuit of the real truth of how truly tragic and awful war is, most especially a civil war that pits brother against brother.
Gettysburg is a place Americans should visit and reflect on, not necessarily celebrate in. Yes, a new birth of freedom came about as President Lincoln so eloquently stated in his most famous and best speech, the Gettysburg Address.
But let us never forget the enormous price in loss of life that this greatest of American wars took and how for decades after millions of Americans continued to suffer.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
The Beacon Journal’s story of the Military Family Appreciation Game at Canal Park was misleading. It was an appreciation night for a very few veterans. There were only 700 tickets available for the vets as well as their immediate families. Considering that immediate family included spouse, children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents, the actual number of vets who attended was very few.
It seems as if this token number of seats, 700 out of the entire ballpark, was used for the purpose of free advertising.
John Smithkey III
Veteran, U.S. Air Force