Once again, in a recent column, George F. Will has exposed his biases as he mocked President Obama for warning that the United States must respond to the threat of global warming (“An agenda ripe for conservatives,” Jan. 27). As he is often wont to do, Will cherry picks from the scientific literature, citing, for example, evidence that hurricanes and tropical storms are at a three-decade low.
This may be true, but what Will conveniently fails to mention is that these storms are far more damaging than those of the past.
The scientific literature is replete with evidence that a greenhouse-gas warmed climate is elevating sea surface temperatures. This in turn results in longer storm lifetimes and greater storm intensities.
The damage from these storms, from the loss of life to the billions of dollars of harm to communities of our Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard states, is not likely to decrease any time soon, unless countermeasures are taken. But if we follow the advice of Will and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and ignore the overwhelming evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is rapidly accelerating global warming, future generations will suffer the consequences.
What we know about climate change comes from more than 3,000 scientists from 100 countries, in what is the largest and most rigorously peer-reviewed scientific collaboration in history.
Will and Renacci expose their ignorance by listening to the ever-shrinking fringe of climatologists and pseudo-scientists who not only deny that the Earth is warming but also that human activities could ever affect climate change.
We can only hope they and other political columnists and policymakers will surround themselves with better informed, scientifically literate advisers who can objectively evaluate the evidences and consequences of a warming climate.
It took what seemed like an eternity for George Will to finally admit, sort of, that intelligent design was a pretty poor “scientific” explanation to account for life on Earth.
For years, Will ignored the overwhelming scientific evidence of the truth of evolutionary theory. It was a big step for him to break from the conservative orthodoxy.
What will it take for him and others who cling to conservative orthodoxy of the absence of climate change to examine the preponderance of scientific evidence and admit that, yes, the Earth is warming, mankind is accelerating the process, the consequences are dire and it is not too late to do something about it?
Care for those with autism
The Autism Society of Ohio applauds Gov. Kasich for including the expansion of Ohio’s Medicaid program in the budget and encourages all Ohio legislators to support it.
Medicaid expansion will help Ohioans and individuals with autism who currently have no health coverage through an employer and who do not qualify under the current Medicaid eligibility criteria.
Medicaid expansion will:
• Provide access to families who currently have no access to medical and behavioral health services and are currently struggling to support their loved one with autism.
• Expand the eligibility criteria to qualify for Medicaid benefits to 1.5 million people in Ohio who currently have no health insurance.
• Generate $23.8 billion in additional federal funds for Ohio’s economy through 2019 to help provide health services.
• Support individuals with autism through access to counseling, social work and psychiatric services.
The Autism Society of Ohio believes expanding Ohio’s Medicaid program is the next step in providing coverage for individuals with autism in Ohio.
Autism Society of Ohio, Greater Akron Office
Uncertainty in Afghanistan
In your Jan. 15 editorial, “Afghan timetable,” you discuss the administration’s desire to end the present war and accelerate the withdrawal.
You mention the potential downside that a hurried withdrawal may facilitate the return of the Taliban and the very extremism we sought once to eradicate.
On the other hand, you point out the American people have tired of the blood and treasure we have expended over the last decade-plus.
You have praise for the president’s so-called surge, when additional troops were inserted to stabilize the situation, stating the “President Obama rightly chose his own version of the ‘surge.’ ”
Unfortunately, this particular surge was announced with an exit date. Not only could the American people read this, so could the Taliban. As a former member of military intelligence, it seems to me counterproductive to announce to your enemy the essence of your plans.
On April 18, your paper carried commentary by Jeffery Goldberg entitled “A departure set, the Taliban waits.” This is even truer now.
I fear your declaration of a “rightly” decided policy may have been premature. We need to see how this all plays out.
I pray you are correct that the administration’s “surge” damaged the Taliban enough that they are a spent force and that they and their radical allies will be unable to dominate significant portions of the country.
In the meantime, declaring that such a potentially flawed “surge” was rightly decided is premature at best.
Robert E. Williams II
Buy a ticket, see the Zips
I am shocked and disappointed by the stupidity and faulty logic in the Feb. 19 letter, “Full house for the Zips.”
If the writer wants a full house at the University of Akron basketball games, he should get off his keister, buy a ticket and join me for the best game in town.
Let’s go, Zips!
Maximum downside to minimum wage
It is difficult for me to believe that the president and the Beacon Journal believe that raising the minimum wage helps anyone.
It may help temporarily, but in the long run, who do they think pays for the increase?
If you know anything about economics, you would know that an increase in costs to produce anything leads to an increase in the price of goods produced.
So, if the minimum wage is increased, then the price of goods and services must go up. Sometimes a price increase is not something that can be done due to competition. Another way to lower the cost of goods sold is to lay off employees.
As you can see, either way an increase hurts the very people it is supposed to help.
There are also some unions whose wages are tied to the minimum wage. That being the case, then the prices and wages are increased for everyone, so the price of goods and services must go up.
There really shouldn’t be a minimum wage. If it is continually increased, then the cost of goods will continue to go up.
The real value in an increase in wages is if it reflects increased worth to an employer.
Giving a raise to everyone who is working at minimum wage does not encourage or promote an increase in productivity.
Also, a minimum wage income was never meant to feed a family. It is for entry level work to gain experience and increase skills, preparing for a better income in the future.
Scrutiny of the Girl Scouts board
First, let me acknowledge the efforts of Ann Weber, interim chief executive of the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio. Her leadership has brought a breath of fresh air and professionalism long missing from the board and administration. Alas, she is temporary.
Delegate training, town hall meetings, a more open governance process, all are old suggestions made new again by the board in a last-ditch effort to staunch the hemorrhaging of members and donor support.
Most important, those fighting the board owe the public their sincere gratitude for supporting them by not buying cookies and making donations directly to the troops, and for listening and placing the board under close scrutiny.
That is making it difficult for “business as usual,” forcing needed change. If you stop, it, too, will stop.
The lawsuit to force the board to honor a majority vote of delegates and abide by the bylaws continues, but it is public oversight and direct- to-troop donations that speak the loudest.
Driving away volunteers and an annual 30 percent membership turnover should be sending a message.
Reliance on a coerced sales “program” for 77 percent of the budget is (or should be) an embarrassing use of children and an even more shameful business model.