The weather is our nation’s favorite topic for small talk, and there’s been plenty to discuss in this year of record-setting temperatures, wildfires, drought and storms.
Yet when it comes to talking about the larger, long-term implications of the weather — that is, climate change — our leaders shy away from the issue. The economy is the top issue on many Americans’ minds this fall, and rightly so. But we understand that when a majority of the nation’s counties, among them 86 counties in Ohio, are declared drought disaster areas and farmers lose crops, there’s a direct tie between disruptive weather, jobs and even our food supply.
A recent poll by the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication found that 61 percent of undecided voters said they see global warming as an “important issue” they’ll consider when making their choice in this fall’s presidential election. An even higher share of the undecided electorate — 64 percent — said the president should take action to address climate change.
Yet during the first presidential debate on domestic policy on Oct. 3, neither moderator Jim Lehrer nor candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney mentioned the topic. Pundits and politicians may shy away from talking about climate, but as people of faith, we cannot be silent. The member congregations of Ohio Interfaith Power & Light recognize that God calls us to be good stewards of creation and to care for our neighbors. Climate change is a moral issue. We can’t ignore the growing reality of weather havoc, and we owe it to our kids to act now for their future.
Houses of worship generate big utility bills, and congregations would rather put resources into mission work and programs to serve our communities. That’s why Ohio Interfaith Power & Light is working with congregations to reduce energy use. We are providing worship facilities technical consultation, access to the Energy Stewards on-line energy tracking tool and several levels of energy audits, all to help reduce energy use and redirect resources to mission.
We also feel called to support measures that will mean cleaner air for the coming generations. For example, we are asking lawmakers to uphold protections to the Clean Air Act, which Congress sought to dismantle just before its current recess.
Rather than arguing false choices between good jobs and cleaner energy, we should celebrate that Americans have the ingenuity to successfully address the challenges of our changing climate. We invite all Ohio faith communities to join us in this vital work.
Director, Ohio Interfaith Power & Light
This is directed to the 63-year- old divorced grandmother who gets “both sides of the story” from Fox News (“Illness helping to shape views on health care,” Oct. 7).
No, she doesn’t. She gets one distorted version, which is obvious from her view that a hospital administrator rather than a doctor will decide if she will get care or not.
She has a cancer history, which means she has a pre-existing condition. Mitt Romney has said he will cover her, but only if she now has insurance. Even at the debate, he didn’t tell the truth, leading one to believe his plan would be the same as Obama’s. Not so.
I hope this woman will educate herself a little more. Fox is as deceitful as Romney was at the debate. Her life care may depend on it.
What got us into this mess?
The Obama campaign and it’s surrogates (Eva Longoria, Sandra Fluke, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton and others) have all suggested that policies advocated by the Romney-Ryan campaign would return us to the failed policies of the past, reinstituting the policies that got us into this mess.
Apparently, Romney and Ryan aren’t going back far enough. They should take us back to the 1990s, when Bill Clinton threatened banks that wouldn’t ease their borrowing criteria to start lending to people who couldn’t afford homes.
Or the 1970s, when Jimmy Carter implemented the Community Reinvestment Act.
Or go back to the 1960s, when the Ponzi schemes that are Medicare and Medicaid were first signed into law by Lyndon Johnson.
Or go back to the 1930s, when the other great Ponzi scheme of socialism, Social Security, was signed into law by FDR.
Or go back to the 1910s, when Progressives passed the 16th Amendment to institute the income tax, handing the federal government the most powerful weapon the world has ever known for social engineering and political control.
There are plenty of historic reference points worth debating that have contributed directly and indirectly to produce “the mess we’re in.”
Both parties are staying pretty close to home, however, in the manner they wish to address the mess going forward.
What’s left wanting in each proposal is anything truly bold, substantive and transformative, and that’s why this election is largely about six of one, a half-dozen of the other.
Romney’s out of touch with average voters
During the Oct. 3 presidential debate, Mitt Romney made a comment that clearly illustrated he is not suitable to be the president for about 90 percent of the population.
He said, “If I don’t like them (a private insurer), I can drop them and find a different insurance company.”
Having heard similar statements before, I pondered what he might have meant.
But then I figured it out. Romney has a whole lot more money than I do. He can pick and choose a whole lot more than I can.
Some might retort that he has worked harder than I have, is smarter than I am and has earned more than I have, so he gets to have more choices. In some ways, I suppose that is OK, so far. Yet this was a major presidential debate about significant issues. Romney is making reference to himself as an example.
I don’t think someone worth hundreds of millions is the example that represents me or the people I know.
Romney seems to have difficulty being aware of the common person. Is this who we really want to be our democratically elected president?
Cutting remarks in Woodridge district
When I look at the list of cuts should the Woodridge school levy fail, it sickens me. We moved to the district specifically for the schools. We voted for Woodridge levies before our kids were even in the schools.
To hear that people in the community won’t vote for the levy because their kids are now out of the district is incredibly sad.
I’ve given your kids a chance to get a great education, and I’m asking for the same favor in return.
These kids are our future, the community’s future. I am hopeful that after the levy passes in November, we can all find a way to come together and become the community we need to be.
Vote for Medina disabilities levy
On Nov. 6, the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities will be asking citizens to support a 1.9-mill replacement levy.
This is a replacement levy; it is not a new tax. It is the same millage that was originally passed 17 years ago.
The board had a 135 percent increase in the number of people it serves over the same time frame. It currently serves about 1,100 people.
Because of the increase in diagnoses such as autism, the need for the board’s valuable services has increased. To help keep costs down, the board has managed salaries to maintain the same levels as 2008, through pay freezes, position elimination and reorganization.
The developmental disabilities board has been able to maintain services despite a $1.12 million loss in state funding this year, but the time has come to ask for support. It is the only chance this year to secure funding without a negative impact on people with disabilities.
Should this levy fail, there will be devastating cuts. Every area of service will be affected — early intervention, job training and placement, transportation, residential support and education, among others.
The replacement levy will cost $2.50 per month on $100,000 home value. If you want more information, contact the board at 330-725-7751.
Chairman, Friends of the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities
In deciding whom to vote for, ask yourself these questions:
Which candidate shares my values? If you uphold the sanctity of life, if you uphold the biblical definition of marriage and if you fully support Israel as “the apple of God’s eye,” then it does not take a rocket scientist to determine your vote.
I will vote for the one who shares my values.
Marjean Van Hyning