The Forward on Climate Rally was the largest event of its kind, with some 35,000 gathered in the nation’s capital on President’s Day weekend. President Obama challenged not just Congress, but the nation to act on what good science has made clear, saying, “for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”

But naysayers point fingers at trends beyond our control. Data show that our planet has endured this before, long before greenhouse gases belched from chimneys and tailpipes. Hindsight will be the judge. But if complicity is the culprit, the timing will be bad. Not for us, but for our grandkids.

I believe “forward” is a good direction, greenhouse gases or not.

Words like “fracking,” “clean coal,” and “tar sands” headline reports about jobs, energy and lobbying. They all suggest the same thing. The low-hanging fruit is gone.

Our “relatively free” source of energy for the past 150 years is diminishing as worldwide consumption is accelerating, especially in developing countries. We are burning through our caches of natural gas, coal and petroleum very rapidly, and there is only so much to be had.

All of it comes from sunlight millions of years ago. Our planet became a huge vault of stored energy, and our nation enjoyed exponential growth and development once we found ways to extract the ancient sunlight.

“Save your money,” my Dad told me in the 1950s. It did not make sense to burn through money I would need down the road. Where is that wisdom when it comes to energy for future generations?

Why are we burning through oil, gas and coal as if they were unlimited resources? Because they have been cheap, they have duped us into thinking that progress and growth come without cost.

In the early 1940s, this nation completely redirected its research and manufacturing capacities toward a war effort with unparalleled resolve and precision. The results proved victorious and historic.

Where is that resolve now? The threat is just as real and the consequences arguably worse.

Those at the rally are trying to address a collective unconsciousness, or at least unwillingness, to make tough but vital decisions about conservation and efficiency, for starters.

So here it is, perhaps the biggest elephant that has ever been in the room, and most of us prefer to squeeze around the beast, hoping to find an exit on the other side. The exit is a cliff, and unless we are applying the brakes, we can presume our collective foot is on the accelerator. Thelma and Louise have nothing on us.

Bob Kloos

Cleveland Heights

Follow the law, ?live the dream

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas testified on Capitol Hill that “it’s time to rewrite immigration laws” so that undocumented immigrants such as himself “can live the American dream.”

He told lawmakers that he never knew he was here illegally until he applied for a driver’s permit. He came here in 1993. Keep in mind that this person is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

It is time for people such as Vargas to stop blasting our laws and just do the simple things outlined in the U.S. Citizenship Application form.

If he would have done them when he arrived in 1993, he would already be an American citizen living the American dream.

Donald Gergely


Enough about ?Debe Terhar

Michael Douglas, the editor of these pages, seems not to have paid much attention to the newspaper’s series on civility. While I believe true journalism died a long time ago, Douglas has found a new low road (“Enough about Hitler,” Feb. 15).

Debe Terhar is guilty of connecting to Adolf Hitler the words: “to conquer a nation first, disarm its citizens” — on Facebook, no less.

Terhar might be guilty of something we’re all guilty of in this age of ubiquitous information and pervasive punditry.

How many of us have “researched” something on Wikipedia or in a blog, only to find out the information was wholly or partly inaccurate?

Perhaps Terhar knew this, and was providing only a catchy phrase that actually does capture Hitler’s true sentiments about his opposition and guns.

The book Hitler’s Table Talk, 1941-1944: Secret Conversations cites Hitler as having said the following sometime in 1942: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms.

History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police.”

That would really weigh down a Facebook page. No, what I think Terhar is really guilty of is being a Republican, a fact that makes her a delicious target for Douglas.

We baby boomers who were exposed to a lot of good history (before the great revisions of recent years) understand that Hitler did not invent gun control in Germany. He inherited it from the previous regime.

I’d love to engage Douglas in a debate on the history of the era, but it would likely be a waste of time for us both. Douglas, and modern journalists like him, is more often part of the problem rather than the solution.

So let’s all cut Terhar a little slack because none of us, especially Douglas, know what she was really thinking. Given the position she’s been put into, we probably never will.

Perhaps Douglas might show his civil side and offer Terhar the opportunity to respond. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Al Sparber


Awesome illustration

I recently viewed the historical timeline exhibit at Valley Savings Bank, honoring its 90 years in business. Kudos to Rich Loney, owner of Bark at the Moon Graphics Studio, for his research and design. He gave an awesome look at the progress throughout Cuyahoga Falls’ 201-year history. This exhibit is a must-see, not only for newcomers, but current residents as well.

Liz Colwell

Cuyahoga Falls