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Monday, September 23, 2013
Not always right, but better than mob rule
Re: Adam McMahon’s letter of Sept. 16, “Vote with the people, not president, on Syria”:
I am appalled that he suggests serious matters should be decided by lay people who too often express themselves like authorities even though they aren’t exposed to all the facts and vital information that isn’t necessarily made public.
I am grateful that we have a representative-type government, and I value the decisions made, right or wrong.
I am satisfied that votes cast are a result of what elected leaders have deducted, rather than of fear about the possible outcome of future ballots.
Lang will improve county’s quality of life
I’ve known Brian Lang for more than 15 years. I’m a Roanoke County resident and, if I lived in Hollins, I’d vote for him for board of supervisors.
Lang’s exciting proposals — to create a greenway trail on Read Mountain’s west side, and dog parks within current county parks — have great merit. Utilizing volunteer labor and donations as much as possible to minimize the county’s costs should appeal to all voters.
These are the types of practical, common-sense enhancements to quality of life that local government should pursue. Many people near me in Southwest County would love a Garst Mill dog park, as Lang suggested.
More than 10 years ago, Lang proposed a visionary new trail at Carvins Cove. Some were skeptical because it traversed challenging terrain, requiring a bridge over a ravine. The proposal caught on.
The Greenways Commission supported it. A civil engineer donated her bridge design, a contractor donated his construction expertise, and many volunteers donated countless hours of labor. Now known as the Four Gorges Trail, it is extremely popular, perhaps the most used in Carvins Cove’s entire trail system.
Attracting more employers to Roanoke County will be easier with leaders such as Lang creating quality-of-life enhancements.
Drop the threats, and help the refugees
Cooperation of the U.S. and Russia with the world community through the United Nations to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria is very encouraging.
We need to pursue negotiation with as much commitment as we show the military. We need to drop our threat to bomb Syria if negotiation doesn’t work. Let the U.N. decide what action is appropriate.
We will be more influential if we set a peaceful example by destroying our own chemical weapons, such as the mustard gas shells that have been stored at Pueblo, Colo.
Our best security comes not from guns and bombs but from helping people.
To help in a major way the 2 million Syrian refugees, of which about half are children, would help build friendship, respect and positive relationships beyond those we help.
Last year, the U.S. spent $653 billion on our overkill military budget. That is more than $1.2 million every minute.
What would even a few hours of that budget do if spent to help the world’s desperately needy people? It would help make us more secure because it would create more friends rather than more enemies.
OWEN G. STULTZ
Fossilized industries fund climate deniers
Thank you for publishing Sarah Frost’s commentary (“Climate deniers deny American ingenuity,” Sept. 16). It’s a nice spin on the problem, but actually deniers are denying the seriousness of climate change because they fear American ingenuity.
There is an adage in economics: Government policy doesn’t choose losers. Losers choose government policy.
Losers tend to be large, wealthy corporations that used to be at the forefront of economic growth but now are declining due to changing circumstances. Fossil-fuel industries are in decline as production costs skyrocket and American ingenuity finds cheaper and faster ways to set up renewable energy projects.
Therefore, fossil-fuel industries fund climate change denial campaigns via ALEC, the Heartland Institute and the American Energy Alliance. They are sitting on old-time, established wealth, and are using it to prevent changes that will be the final nail in the coffin of their unsustainable business models.
Meanwhile, the best solution to climate change is a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Losers will fight a carbon tax. Those who believe in capitalism, the free market and American ingenuity will support it.
No fancy spin necessary.
Member of Citizens Climate Lobby
Weather JournalNew batch of moisture for PM