‘Business as usual’ will be the end of us
To the Editor:
July 28, 2022 may well be the most important date and anniversary of the year, although likely very few people will even be aware of it.
July 28 will be Earth Overshoot Day this year, the day of the year on which humanity will have consumed all the natural resources and dumped as much pollution as planet Earth can manage to regenerate in one year. The Global Footprint Network in partnership with World Wildlife Fund and others are trying to raise awareness that we will be 100 percent over-consuming and crippling our life support systems from July 28 until the end of the year, every time we consume any sort of resources or energy.
Of course, Americans have a much larger environmental footprint than most humans, and if everyone on Earth lived like the average American, Earth Overshoot Day would have been March 13.
2022 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the book, “Limits to Growth,” the first scientific computer simulation run to try to understand what would happen if the exponential growth of population, resource consumption, industrial production and pollution globally continued past 1972 like it had from 1900 to 1972. They ran many different scenarios including assuming the invention of limitless clean energy, or with double the natural resources yet discovered in 1972. Every one of the simulations still ended in economic and social collapse, except those that included lower population levels and far less consumption. The “business as usual” simulation collapses around the year 2040.
There have been three reviews of the original simulations since 1972 using updated data, including one this spring. All of the reviews found the original simulation to have been shockingly accurate, except that the original study didn’t figure in the impacts of global warming, COVID or wars like Ukraine. Those factors likely put the world ahead of schedule for a catastrophic collapse of economic activity, including food production. Population levels, standards of living and life expectancy will likely fall dramatically.
The authors of “Limits to Growth” wrote their book 50 years ago believing that if they could only show people exactly why it was impossible for humans to keep consuming and polluting and over-populating a finite planet ... that humanity would take many of the rational steps to avoid collapse that their simulations showed would help. They never imagined our civilization would follow the “business as usual” scenario so recklessly.
So, on July 28 I am hoping people will stop for a moment and think about why we are all running toward the edge of the cliff together, why we are still saying we just need more economic growth.
Robert Franz, Whittier
Freedom of choice not a political issue
To the Editor:
The current success of the anti-abortion movement has hinged on over-simplifying the issue. But it is quite the opposite.
A woman does not set out with the intention of having an abortion. It is the result of an unplanned pregnancy or medical necessity and is a deeply personal decision made under duress. Every person’s situation is different, and the choice is based on a complicated mix of circumstances that is different for everybody. Many factors play into the decision. Things such as relationship/support (can I count on anyone to help me?), economics (do I have an education; do I have a job?), financial status (do I have a safe place to live/health insurance/a car?), existing responsibilities (can I afford to feed myself, a baby, and/or my other kids?), and circumstances of child abuse, rape, health of the mother or genetic abnormality can influence the decision.
The simple fact is that we don’t make decisions for others in this country. And we value personal freedom. The choice of bearing a child is a personal matter that has no business being decided by anyone other than those directly involved, much less legislated by the government. In short, it is a private decision, and no one else’s opinion should be considered.
Abortion is a private matter, and a medical, not political, one. Think about it. Your healthcare issues and medical status are protected under a law called HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA requires safeguards to protect the privacy of your protected health information. It limits who can know your medical business without your consent and authorization. HIPAA laws require that your health information is confidential, so what happens in the doctor’s office, stays in the doctor’s office. The matters of reproductive health, both women’s and men’s, are no one else’s business. They are protected under HIPAA privacy laws. Don’t we value this protection to ensure our privacy when we want it? Yes! Don’t we want the freedom to make our own decisions!? Yes! This is the same thing!
Again, no one sets out with the intention of having an abortion, but makes the choice based on their own set of circumstances. If you value freedom, then you must value freedom of choice. Please strive to understand the circumstances that only a woman can know when she makes the choice, and don’t presume to know better than anyone else. Please step out of the effort to legislate reproductive freedom of choice. It is simply not a political issue.
Julie Van Leuven, Webster
Jan. 6 Committee hardly ‘reality TV’
To the Editor:
Recently the Herald published a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Thank you.
I am particularly struck by the phrase in it referring to our unalienable Rights ... Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and that to secure these rights, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The governed in this nation gave consent to President Joe Biden in 2020 by more than 7 million votes and an Electoral College victory of 306 to 232. Mr. Trump refused to accept the consent of the governed.
Months before the 2020 election Trump announced if he lost the election, it would be stolen from him. No surprise, he claimed post-election and still does today that the election was stolen. As was his right he took every allegation from the various states where he and others questioned the legitimacy of the election to court, 62 of them and he lost 61 cases. There was no evidence of significant election fraud and no evidence the election was stolen.
Groups from seven states, in violation of their state laws, sent bogus alternate electors to the National Archives purporting to be Electoral College electors at Mr. Trump’s request when in fact these states had voted for Joe Biden and had elected their legitimate electors. This was a secret Trump organized effort to deny the consent of the governed and appears to be under investigation by the Justice Department.
Mr. Trump’s own attorney general told him there was no fraud after using Justice Department resources to thoroughly investigate the claims. The bipartisan Jan. 6 Committee showed a clip of the AG saying of Trump, “Boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with ... he’s become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.”
Mr. Trump tried to use the DOJ to send a letter questioning the legitimacy of the election to some states. When they refused, he went shopping for a new AG who would do his bidding. It would have worked but the DOJ threatened to resign in mass if he appointed environmental attorney Jeffrey Clark.
Mr. Trump refused to listen to his own attorneys and pushed an illegal scheme to have VP Pence declare Trump the winner or at least return it to Republican states. Mr. Pence refused.
When everything else failed Mr. Trump invited protesters, some of whom he knew were armed, to accompany him down to the Capitol Building on Jan. 6. All the world saw the “protest” on TV beginning at 1 p.m. till 4:17 p.m. when Trump tweeted to his supporters to go home. This is after President-Elect Biden called for Trump to go on national TV and fulfill his oath of office to defend the Constitution and when military was on the way to restore order.
The Jan. 6 Committee is hardly a reality TV show. It is committed to preserving democracy. Trump Republican officials are telling the story to the nation.
Rev. John Reid, Sylva
Death of the innocent never morally legitimat
To the Editor:
Imagine you are walking down the street and see a homeless man. Someone is standing next to him holding a gun to his head, execution style. That person is wearing a shirt that says, “End Homelessness.”
“Stop!” you cry out. “Don’t do it!”
“Don’t you want to end homelessness?” the gunman asks.
“Yes, of course,” you say.
“Well, can you provide housing for this man?”
“No,” you reply, apologetically.
“Are you able to provide health insurance and pay his medical expenses?” Again, you answer no.
“What about sending him to school to receive job training?”
You say no again.
“Well, if you aren’t able to provide for this person’s needs,” the gunman declares, “then you have no right to tell me I can’t kill him.”
That’s a barbaric way to deal with the problem of homelessness, I hope we would all agree. Now imagine that homeless man as a 5-year-old child. The helplessness of the child only makes the situation more horrific. Now imagine that 5-year-old as a little baby.
When people argue that women should have the right to kill children in the womb because some of those children will be born into difficult situations, this is essentially the argument they make. There are many societal ills in our country that need addressing. But regardless of whether it occurs in the street or in the womb, the death of the innocent is never a morally legitimate way to deal with our problems. We must work for more loving and compassionate solutions.
Rev. Matthew Newsome, Sylva
Trump an echo of Nero
To the Editor:
Nero fiddled while Rome burned. It was told that he had sent men out to start the fire. Close to 2,000 years later, Trump sat and watched TV while members of Congress, police officers and his then-own vice-president’s lives were in danger by a mob that he orchestrated. Also, major damage was done to the Capitol Building.
Nero killed his own mother, after which he built a massive castle for himself, taking whatever from whomever he could. Finally, after all the damage Nero caused, the Roman Senate decided to arrest him.
Trump sat watching gleefully the destruction that his mob was causing for hours before calling them off. Only the leader of the pack could have done this. They were acting for him.
The point being both of these men caused enough damage before they were stopped, Trump by losing the election. Trump should be charged and arrested for the Jan. 6 attack. He should never be allowed to run for any elected office.
Besides the attack on the Capitol, Trump ripped off the American people. Just one example is the amount that was paid to the Secret Service for his protection and cart and room rentals during all his trips to Mar-a-Lago and his other golf courses. Also, Trump continued Secret Service protection for six months after he left office for his adult children and three others.
The people of the United States provide a residence for a sitting president and his immediate family, all expenses paid. This is where the president should be, except for official business or an occasional vacation, not living in another place multiple times. And in the case of Trump, feathering his own nest by doing so.
Louise Williams, Sylva