Act now to reduce climate change
To the Editor:
Recently 6ABC News’ meteorologist Cecily Tynan reported in her Accufacts segment that the U.S. has the world’s most violent tornadoes, with 800 to 1,000 reported each year. With all the property damage, physical injuries and human deaths that flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms and other severe weather events have caused in recent years, do we really want to see how much worse or deadly these weather events can become because we refuse to take aggressive measures to reduce the emissions of global warming pollutants?
A majority of well-respected scientists have determined that global warming/climate change has caused more powerful and frequent rainstorms, snowstorms and intense drought periods. Droughts overseas have caused famines, refugee crises, and violent clashes, and in the U.S., devastating economic and agricultural losses and horrifying forest fires have resulted. Pennsylvania has seen a 52% rise in extreme downpours over the past 60 years.
Climate change has happened and will worsen because our society continues to extract and burn high levels of fossil fuels which create the global warming pollutants. These fossil fuels poison our air, water and soil, thereby attacking the health of current and future human generations and the plants and animals we depend on for food, medicines and oxygen. Global warming has produced 15 of the hottest years on record since the year 2000 and this has meant more days with unsafe levels of smog, causing asthma attacks, hospitalizations and early deaths for those with respiratory illnesses. Increasingly warmer winters will expose us to new insect-borne diseases such as Zika and dengue fever and put new pests on our crops and in our forests.
The best path forward to a safer and healthier future, which bipartisan polling shows that Democrats, Republicans and independents strongly support, includes slashing carbon emissions from existing and new power plants as a part of a state-specific plan that builds a strong clean energy economy. Community members must ensure that our local and state governments and scientific institutions together create a Clean Power Plan that shifts subsidies and research funds from fossil fuels, nuclear power and any energy sources that release greenhouse gases, toxins, and/or radioactive pollutants into the environment to clean, renewable energy sources, ways to increase energy efficiency, and ways to use less energy.
Within the next 20 years we can and must eliminate all dirty energy producers, provide their workers a just transition to other well-paying jobs, and ensure that the expanding renewable energy economy provides living wage jobs and benefits. We have the power to create and maintain mandatory, enforceable reduction goals on carbon emissions, methane and other global warming pollutants.
Pennsylvania residents, please contact and stay engaged with your state senators, state representatives and Governor Wolf so they know that you will not tolerate them supporting Senate Bills 279, 562, 805, 1195 or any similar legislation which is designed to undermine critical environmental, clean energy, and public health protections and improvements.
A Retired Agent Weighs In
on Hillary Clinton and the FBI
To the Editor:
When FBI Director James B. Comey called a press conference and announced that the FBI wouldn’t be recommending criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for alleged mishandling of classified material on her private email server, I was dumbfounded, but not for the reasons you might think. I spent 31 years as an FBI special agent, mostly investigating and aiding in the prosecution of criminal cases. I am also versed in the history of the FBI and was not aware of any case where an FBI executive ever made such a public recommendation.
Once a federal criminal case is opened, there are only two ways it can be closed: declination (refusal to prosecute) or prosecution in federal court. In either case, the nearest U.S. Attorney’s (USA) office usually makes the call. The vast majority of cases are closed only after declination. The case agent may have determined that the case is going nowhere, or feels that he has exhausted all leads. In either case, he needs the USA’s imprimatur to either take the case before a grand jury, or close it and move on to something else.
I believe a case could have been made that Clinton was grossly negligent in the unauthorized use of her personal e-mail server. On the other hand, I have had several cases involving corporate executives where a prosecution would have been possible under loose interpretation of an applicable statute, but the subject did not benefit by the lapse in judgment and was otherwise an upstanding citizen. The investigation had already disrupted his family’s life and business; a prosecution would have ruined them. Much would be lost and little gained by the prosecution of such individuals, who otherwise had led exemplary lives. In these few cases, the USA acceded to my recommendations and closed the cases through declinations.
What occurred here was not much different from the way I had handled such cases in the past, except that it was played out at the highest levels of government on a national and international stage, culminating on national TV. It could even be argued that a prosecution here would even have changed the course of history. So here, on July 5th, was Director James Comey, publicly laying out why Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted. His recommendation would have been presented to Attorney General Loretta Lynch after the press conference. He decided, as I had done in past years, that prosecution would do far more harm than any possible good.
Director Comey has been one of the most impressive FBI directors I have known. His integrity and moral compass seem unimpeachable. Agree with him or not, only such a man would have had the courage and credibility to do what he did. The Director handled this situation was in accordance with the highest FBI investigative standards and procedures. That he did it in a public forum was appropriate to this unprecedented situation.
Reduce gun violence
To the Editor:
Two weeks ago Chris Reynolds wrote a very poignant editorial calling for sensible gun control legislation for our country. As many of us realize, it’s not enough to bemoan a situation. The only way change can happen is for concerned citizens to take action. An opportunity for very effective action is right here in Delaware County.
I invite everyone who would like to do something to decrease gun violence to join the organization, Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy. We are 1,000 members strong and growing. We have been very effective in getting politicians at both the state and national level to listen to and work with us to bring about legislation to reduce gun violence.
Joining our organization and getting involved is easy. E-mail our co-president Terry Rumsey at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be put on our mailing list. You and your children will be glad that you did.
Swarthmore Board Member Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy
I’m Afraid 2
To the Editor:
I’m also afraid, but my fear is that Hillary Clinton will be elected President.
Hillary Clinton showed a stunning lack of judgment with her use of her private e-mail server. Will her judgment become better if she becomes President? T
he DNC also showed a stunning lack of judgment by deciding in advance to back Hillary Clinton and not give Bernie Sanders an equal shot during the primary season. Hillary Clinton managed to accomplish almost nothing while Secretary of State and Senator. Can we count on her to do as much while President?
For most of 2004, I was part of ACT (America Coming Together), which was an organization based on preying on voters’ fear of George W. Bush. This fear campaign did not result in the election of a President Kerry.
Since neither Donald nor Hillary have shown any indications that they would make even an adequate President, my vote must be for either Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate (johnsonweld.com) or Green Party candidate Jill Stein (jill2016.com). Gary Johnson has had a Town Hall on CNN and Jill Stein has been interviewed on Democracy Now. Both will be on the ballot in Pennsylvania, along with other alternative party candidates.
To the Editor:
In last week’s issue, a letter to the editor from Vivian Corbin confessed how very afraid she is of the “lynch mob mentality” of Trump’s supporters. I would like to mention that there is an additional huge problem all over the country, namely the fact that so many people dislike or even hate Hillary.
The main reason for this is the decades old defamation by the “Right” labelling Hillary as untrustworthy — now accepted as true by too many — even though most of her life she has worked for children, families and women as well as for a better healthcare system before she became a senator with high approval ratings and a sustained, productive Secretary of State.
I am encouraging everybody to go to the online Huffington Post and read the letter “Dear Hillary: How very dare you!” by Michael Hulshof-Schmidt, a faculty member of Portland State University. He describes in detail systemic misogyny and the double standard awarded to this powerful woman, who once said “the service part has always come easier than the public part.”
Also, considering that President G.W. Bush got away with denying climate change, causing dire consequences, and leading an unjustified war with huge losses and frightful results, makes me think that Hillary’s problems, Benghazi and the separate e-mail server, were blown out of proportion.
I have felt “the burn,” but now I am gladly supporting Hillary to become our next president.