Rescuing planet earth under siege
Did you know that our one and only home, the Blue Planet, has been steadily heating up for 10 decades? The three hottest years on record have been 2014-2016. Scientists who study such things agree (97 percent) that we are outside the norms of past geological planetary heat cycles, and we humans are largely responsible. Storm severity and its toll on life and property have been ratcheting up. The familiar weather and climate patterns that we used to count on are being replaced by worrisome and costly uncertainty. Sea levels are rising; glaciers receding; and polar ice packs are thinning and shrinking. Ocean temperatures and acidity are being blown out of the park. The same for our northern lakes that freeze later, thaw earlier and reach ever higher summer temperatures. This impacts all waterborne life.
Did you know that the vast ocean currents, the watery conveyor belts that influence regional climate patterns, are under threat of disruption with the continued warming of the globe? If these trends continue there will be catastrophic effects on the agriculture, and habitability of many regions of the earth. Scientists warn about reaching tipping points, where beyond which, the earth’s capacity to recover to formerly “comfortable” conditions will be impossible for hundreds or thousands of years. Civilization will be forced into painful upheaval.
Did you know that regardless of overwhelming evidence, our president and many of our GOP leaders stubbornly refuse to face the facts? Will they listen if it bears on our national security, as the Pentagon says it does? Our leaders need to stop their endless trivial pursuits and immediately declare a world-wide state of emergency to prepare for and slow down the ever-growing damage to nature and humanity. Why scare us about everything else but not climate change?
This isn’t about politics or religion; I care about my children, my family, my friends and neighbors, the community that sustains us, and the United States where I was lucky to be born and raised. It’s my moral duty to leave this place in a better condition than I found it. Do our elected leaders not think that way? If they are unable to understand and morally act upon the powerful evidence, then we must demand that they consult with experts to begin a path to halt the corrosive changes that worsen every year. To feign ignorance and do otherwise is reckless negligence. Call your elected officials and tell them that business as usual does not cut it; we need action. Time for debate was over 30 years ago.
Today, we must drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption, and convert to green energy and sustainable living. Every week, every month we move closer to tipping points.
Bill Mattson, Town of Newbold
Participate in town government
This is in response to the letter from Mr. Dick Lane published in the Star Journal Jan. 15, 2017.
I am in complete agreement with Mr. Lane concerning public participation in our local town government. My wife and I used to go pretty regularly to the town meetings and on more than one occasion we were the only members of the public there. We stopped going early last year when the ﬁreworks began.
I have no problem with people voicing their opinion at a town meeting. Everyone should have a place at the table. I do NOT believe that gives anyone, board members or citizens attending, the right to yell and shout in anger. It is juvenile and counterproductive. According to the board members I spoke with, for several subsequent town meetings the board felt threatened and requested the Oneida County Sheriff’s presence to keep the peace and ensure safety. If the police have to walk in the door to keep the peace at town meetings it is a safe bet that the concept of good citizenship has walked out. I don’t know who was doing the threatening and shouting. I presume Mr. Lane wasn’t one of them.
I encourage everyone to spend the two hours once a month it would take to participate. All I would ask is for everyone to keep a civil tongue in their head. We all beneﬁt from rational, respectful discussion.
As for the things Mr. Lane has heard going on at the town shop and ﬁre department, I can only speak from my own experience. I helped plow town roads a few winters ago. No one wasted time. Too many miles. The shop supervisor even spent his own time plowing to get the job done. I was also a member of the ﬁre department. They are VOLUNTEERS. One of the volunteers is the other full time employee of the town shop. The part time town shop employee is the Fire Chief. I have not seen any wrong doing, any waste, at the shop or ﬁre department. I would ask if Mr. Lane knows, for a fact, of any incidents of wrongdoing and can prove it. If so, perhaps he should make them public. Anything less is just baseless innuendo.
So I say again, by all means participate, vote, and as Mr. Lane says, be informed.
Michael Kuczek, Harshaw
Give it back or give it one more shot
It sure sounds like the Northwood Golf Course has had more bad years than good. Too bad. It is also too bad that they went along. I am sure that if you give something back to a company that is worth $2 million or more they will find a way to make money from it or dump it fast.
As far as one more shot goes, as long as it is not run by the city, there may be a way out. From the time that this course was built it has been rated as one of the top courses in the state. Why not let the country know this with a national tournament? With the right corporate sponsors and national TV, we could create enough money to get the city off the hook and keep the golf course running the way it should have been from the start. The Coca Cola Classic sounds like a good one to me.
Paul Peltier, Rhinelander