Letters to the editor

Jun. 21, 2013 @ 12:44 PM

Act on global warming
Reading Brian Buzby’s letter, “Curb carbon pollution” on Father’s Day got me thinking. I’m living in the age roughly between being a child and a parent, in an uncomfortable phase where I’m realizing that it’s up to my generation to make the changes we wish to see in the world. My parents can’t fix the climate crisis for me, and future generations and mine will have to deal with what’s going on now.
So why don’t we do something about it? I know people aren’t thinking about carbon pollution all the time, and believe me, that’s not what keeps me up at night in college. But it is something we should be concerned about and it’s something that we have the power to fix.
It’s great that my generation is coming up with new ideas and technologies, but we also need to urge people to support existing solutions.
Carbon pollution is the largest contributor to global warming, and power plants, like the many coal-fired ones North Carolina is known for, are the largest contributors to this pollution. I for one don’t want to deal with the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events or asthma and respiratory diseases that result from it.
President Obama needs to set carbon pollution standards to limit dangerous emissions from power plants. The government needs to show young people that changes can be made; they need to approve these standards to protect our health, environment, and future.
Leah Catotti
Durham

No human being is ‘illegal’
I would like to respond to James Hardy’s June 16 letter (“Enforce immigration laws”), because I believe the points in this letter resonate with many people who are confused about the impetus for mass migration from Latin America to the United States. 
Several years ago, I would have also supported some of his statements.  However, there are some serious flaws in his framing of undocumented immigrants as criminals, and as culprits for the state of the economy. 
Violation of immigration and criminal justice law are two separate entities.  Yet, our detention centers for undocumented people pose an enormous taxpayer expense that ultimately profits private contractors, and a human cost that treats those simply living clandestinely in the U.S. on par with violent criminals.  It is hardly a “reward” when an undocumented individual who was born in this country cannot obtain the same benefits, such as a college education, for the same hard work and civic responsibility as his or her neighbor, or when families are separated in deportation processes, or when a state sanctions racial profiling. 
Furthermore, the drain on our economic resources is not within the employment sector as much as in the tax dollars funneled toward border militarization and “secure communities” programs.  The ultimate burden is not undocumented people:  It is the free trade policies which make life economically unsustainable in Latin America, and often force migration for survival.  Current policies are the real problem, not people—and no human being is “illegal.”
Laura Eshelman
Asheville

Misunderstanding NAACP
In reference to the letter (June 20) stating that the NAACP does not "stand up for citizens," the writer misunderstands the purpose of the NAACP while simultaneously confirming its need to exist. 
Because of continuing bigotry in this country in spite of many good citizens, the NAACP must remain vocal but cannot afford to try to resolve an olio of causes. The NAACP fights against bigotry toward all races, and its membership encompasses a number of races and colors.
The writer's problem could best be addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency or perhaps a Hillsborough elected official. Joining the NAACP would do nothing to solve her problem.
Flora S. Whitaker
Durham