Opinion

Letters: We must change our economy for a livable planet

For a livable planet

As the annual U.N. Climate Talks in Poland continue this week, climate news only gets worse. It is becoming clear that we are living in the shadows of a dying planet, and Mother Earth is in a death spiral. Failure to recognize this threatens the survival of the human species and possibly life on this planet.

U.N. reports say there may be as little as 12 years to act on climate change or face catastrophic ecological consequences. Deserts are expanding, species extinction is accelerating, droughts are worsening, and every square mile of the open seas are polluted. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions is increasing, this year over 37 billion tons lead by the U.S. and China, hitting record highs this year.

Meanwhile the Trump Administration rolls back environmental regulations, dumps the Clean Air and Clean Power Acts, and withdraws from the Paris Climate Accords, weak as they are.

There is good news. 

This past Monday hundreds of young people demonstrated and got arrested in front of Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer’s offices, demanding a Green Deal that could change the course of the economy. And here in North Carolina and Durham, NC WARN is mobilizing support for Clean Path 2025, an action plan to replace fossil fuels with sustainable energy, saving energy and creating thousands of jobs across the state.

As important as these efforts are, it will take radical and massive changes in the economy to keep a livable planet for future generations. Time is running out.

Timothy McGloin

Durham

Costly memorials 

The December 2018 issue of Smithsonian magazine included an article entitled “The Costs of the Confederacy.” Throughout the South, states are spending about $40 million a year to maintain Confederate statues, parks and museums. 

A.H. Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy, in a speech in Savannah in 1861, stated clearly that the foundation of the Confederacy “rests upon the great truth, that the Negro is not equal to the white man.” It was then, and is now, an abhorrent political ideology completely inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution. 

In this context the leaders of the UNC are proposing to spend $5.3 million to build another shrine, plus spend $800,000 annually for security, to this same bankrupt political ideology. Astounding. Once again North Carolina leadership careens off in a direction not supported by the majority of N.C. citizens. 

David Miller

Durham

Enough ‘liberalspeak’

So I learned of a new PC term from your column this week; “Latinx.” I propose we go “full commando” on this one, let’s entirely ban the Spanish language altogether. After all, it is rife with misogynistic words and is the original language spoken by the evil conquistadors from Europe. Seriously, I just can’t keep up with all this “liberalspeak.”

Michael Whittingham

Roxboro 

Fair and open elections 

I find it interesting that neither of our U.S. senators or Republican U.S. House members have said a word about the potential voter fraud in North Carolina and demanded an investigation. It’s refreshing that local news organizations took the time to investigate and interview absentee ballot voters to provide light on the possibility of voter fraud. 

North Carolina must put an end to any potential voter manipulation, whether it be absentee ballot fraud, gerrymandering or unreasonable voter ID laws designed to suppress or disenfranchise voters. We need to demonstrate we want fair and open elections. 

Stephen Berg 

Chapel Hill

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