2017-04-22 / Viewpoints

Correspondence

Will Of The People?

Dear editor:

I have lived in Pennsylvania for more than 50 years, fishing its streams and rivers, hunting in its fields and forests. It is a beautiful area, with many opportunities for sportsmen and women to recreate.

As a sportsman, I am deeply troubled by the executive order signed by the president on March 28.

This ill-conceived order threatens the lives and livelihoods of American citizens by attempting to halt the progress that has been made over the past decade on curbing greenhouse emissions. This, and other actions by this administration, are an unprecedented assault on Americans’ rights to clean air and clean water.

The administration has no mandate for such an action. A recent Gallup poll showed that a majority of Americans are concerned about climate change, with 59 percent of respondents believing that the environment should be prioritized over energy production.

More and more, Americans are realizing that energy dependence on fossil fuels is a losing proposition. Anyone advocating for the weakening of environmental protections has willfully chosen to ignore all the scientific data available on climate change.

Many of the things that I grew up doing, and continue to enjoy in my later years, are at serious risk of becoming lost forever.

Climate change has helped reduce the number of ruffed grouse in Pennsylvania to its lowest total in a century. The grouse cover in the state has endured unusual winter weather patterns that produce rain instead of snow. That, combined with West Nile virus, is causing high mortality rates in grouse.

The increasingly mild winter temperatures are reducing the range of the grouse in Pennsylvania to the point that hunters in the southern end of the range are hard-pressed to locate any birds at all in what formerly was adequate cover.

Our state’s trout population is also increasingly at risk due to higher temperatures in formerly cold water streams.

Climate change has become a partisan issue. That is unfortunate, and wrong. Reducing greenhouse gases is something that benefits all of us, regardless of where we are on the political spectrum. We need to let our elected officials know that we care deeply about our natural environment.

I urge all Pennsylvania sportsmen and women to contact Sen. Bob Casey and Sen. Pat Toomey and urge them to tell the administration that clean air and clean water are not negotiable.

David A. Imgrund
Cumberland County

The Enemy Is Us

Dear editor:

There is a truth that no one wants to admit, but many of us realize -- governments, corporations and religions aren’t the problem.

Human beings are the problem, and the solution.

Sure, we get exploited. Indeed, we suffer oppression and disenfranchisement at differing levels according to our racial and socioeconomic status. However, all it would take to truly change things is one day, and a little effort from every one of us.

For reasons that escape even the most devoted students of philosophy, that simple solution is too hard. Conditioned in our bias against others, we sit and wait for salvation or destruction.

Some of us pray for the end to self-fulfill prophecies of apocalypse, pining over the promise of unseen glorified redemption after our world is spent. Others wait for a hero to save them when they look in a mirror every day at the answer.

However, while we wait, children suffer and the planet is dying.

No one can light your candle for you. You’re going to have to risk the anger of Zeus yourself and dig to the bottom of Pandora’s box for what’s left of the hope we’ve borrowed on the equity of generations unborn.

For all our collective worries, I think we may find our necessary courage when we realize that knowledge was never something that required thievery to attain, be it fire or an apple. It is a gift we give each other to build a better world.

Timothy Havener
Mill Hall

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