U.S. should not delay

action on climate crisis

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In June, Virginia looked green. Now we have drought, which is no surprise as other nations have been battling that condition for years.

Those who worry about immigrants coming across our border must understand what drives this migration: drought and resulting famine and violence from the desperation of people who no longer can sustain a healthy life.

Animal life already is lost in incredible numbers, upsetting the ecosystem, causing more loss. This is our future, sooner rather than later, unless we come to grips with what is happening.

Some politicians in Virginia say they understand and give plans to mitigate devastation, promising zero carbon emissions by 2050, still kicking the can down the road. America can do better.

We must stop being held hostage by fossil fuels and fears of losing all the “stuff” we like (malarkey from scaremongers). We have pulled together to change, innovate and conquer terrible problems, but seem too comfortable or too fearful to alter our behavior in any way even as environmental cleanup regulations are steadily eviscerated.

In Congress, however, more are supporting HR763 (Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act), which will help wean us from fossil fuel use. States will have to step up and help us switch to more sustainable lifestyles with subsidies for greener, healthier living.

While millions around the world protest, lobby and work for solutions to climate change, there are still those denying its reality and cause. How can we justify that kind of denial as evidence mounts up — massive ice melts, deadly storms of growing intensity and armed conflict driven by desperation that leaves all of us in immediate danger.

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth — how dare you!” — Greta Thunberg

Melinda Skinner.

Richmond.

Financial, op-ed writers

provide useful insight

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Kudos to the RTD for its financial advice and opinion columnists. Each Sunday I look forward to reading the personal financial advice offered by Michelle Singletary in her “The Color of Money” column. Singletary provides useful information on financial management and other issues that impact most households. The “Your Funds” column by Chuck Jaffe provides excellent insights into current trends in the financial markets and touches on topics all investors should consider. Walter Williams’ columns are well-placed on the op-ed page. His columns, which often address controversial social or political issues, always include an analysis of the issue from an economic point of view. The Williams op-ed pieces demonstrate how culture, politics and economics are interrelated and interdependent. The RTD, through the three columnists, provides useful insight into household, investment and macro-economic issues.

Daniel Boyce.

Midlothian.

Read Constitution

for clarity on rules

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

There has been much wrangling of ideologies in our current political situation. This country was founded on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I would ask the citizens of this great country to read both of these foundational documents of our republic. There is a great discourse among the Republicans and the Democrats as to whether President Donald Trump has abused his power or broken the law, with each party rallying its constituents to take sides on who is right. I suggest every citizen research the rules set forth by our Founding Fathers. The United States Constitution is quite clear. There is no alternative interpretation of this document, and if you follow the concise wording spelled out, our president is in contempt of the U.S. Constitution. It shouldn’t matter which political party you follow, the rule of law is not political.

Michael B. Key.

Doswell.

Reader concerned

about vote security

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

We need to have a totally secure and reliable system for voting. A key part of that is the vote recording itself. The only proper way is to use optical scan equipment. That way ballots can be checked for proper format before they are accepted into the machine for counting. Hanging chads and similar problems are stopped from happening. When the ballot passes the initial check, the optical scanner will read it and update the vote counts for people and issues on the ballot. And, in the case of recounts, the actual ballots are available for counting again. No more taking the alleged summary total that some machine had claimed was correct.

But there is another problem besides just the physical vote. We need to be able to verify the person voting is qualified in that location and is who he says he is. Local registration in person like the Department of Motor Vehicles requires, providing picture IDs, is necessary to ensure the voting process is fair and is in no way an attempt to block valid voters.

People use IDs to drive, buy liquor, get government benefits, and they can do it for voting just as easily.

Another risk to a reliable voting system is the absentee ballot. This should be banned completely or, failing that, we need to severely tighten up on the ways these ballots can be misused.

As a systems and security consultant, I worry about what new method someone might try to use in the 2020 election. Honest citizens should be concerned too. Only crooks who want to disrupt elections would oppose the efforts to ensure proper and fair voting.

William Adams.

Lynchburg.

Eisenhower would lament

state of GOP, country

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

What most people remember from President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address in 1961 is his warning against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex.” While this might have been the speech’s most widely quoted passage, another was even more prescient. “America,” he said, “must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” Eisenhower would be saddened by what has become of his Republican Party and the country today.

Jon Wergin.

Richmond.

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