Letters: Joe Biden, Climate Change, Fracking, Gun Violence, ‘Wag the Dog'

Biden's losing millennialsIs Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden this political cycle's Jeb Bush? You know, the next guy in line, the inevitable, the entitled and also the pol whose campaign rhetoric may not measure up to the expectations and needs of the imagination of the current crop of party partisans. Especially those progressive millennials.It also happened in a comparable manner with Hillary Clinton in 2008. But why does this repetitive political phenomenon ever occur? It often does because of overconfident presumptions and an unwillingness to argue definitive policy positions on controversial issues.Today, that "bring us together" — kumbaya talk — is so irrelevant. If during his party's primary process, Biden addresses national problems with meaningless trite blather, if he only seeks euphemistically to "run out the clock" or "play four corner offense" without any reliable well-defined solutions for present-day dilemmas, then he may just lose the interest of those younger issue-based zealots for whom dedicated specific commitment is more important than probable inevitability.Ed Kominski, Weatherford'Babbling in darkness'The latest rant by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against the less extreme position on climate change by Joe Biden reminds me of the statement by the late author and professor of English at Northwestern, Bergen Evans. He said about another uninformed and clueless person that "he seemed to me to be rumor personified, the blind mouth of demos babbling in darkness."Arnell L. Engstrom, DallasMore environmental alarmismRe: "U.N. study: Humans accelerating extinction — Scientists say there's time to restore habitat for a million species," May 7 news story.Earlier this month the United Nations issued another dire report, this one claiming humans will cause 1 million species to go extinct. Extinction and evolution have been a process of life throughout Earth's history, long before humans. The report blames these catastrophic predicted animal and plant losses on irresponsible human behavior. Yet a deeper look at the claim raises legitimate doubts. Why 1 million? Where did this number come from?Estimates of other organizations who track endangered and at risk species are only a fraction of this huge number. Faunalytics lists only 3,000 animals on its endangered species list and a study by National Autonomous University of Mexico showed only 477 species extinctions since 1900, about four per year. Estimates may vary, but no reputable organization shows the at-risk extinction numbers anywhere close to the U.N. report.More climate and environmental alarmism. Does anybody check this stuff out?Robert P. Smith, Dallas/Preston HollowCarbon pollution fee neededEconomists tell us there are two approaches we can use to deal with the magnitude of our climate crisis: regulation or free market forces. A third approach, to ignore the issue, is not a responsible option, morally or economically.Regulation, like "The Clean Air Act," is unpopular with conservatives. It has a low chance of achieving bipartisan legislative support in our current political climate.As taxpayers, we all have to carry the financial burden of increasing temperatures — from wildfires, droughts, floods and sea-level rise. Emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere should not be free. Economists overwhelmingly tell us the fastest, easiest and most efficient way to reduce our carbon emissions is to place a fee on carbon pollution.The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) will drive down America's carbon pollution and bring climate change under control, while unleashing American technology innovation and ingenuity. It would incentivize low carbon choices across residential, business and industrial sectors. Influenced by cost, the millions of everyday choices we make would lead to lower consumption.We can capitalize on the strength of our free market to deliver the goods — a livable world for all.Susan Atkinson, Durango, Colo.Fracking havoc is astoundingRe: "Fracking's developer would be astounded — Texas' lack of systematic laws, regulations or incentives to protect land resources would shock Mitchell," by Marilu Hastings, May 21 Viewpoints.The Mitchell Foundation's initiative, Respect Big Bend, to protect the natural resources, topography, and the rights of private landowners in the region is a clever bit of devious greenwashing.If Hastings and the foundation she serves were truly concerned they would acknowledge that the entire planet, not just the greater Big Bend region, needs an initiative that addresses the catastrophic impacts of global warming unequivocally caused largely by the unabated mining, transport and combustion of fossil fuels.Indeed, the late George P. Mitchell would be astounded if he knew the havoc, suffering and destruction that fracking has and continues to cause.Ed Soph, DentonHonor shooting victims with actionI have a message for Gov. Greg Abbott and our lawmakers down in Austin: Lowering the American and Texas flag and calling on Texans to pray will not solve the issue of gun violence. For years we have tried to pray away this issue and it hasn't worked. There is no doubt that we should take time to reflect and remember the victims of gun violence, such as those taken almost a year ago at Santa Fe High School. However, we must also honor the memory of those victims with action.The fact remains that state lawmakers have done nothing of substance since the Santa Fe High School shooting that would prevent someone from going into Santa Fe High School tomorrow and committing another act of violence. Texans will continue to fall to victims of gun violence until January 2021 when the Legislature meets again or if and when Congress changes our current gun laws. For the politicians who have been complacent in the persistent slaughtering of our nation's citizens: Your time is up! Michael Clarke, Far North DallasMore opinion content welcomeWhew! When you developed the new format, I was distressed that your editorial section was reduced to one page. During the election cycle you expanded to another half page. What a relief to see more of your thought-provoking and informative articles.Jo Ann Miller, WacoBeware of 'Wag the Dog'In the movie Wag the Dog, the president's rating was at an all-time low going into an election year. One way to distract the voters was to start a phony war. Film clips were shown of people fleeing bombed-out towns. A hero was needed, so one was created. Songs were written about him, a fake army unit was made up to honor him, and he received full military honors for his funeral. At the end of the film, the president's rating was up and his bad press was forgotten.The same thing seems to be happening now as the president is sending our troops into a possible war. His ratings should go up, but this is for real and real people will die this time.Bruce Slocum, Grapevine  Continue reading...

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