Letters to the Editor for Saturday, August 10

first_imgDon’t be confused about climate changeIt’s easy to be confused about climate change. Being a USMC veteran, I wondered what the U.S. military is doing to prepare for climate change. Online, I soon found, “A War Plan Orange for Climate Change” by Commander T. McGeehan from the U.S. Naval Institute. One chilling quote from this report read, “Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty and conflict.” Another said, “These climate change effects are not part of a distant future; they are happening now.”It’s very clear the U.S. military is deeply concerned about catastrophic climate change and preparing for dramatically new conditions.Locally, some folks are doing the same. On Aug. 16 and 17 at the St. Kateri Shrine National in Fonda, a climate conference “Defying Extinction: Growing, A Garden of Wise Resilience in the Face of Climate Crisis,” will be held. Dahr Jamail, the author of “The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption” is a featured speaker. His book received very good reviews.“Defying Extinction” offers the opportunity to explore the climate crisis in detail. More information may be found at www.kateripeaceconference.org. The 21st annual Kateri Peace conference may be attended for free by simply asking for a scholarship .John AmidonAlbany Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionFree speech not an issue on BDS issueIn response to Matt Oill’s August 4 letter (“BDS ban violates right to free speech”), I need to voice my opposition. I’m not the most prepared person on the subject, but I will try to state my case and that of Jews worldwide and their supporters, including an overwhelming number of members of Congress.To boycott, divest and sanction Israeli companies would fly in the face of basic American ideals.At first BDS supporters called for action only on those companies that were located in what they like to call “occupied territory.”We can see from Mr. Oill’s letter that that has been expanded. I believe the Boycott-Divest-Sanction movement seeks to destroy Israel.Mr. Oill has freedom of speech to seek to advance BDS, but he cannot get a government entity to legislate it. How that is violating his free speech is beyond me. He must look elsewhere for an argument.Bruce CampbellBroadalbinAmsterdam owed relief on dump dealIn June of last year, Fulton County canceled a 10-year agreement with Montgomery County for garbage disposal services that saved taxpayers a lot of money [hauling garbage to the landfill Johnstown versus now to the Seneca Meadows landfill at a much greater distance].They cited a breach of contract by Montgomery County for collecting garbage from other counties, charging a higher rate and putting that additional garbage in the Fulton County landfill undisclosed.During a four-year period, the unauthorized outside garbage consumed more than 50,000 additional tons of their landfill capacity. Legal action forced Montgomery County to pay $450,000 in damages, garbage fees have gone up and there has been very little explanation to the public so far.Many unanswered questions remain as to how and why this was allowed to happen. For starters, who’s responsible for the financial impact that has followed? In the city of Amsterdam, it will cost taxpayers an additional $67,000. Mayor Michael Villa stated that Amsterdam should not have to pay for a contract violation it was not responsible for, and I agree with him.Angelo SantabarbaraSchenectadyThe writer represents the 111th Assembly District in the state Legislature. Drs. Rodbell and Verheyden’s July 30 letter claims that Dr. Walcek mischaracterizes climate science.I thank them for providing what Robert Burns notes: “Being able to see ourselves the way other people see us.”I do not intend to mischaracterize, and if that message was conveyed, I will modify my presentations.In July 2014, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society published a membership survey showing that 52 percent of 1,821 meteorologists think that humans are the main cause of global warming. Among a subset of publishing climate scientists, 71-78% believe that humans cause most of the warming.Throughout my career, I have communicated with many of the one of four climate scientists who don’t think that humans are the main cause of climate change. At professional meetings, I’ve had enlightening discussions, enjoyed debates among climate scientists, and I’ve studied their blogs and counter-blogs.In my presentations, in addition to conveying majority perspectives, I convey using published scientific papers and readily available measurements the sentiments of scientists who aren’t as alarmed about climate change as the ‘consensus.’ This additional information doesn’t ‘mischaracterize’: just the opposite.As noted in the “Inconvenient Truth” movie, sometimes minority theories are correct. Science isn’t done by “consensus,” and skepticism helps advance our understanding of climate. Scientists don’t know how to predict El Nino, a naturally occurring climate phenomenon.By listening to people you disagree with, you might have a fun discussion, learn something and maybe even change your mind.Dr. Chris WalcekWatervlietThe writer is a senior scientist at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at SUNY Albany.It’s not right to call Israel an ‘experiment’Israel an experiment? No, Israel is the only Jewish state in the world, created by the world in the United Nations from part of the so-called Palestinian Protectorate; the other part created by the world at that time was Trans-Jordan, now known simply as Jordan.Israel is a democracy where people may practice any religion, where Jews, Muslims, Christians and others are citizens, working side by side. Israel is a friend and ally of the United States.The only “experiment” was giving “land for peace” to the now-called Palestinians (“Palestinian” used to mean all the people who inhabited the Protectorate, Jews, Muslims and Christians alike), the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank; rocket and terrorist attacks increased, not decreased, when this land was ceded.And instead of using money and materials to better the conditions of the people living there, concrete that could have built schools, houses and hospitals was used to build tunnels into Israel for kidnappings and terrorist attacks, money diverted into the hands of “leaders.”That’s the only experiment, and that experiment failed. This led to the limitation of travel into Israel from these areas, which also cost peaceful Palestinians job opportunities.Teach your children to love thy neighbor instead of teaching them to hate Israel and Jews, and there will be peace and peaceful coexistence.Bruce S. TrachtenbergNiskayunaJewish state forced out Arab populationIn response to Don Steiner’s July 15 letter (“Much being said about Israel is false”), the letter seems to be devoid of actual facts.In a 1938 speech, “Our Debt to Zionism”, Albert Einstein said: “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest.”“The ultimate objective of political Zionism, as laid out by its founder, Theodor Herzl, in his 1896 booklet Der Judenstaadt, was as far-reaching as it was crystal clear — a Jewish state in Palestine, meaning Jewish sovereignty and control of immigration into the country.” ‑ Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University.According to Ottoman statistics studied by Justin McCarthy, (University of Louisville), the population of Palestine in the early 19th century was 350,000. In 1860, it was 411,000 and in 1900 about 600,000, of which 94 percent were Arabs.In 1914, Palestine had a population of 657,000 Muslim Arabs, 81,000 Christian Arabs and 59,000 Jews. Jews were in the minority. The 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as the Nakba, occurred when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes.At least five categories of violations of International Human Rights Law and humanitarian law characterize the population: unlawful killings, forced displacement, abusive detention, the closure of the Gaza Strip and other restrictions on movement, institutionalized discrimination and systematic abuses of the Palestinian population’s rights.Ellie BernsteinAlbanyGrateful for care at Ellis over many yearsI have been a patient of Ellis Hospital for more than 40 years, for many services. At this time, I want to thank my primary care physician, Dr. Dean Limeri and the nursing and support staff for their excellent care. Also, I want to thank Dr. Christopher Dolinsky of Ellis Radiology Oncology and his support staff for their excellent care.All of the nurses, radiology staff and technicians have been absolutely wonderful. They are supportive, professional, respectful and so kind to my family and me. We cannot thank them enough for their care. They have saved my life.Here in the Capital District, we are very fortunate to have many hospitals and facilities to choose for our health care; and our choice for health care is Ellis Hospital.Mary CaterRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18center_img Dems show why they shouldn’t be in chargeWhy should these immigrants have the right to cross our border without any consequences? Try doing that in other countries.Who will pay for these people? (You know who.) How can they be eligible for benefits that real American’s worked hard for all their lives?If I had a summons to appear in court next week and I didn’t appear, the authorities  would come for me at my address of record.Immigrants often don’t show up for their court date and become ghosts. They should be deported if they have broken our laws.We as a nation cannot be the babysitters of the world, especially for these immigrants. Free borders would mean criminals and other undesirables would be free to enter at will and overload our human resources at taxpayer expense.It’s amazing that our politicians finally have recognized the deplorable conditions in our major cities. i.e. Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Sacramento and Portland, just to name a few. Guess who manages these cities?  Democrats, and the people still keep voting for them.Be careful voting for Democrats; it will lead to a socialistic state, which means government will have all the control.Edward A. HedlundClifton ParkShow more respect for first respondersAs a law-abiding citizen, I stand with and support and respect our first responders (police, fire, paramedics).The general public and some of our elected officials do not respect our unsung heroes, our first responders, and have decided to attack them just for doing their job.I respect our first responders because they are just like our military — they risk their lives every day to keep us citizens safe.Also, I am glad that there are TV shows called Boston EMS First Responders Live that show these unsung heroes just doing their jobs.I just don’t know why we citizens aren’t more grateful and thankful and respectful for our first responders.Anthony CarotaSchenectadyWe’re putting health of cats above babies?You have got to be kidding. It is inhumane to declaw cats but not to kill babies?Delores BlodgettCobleskillListen to all sides of climate change debatelast_img

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