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Readers’ Opinions

Forests are key to protecting our climate

To the editor:

The current administration believes solar panels and wind turbines are the answer to global warming and are planning to spend tens of trillions of dollars on this possible solution. But is it a solution or does it actually contribute to the problem? If the biggest contributor to global warming is the loss of trees due to fires, insects and industrialization, why not replace the trees?

World Resources Institute — the tropics alone lost 30 million acres of tree cover in 2010. At least 1.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are associated with this loss, equivalent to the annual emissions of 400 million cars. Even more today. Studies show that the social cost of carbon emissions is about $417 per ton.

World Wildlife Fund Inc. says up to 420 million acres of forest could be lost between 2010 and 2030. Stopping this tree loss is critical for climate change, rising temperatures, changes in weather/water patterns, increased frequency of extreme weather events. A single tree absorbs a ton of CO2 in its lifetime. Rainforests help regulate weather and temperature patterns on Earth. The Amazon rainforest alone is responsible for producing around 20 percent of our oxygen, and over 25 percent of our medicines. (We have only explored 1% of all the plants, imagine the diseases we could cure with the 99% we have yet to explore.)

One-fifth of the world’s fresh water is in the Amazon Basin, supplying water to the world by releasing water vapor into the atmosphere that can travel thousands of miles. Trees play a key role in the local water cycle too by helping to keep a balance between the water on land and water in the atmosphere. When this balance is thrown off, it affects precipitation and river flow.

President Trump’s trillion trees promise at the World Economic Forum in 2020 would have essentially restored U.S. forest area back to where it stood in the year 1630. But President Biden is only committed to installing thousands of solar panels and wind turbines that neither absorb CO2, produce oxygen or medicine, nor are they key to our water cycle. Making solar panels requires coal and charcoal and wind turbines (made of steel and concrete) requires coal adding to our CO2 footprint. The deforestation required to install same also adds to the CO2 footprint. In addition we have no means of disposing of spent units safely.

Centuries ago more than 60 percent of the planet was covered in forests; by 2030 it will be 10 percent. The situation remains bleak at the global level. Investing in the restoration and sound stewardship of forests will create jobs, contribute to more sustainable economies and protect the forest ecosystems our world desperately needs.

Arthur Keller

Beavertown

Figure out what you stand for, not against

To the editor:

Thank you, Michael C. Spahr, for eloquently proving my point. Your letter to the editor on April 3 was a perfect example of how effective the propaganda machine of the right is. You hit every talking point drilled into the minds of those who have been convinced that opinion hosts are giving news and journalist are fake news (the opposite of reality).

You pointed out every fear these opinion host have convinced you is imminent while downplaying or ignoring real threats. You noted every soundbite that you have been told to believe about the left without knowing that these opinions do not reflect the reality of progressive positions because you have been programmed to never listen to any other media other than those sanctioned by the propagandist and the freedom caucus.

Let’s get one thing clear, what I hate about Donald Trump is that he is a pathological liar that has an army of followers blindly being led by a multi-billion dollar political machine perpetuating these lies. I hate that he actively worked to overthrow a free and fair election by lying. I hate that he mobilized the believers of his lies to stage an insurrection that killed and injured law enforcement in an attempt to hang Mike Pence and murder members of Congress in order to end our democracy.

I watched a segment on Fox’s “Outnumbered” the other day where they were discussing a comment by Lester Holt where he said something about fairness in news is overrated. Personally I agree but the panel did not. They spent several minuets arguing that there are two sides to every story and that since both sides have their own facts it is irresponsible to not entertain both. That is insane! Facts are facts, period! Opinions are not facts, period!

I argue that allowing those whom come to the table armed with disinformation, “alternative facts,” distractions, deflections and whatabout-isms are demonstrably destructive to society and democracy. Jan. 6 is exhibit one of how these people’s rhetoric has ruined countless lives as more and more people are arrested for acting on beliefs and not facts. Oh yeah, and seven people died.

I will not waste everyone’s time with a point by point explanation of how each of your talking points, though accurately understood by you from the information you have, are not factually accurate or, are otherwise misrepresenting the truth. It would take too much time and you aren’t going to listen to me anyway. What I will do instead is ask you to set aside your fears and open yourself to listening to the other side. I promise that hearing directly from those with whom you disagree will not turn you into a communist but it might show you that we hate communism and Nancy Pelosi just as much as you.

I highly recommend a program called “The Damage Report” as an option for expanding your understanding of what progressives actually stand for vs. what you’ve been told they stand for. You’ll be surprised at how much news you are not hearing about because the right wing media bubble does not want you to know all the news or you might begin to question the narrative so necessary for maintaining the false flag fears that keep you following (like sheep) the will of a party that cares only about profits, people be d—-d.

It is available on Facebook, YouTube, TYT, or just Google it. It is a lighthearted progressive perspective of the news and is not mainstream media. The host, John Iadarola, has knowledgeable guests that discuss topics of the day with more context and nuances than most other outlets. I think you will like how much they hate the Democrats as much as Republicans.

Mr. Spahr, I hope you take me up on my request as I would love to have conversations about the topics, such as why teaching critical race theory is problematic or beneficial? Or why statues of racist traitors should stay up or come down. Instead I am constantly getting letters written to me with lists of grievances, talking points and the assumption that everything is always reduced to the oxymoronic conclusion that the radical socialist, communists left want to take everything away from you. A discussion about what you stand for and why, would be so much more productive than lists of what you stand against.

Eric Becht

Mifflintown

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