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Climate science, redistricting, and thanking the police: letters to the editor

Is climate change making hurricanes worse? Yes, here’s why.

Rising ocean temperatures have fueled some of the most devastating storms in recent years. Kendra Pierre-Louis, a reporter on The New York Time's climate team, explains how.
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Rising ocean temperatures have fueled some of the most devastating storms in recent years. Kendra Pierre-Louis, a reporter on The New York Time's climate team, explains how.

‘We can move him on this’

The Fourth National Climate Assessment is crystal clear in its conclusion: “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities” and that it “creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.”

But it doesn’t matter how much evidence is presented. It doesn’t matter how often or how clearly scientific facts are stated. It doesn’t matter what most of the world’s leading climatologists, geologists, oceanographers, and meteorologists report.

It makes no difference what NASA, NOAA, National Science Foundation, EPA, State Department, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of State, Department of Defense or 300 non-government scientists – all of whom were part of this U.S. Global Change Research Program group – report. It doesn’t matter what his own administration says or what the law demands.

Donald J. Trump just doesn’t believe it. So, he will continue to obstruct necessary action. He will continue to perpetuate the lie that prevailing climate science is a hoax. He will do so out of political expediency, not principle or respect for the truth.

We can move him on this if we committed to doing so. We can do so, even if we voted for him, without losing face. We cannot permit the fate of life on this planet to hinge on a hunch. That’s just madness. - James Hynes, State College, PA

‘Take back control of our votes’

Kudos to the CDT for keeping the redistricting issue front and center, literally, in the November 26th issue. While that article emphasizes the expectation that Democrats will take control of drawing Pennsylvania’s electoral map in 2021, the far more important story is that this won’t fix our state’s severely flawed redistricting process.

The United States is the only major democracy that permits politicians to craft voting districts for maximum political gain. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is one of the states where the legislature has taken full advantage of this, over the past decade especially.

When political parties draw voting boundaries, someone’s voice is going to be suppressed. That’s the point of gerrymandering. Yet we live in a country that purports to believe in equality and democracy, in a culture which promotes the ideal that every person’s voice, through their vote, should carry equal weight in determining who our elected representatives will be.

Why, then, do we support a system permitting political parties to create voting districts designed to manipulate the impact of our votes? It’s long past time to amend the PA Constitution and assign electoral district mapping to an independent, impartial citizens redistricting commission.

Our legislators need to hear from us that we support what organizations like Fair Districts PA is doing. We also now can get behind Governor Wolf’s recently created commission to find fair redistricting solutions.

Partisan gerrymandering has helped to make extreme politics possible. Let’s take back control of our votes and end this unhealthy divisiveness. - Ron Williams, Pennsylvania Furnace, PA

‘Thanks’

I would like to thank the State College Police Department - especially Officer Argiro and Detective Hanes. I was recently the victim of a hit-and-run accident in the Weis Westerly Parkway parking lot. Officer Argiro handled the initial complaint and Detective Hanes ran down some leads, which lead to the discovery of the person who hit my vehicle.

I know that this accident was a minor event in the life of a police officer, but it was a big event in my life. I am very happy to live in a town where the local police department takes an interest in solving even the very smallest of crimes.

I cannot thank Officer Argiro and Detective Hanes enough for all their assistance in my case. We truly do live in a great town. Thanks! - David McClelland, State College, PA

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