Deputies for cleanup?
House Bill 100 — The Highway Cleanup Act of 2021 — proposes more money for roadside cleanup and funding for an anti-littering campaign ("Bill aims to tackle N.C.'s litter problem, Feb. 19).
Heaven knows we desperately need this.
However, I question having deputies from small counties do actual cleanup. Not everyone likes law enforcement officers. For deputies to clean up litter thrown by degenerates is an incentive for those degenerates to further litter.
Cleaning up North Carolina's roads is an honorable job but is not a safe job for deputies. It leaves them vulnerable to road rage and acts of violence.
Let's leave roadside cleanup to professional companies in lieu of trying to "cheap" out by putting our law enforcement personnel at risk.
This is in response to recent letters regarding litter in Greensboro and a can’t-miss offer to the writers and others in the community who want to help. Greensboro Beautiful (GBI), which plays a central role in partnership with the city, in maintaining and enhancing the major public gardens in Greensboro, planting trees and recycling efforts, has a Clean Community initiative that is just starting. During the two-week Winter Wipeout event community members can go on the GBI website (greensborobeautiful.org/cleanups/winter_wipeout.php), and volunteer to clean up an area during the winter, litter is most visible. As a complementary aspect, if you don’t want to or can’t personally participate, you can link to the Hot Spots map on the website, identify an area in need of clean-up, and we and the City will try to address – in fact, you can do that any time of the year. Easy as that and we can all pitch in!
The writer is a board member of Greensboro Beautiful.
Climate and COVID
As if problems with the COVID-19 pandemic vaccine rollout aren’t enough, climate change adds to the distribution woes, slowing our path to herd immunity.
This recent winter storm crippling parts of the South forced vaccination sites to close while disrupting vaccine shipments. As part of this extreme weather disturbance, a tornado devastated Brunswick County, N.C.
Nor does this new pattern of severe Southern cold snaps disprove global warming; it supports it.
Senior climate scientist Jennifer Francis, Ph.D., at Woods Hole Research Center, studies climate change impacts. Specifically, her work supports the ongoing effects of rapid Arctic warming resulting in disturbances of the whipsawing jet stream (aka, the “polar vortex”), setting a record-breaking cold snap in Texas with 4.3 million out of power due to electrical grid overload.
The solution? Acknowledge that the hidden problem driving these changes is the true cost of burning fossil fuel emissions.
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, to be reintroduced in Congress, corrects this market failure putting a known price on carbon with the revenue “dividends” distributed equally to U.S. citizens, especially helping low-income Americans, while incentivizing free-market energy innovation. Please call Congress!
Minta Phillips, M.D.
Party trumps all?
When I cast my ballot for any federal candidate in any race (regardless of party affiliation), I expect him or her to display integrity and lead according to his or her conscience, not according to a sheep-like party mandate.
Our elected representatives, after all, represent all their constituents: independents, Republicans and Democrats. They should be able to thoughtfully consider what is right according to the Constitution without fear of reprisal from their respective parties.
If reprisal is inevitable, we might as well go in the voting booth and vote just for a party, not an individual based upon his or her merit.
Planet at risk
Recently I saw a video from the late, great, Sir Richard Attenborough who spent most of his adult life studying the health of our planet. The before and after pictures of the Great Barrier Reef and the lungs of our planet, the Amazon rainforest, just broke my heart.
The last thing I remember him saying was, “There’s just too many people!”
Could it be that this pandemic and others before are Mother Nature’s way of self-correcting? I can only imagine the heartbreak of some of our readers as they watched loved ones struggle to breathe.
Thank God for skilled health care providers and the availability of oxygen.
But we have to ask ourselves, “What kind of Earth will we pass down to our descendants?”
Richard Byron Godfrey