Climate change is happening here and now
Climate change is often portrayed like something that happens far away — far away in space and time. Polar bears are losing their habitat because the ice melts, sea levels will rise in a (seemingly) distant future.
This year has brought it home that the place and time of climate change is here and now. Its impacts are not abstract anymore but are affecting us directly: multiple heat waves that broke records and made us hide inside. A drought in our region starting before the spring was even here and causing record low harvests. Wildfires springing up all over our region, blanketing us with smoke since early in the summer. Around the nation and the world, we watched unprecedented floods, record-breaking hurricanes, more heat waves and devastating wildfires, their smoke reaching the North Pole for the first time on record.
This is a taste of how our climate and with it, our way of living and our health, will be increasingly impacted if we continue our current greenhouse gas emissions. If we want to prevent the worst of global warming, we, as a society, need to take bold action to curb our emissions.
Carbon pricing constitutes such sweeping action: a progressive fee on greenhouse gas emissions reaches all sectors at once so that energy producers and industries quickly lower emissions. A fee combined with a dividend offsets the increase in prices we would experience as consumers. That gives us the freedom to choose products with a low carbon footprint. Be part of the solution and ask your representatives, Sens. Cantwell and Murray, to take bold action such as pricing carbon to protect our environment and way of life here and now (you can do this using the link: citizensclimatelobby.org/monthly-calling-campaign).
Still not the Holocaust
My cousin “Harriet” is a professor in not one, but two, departments at Loyola University, Chicago: philosophy and law. As a “PhD” twice over, Harriet frequently brings clarity to disputes between mere mortals. In the case of “anti-maskers” who equate the inhumane practices and procedures of the Nazi Holocaust with the benign inconvenience of COVID-19 mask mandates, Harriet sums it up succinctly.
She insists that we must never compare the immoral mandates of the Holocaust to COVID-19 mask mandates, for two obvious reasons. The Holocaust dealt in death through the mass extermination of “undesirables.” In stark contrast, mandated masks support life by protecting us from coronavirus.
The Third Reich was evil unleashed. It restricted the rights of millions in order to annihilate them in the “final solution.” Mandated masks only restrict the airflow between people in order to protect us all from the virus that has already annihilated millions worldwide.
So, when we think we are being inconvenienced by mandates, let us remember, this is nothing like the Holocaust; and if we are required to wear a mask for public safety, it “ain’t gonna” kill us. Not wearing one might, though.
Mask mandates protect lives. The Holocaust extinguished them. It’s that simple.
Appalled by letter,and decision to run it
I was appalled and disappointed by Tim Moore’s Letter to the Editor in the Sept. 16 Daily News. Mr. Moore’s ignorance of immunology and basic biology is not surprising. I presume he’s untrained in these areas. Nevertheless, his willingness to accept fairytale explanations about biological processes, by named and unnamed sources with little scientific background or credibility is harder to understand.
Where to begin? Even if vaccinated people were “shedding” spike protein this protein itself is not infectious or damaging. Only when it’s part of the viral capsid does it enable viral nucleic acid to enter cells and cause disease. Getting a vaccination, whether for flu, measles, polio etc., all depend on exposing us to proteins, inducing our immune system to generate defense mechanisms. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do that by enabling cells, at injection site to transiently manufacture coronavirus spike protein. Moore’s wild claims about the dangers of “shed” spike protein are nonsense.
Likewise, his claim that this protein damages the brain and reproductive systems is rubbish that Mr. Moore gleaned from online sites and groups with even less expertise than he has. Some of these groups are simply uninformed, but many are in the conspiracy and misinformation game to make money or for various other unscrupulous reasons.
This brings me to criticism of the Daily News. At a time when even Facebook, not a paragon of journalistic responsibility, is working to reduce blatantly false and damaging information, why does the Daily News willingly spread this damaging drivel. Mr. Moore’s letter is not an expression of his opinions. It only disseminates falsehoods and lies picked up on nefarious websites. Finally, Joseph Biden was elected president fair and square, and he beat his opponent by a landslide in the popular vote. These are facts, not opinions.
Let’s talk about immunity
Some percentage of the population that is unvaccinated against COVID-19 has been infected with COVID-19. Many of them have been sick, and many of them have been asymptomatic. These folks have some degree of immunity against COVID-19. There is a lot we still don’t know about natural immunity but one study in Israel suggests that it is at least as good as vaccination in preventing transmission and reinfection.
Mandates are the issue that has so many folks in an uproar. Being told by an employer or by a government that you MUST get a vaccine in order to work, conflicts with libertarian values of choice.
If the point of vaccine mandates is to protect the public at large, then why not accept natural immunity as an alternative to receiving a vaccine. I am not suggesting that people should go out and try to get COVID-19. That would be irresponsible and counterproductive. But a large number of people have already had COVID-19, have not had the vaccine, and for myriad reasons are refusing to do so. It would require periodic blood tests which would have a cost, but why not let them prove immunity and get back to work.
Constance J. Brumm