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Global warming

DAVID VOIGTS

JESUP — Earth’s climate has warmed in the past, so why is it now called a crisis? It’s because the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries all over the world, found the average world temperature is at the highest level in recorded history, and it is rising very fast. Scientists also know that atmospheric carbon dioxide will cause Earth to warm — ever since 1896 when Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius found the link. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are now 40% greater than they have been in 800,000 years.

In the past when acid rain threatened our eastern forests, the government and industry acted. The Clean Air Act was strengthened and electric utilities invested millions to build scrubbers to remove sulfur dioxide, which caused the acid rain, from their combustion emissions. The result was cleaner air and healthier forests.

Today when scientists have concluded there is more than a 90% probability carbon dioxide and other human-produced greenhouse gases are warming our planet rapidly, it is again time to act. That is unless the vast majority of climate scientists, including those at Iowa’s universities, are either incompetent or liars.

Trade war

DAVE HOTH

WATERLOO — China is a disgusting country. WoodPro, an 80-year-old family-owned company, has closed its doors; 900 more $15- to $20-an-hour jobs gone. As a former plant manager who knows this idiot system that targets American manufacturing, China tariffs our goods. We get punished. It boggles my mind people who are worried about the gap between rich and poor are upset Trump wants to make it fair. Why is it wrong that we treat them the same as they treat us?

You may not like Trump, and for good reason, but he is the only president that has gone after this. The fact soybeans, etc., are being charged more is not our fault. It is China that is doing this. Why is it a bad thing to tax Chinese-made products the same as they tax ours? For the record, no way would FDR, Kennedy or Truman would tolerate China’s trade policies. If I have to pay more money for products to keep them in line, fine.

It will always boggle my mind why unions don’t get on board with this.

Women’s health

ERINN CRANE

WATERLOO — There were more abortions before Roe v. Wade in 1968 than in 2015, according to the CDC. The reason for this was increased funding for contraception and women’s health care over the last 45 years. Places like Planned Parenthood take no tax money for abortions, but they are the largest organization that helps prevent the need for abortions.

I am a mother, an RN and a Catholic, and I know locking desperate women up for having an abortion will not solve the issue. We need to focus on the proven method of preventing abortions in the first place. Abortion is a political issue that many politicians, including (Joni) Ernst and (President) Trump, use to gain votes. They tout eliminating the very methods for reducing the abortion rate and focus purely on the legality of the issue. This will not reduce abortions but will only fire up their base to get votes.

If you want to stop abortions, support candidates who believe in health care for all and funding for contraception and women’s health care.

School project

CAROLE FREKING

WATERLOO — Hooray for Orange Elementary fifth-graders and their teacher Stacey Snyder for winning the regional Geo-Challenge at the University of Northern Iowa (story April 29). They are a model for the rest of our Cedar Valley in their creativity and courage in addressing the wasteful use of plastic and Styrofoam in modern daily life. When you have “real dishes” and dishwashers, why do we choose to use disposables for any size of group?

Hopefully all schools and families and institutions will follow Orange’s example. Way to go.

Listen to facts

BOB KAISER

CEDAR FALLS — You have heard the term political correctness many times, but is it important or is it being promoted by those with certain agendas? I would suggest there are those who want to candy coat subjects instead of calling a spade a spade. They say they are being offended by what someone says, and although you may not set out to intentionally offend someone, you do have the right of free speech. It seems people are getting more thin-skinned every day.

To those with the thin skin, buck up, get over it. Listen to the message and the facts and don’t criticize the messenger. Stick to the facts and not the delivery. Ask yourself, can I agree to disagree or do I have to have my way? Can I give my point of view without elevating my voice? Am I even willing to listen to someone else’s viewpoint?

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When is the last time you really changed your mind on anything important? Do you listen to those who propose a different focus, or do you change channels on the TV?

Drug ads

CRAIG HUNDLEY

WATERLOO — Like millions of Americans, I’m diabetic. At least 20 times a day, I’m reminded by some drug company that I have a 50% more chance of dying from a stroke or heart attack. Thanks so much for just making my day! I’m sick of drug companies selling their wares on TV. I wrote my congressional representatives asking them to go back to the way it was and ban prescription drug ads. I got a nice long letter back from Sen. Joni Ernst’s office. The letter told me the senator is working to get the cost of prescription drugs down and working on the opioid epidemic.

First, Joni, the illegal opioids are coming from India and China and the dark web. Maybe your representatives should do some homework. Cigarettes kill 560,000 Americans each year and cost Medicare hundreds of millions. You don’t care about those deaths, do you? The hush money tobacco pays in taxes keeps the government funded.

We are sick of prescription drug pushing on TV.

Far-fetched claims

JOHN DAHLBY

WAVERLY — Recent articles about the numbers of species that are in danger of extinction is disturbing. No doubt this needs our attention. One news outlet included some suggestions of what we can do as individuals. One suggestion that caught my attention was that we should eat less meat, because a single hamburger “takes 660 gallons of water to produce.” A quick search on the internet verified a study had indeed determined a one-third-pound hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce.

Let’s do the math. A 1,200-pound steer can produce 750 pounds of beef from which we could create 2,250 hamburgers. Multiplying by 660 gallons and you’ll find that it takes 1,485,000 gallons of water for one steer. The steer might drink 15,000 gallons of water during its lifetime, which leaves more than 1.4 million gallons of water to raise the food source and create the hamburger for sale. Really? I’m not sure what assumptions led to the 660-gallon figure, but I am skeptical. Seemingly far-fetched claims like this causes environmentalists to lose credibility.

The future of our environment, if we don’t change our ways, is scary enough without casually throwing out statistics like this.

Enough said

JUDY CIESIELSKI

WATERLOO — A mailman’s quote today after talking to him about the Waterloo City Council’s vote to put down a pit bull.

He said, “People have bad days and so do dogs.”

Enough said.

Stop handouts

TIM BURRACK

Fayette County farmer

ARLINGTON — National issues continue to loom large over Iowa farmers this planting season. In addition to ongoing trade tensions, decisions by the Environmental Protection Agency threaten our biofuels sector.

Specifically, the EPA continues to hand out dozens of secret exemptions to big oil companies, allowing them to bypass federal biofuel laws.

The EPA was never given authority to hand out blanket exemptions to large, profitable fossil fuel corporations. Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard to provide critical market access for farmers and a fair opportunity for homegrown biofuels to compete at the pump.

These exemptions have destroyed demand for 2.6 billion gallons of biofuel, which translates to nearly one billion bushels of grain. If these handouts continue, every harvest will continue to lose value. One in five Iowans are employed in agriculture, and without that productivity the entire rural economy suffers. A recent Department of Commerce report found farm income decreased by $11.8 billion since December alone. The EPA must halt this decline.

Iowa is fortunate to have leaders like Sens. (Joni) Ernst and (Chuck) Grassley who are advocating on behalf of Iowa farmers, but time is becoming a factor. Leaders in D.C. need to stop these handouts now.

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