Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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Follow Charlevoix‘s lead on global warming

Mike Powers - November 16th, 2006
Here in Michigan, those of us who love our seasons, our lakes, our way of life can no longer afford to stand by while our leaders fail to represent our best interests or take action on the most pressing environmental issue of our time: global warming. We are encouraged then by the actions of the Charlevoix City Council. Recently, the Council sent a letter to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) recommending that he make global warming solutions a priority while in office.
This, however, is only one of many actions taken by Charlevoix on global warming. The city’s leadership on this issue is also visible in their creation of a shade tree commission and the passage an “idle-free” motion that encourages drivers to shut off their engines when waiting for the drawbridge. Charlevoix is also part of a tree planting and stewardship program sponsored by National Arbor Day Foundation known as “Tree City USA.”
The potential for this city’s role has been further bolstered by the solid research of concerned citizens and members of Water and Air Team Charlevoix (WATCH) who uncovered a six-year-old study which states that from Harbor Springs to Lansing, Charlevoix has the best potential for wind power.
Business and government leaders in Charlevoix are not alone in recognizing the urgent need for action: ski resorts here are purchasing wind power and the city of Marquette approved the “Change a Light” program to promote energy efficiency.
Indeed, there are towns and cities and entire states across our country that are stepping up to the plate in the face of federal inaction on global warming.
This is why we are demanding action on the federal level. Scientists who have been calling attention to the severity of global warming impacts for many years are now saying that we have the next 10 years to dramatically reduce our emissions if we have any hope of escaping the worst impacts of global warming.
The best intentions and efforts of cities in Michigan are not enough to tackle a problem of this magnitude. It is going to take real champions in Congress to begin to turn the tide.
Rep. Bart Stupak and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) are the leading Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and are well-positioned to help us protect the land that we love. But under that leadership, improvements for coal-fired power plants have been rescinded, fuel efficiency standards for new vehicles have not improved in 20 years, and renewable energy development has been underfunded.
Solutions, however, are at our representatives’ fingertips. Like the Charlevoix City Council, they too can take action by supporting the Waxman Safe Climate Act of 2006, which is science-based legislation that addresses the problem of global warming. This legislation would create a set of policies that would cut our emissions of greenhouse gases by setting a national renewable energy standard, increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings, and cutting pollution from our cars and light trucks. At the very least, Bart Stupak ought to pledge to support this legislation. Even better, he should commit to working with his colleagues in Congress to make this legislation a reality.
Regrettably, Rep. Stupak has issued claims that he is “big on nuclear” as a solution to global warming. This is quite a misstep because nuclear power cannot address global warming within a timeframe that is useful (it takes 10 to 20 years just to bring a plant online), and is not considered economically viable by Wall Street analysts. Reliance on nuclear power will also increase existing waste storage problems.
Northern Michigan is a region known for its beautiful snowy landscapes, its maple trees, ice hockey and great fishing. All of these may be nothing more than stories of a glorious past that we recount to our grandchildren unless we take our government back from the fossil fuel and nuclear industries and demand that our representatives lead the effort. Give your representative a call and ask for action immediately, and if you want to start to turn that tide yourself, in your home, or in your community, visit www.projecthotseat.org to see how you can get involved.

Mike Powers is an organizer for Hot Seat Michigan, a Greenpeace program to fight global warming.
 
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