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Coffia connects the dots
I applaud Betsy Coffia for her informative Jan 20 Northern View article. She connects the dots between the water crisis in West Virginia, caused by a leaking chemical container, and the potential for disaster here in Michigan if the sixty-year-old oil pipeline under the Mackinac straits were to rupture.
But accidents, spills, leaks, and ruptures happen. Regulations won’t stop them from occurring. The only certain means to avoid them is to stop depending on fossil fuels, which is precisely the prescription needed to meet the urgent challenge of the climate crisis.
“So what can you and I do?” asked Betsy Coffia. We can join Citizens Climate Lobby, a grassroots group working to pass a carbon-fee-and-dividend system. Numerous climate scientists and economists consider this the best way to hasten a shift to clean, renewable energy. Learn more at citizensclimatelobby.org or contact the Traverse City chapter at northern. firstname.lastname@example.org
William Gittlen, M.D. • Frankfort
Many Issues cause need
“Back atcha” in response to the letter “Take Responsibility” dated 1/13/14.
Pointing a finger at the down and out people as irresponsible losers who deserve no assistance because they caused their own plight is extremely short sighted and shallow.
The complexities of humanity, the economy, and even politics take in a wide range of factors obviously missed by the letter writer. Perhaps she should do more research beyond talk radio and pundit TV. Prejudice and cultural issues, natural disasters, war, famine, and corporate greed…the list is long how people get to a place of need. A warm, helping hand that cares does more for healing humanity than a cold, pointing finger.
Lois Bedtelyon • Traverse City
Tolerance came lately
Most people believe that toleration arrived in North America with English colonists who were seeking religious freedom, but this is not the case. Moreover, religious toleration was not considered a virtue at the time. Even a desire to escape from religious persecution in Europe usually did not lead to a belief in tolerance for others. As a result, colonial history is filled with religious conflict and persecution. Puritans, for example, persecuted and banned virtually anyone who disagreed with them. For those who came to America seeking religious freedom, religion was central to their entire belief system and worldview. They could not conceive of another belief system as valid. Indeed, the Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth in 1620 were not escaping religious persecution in England but tolerance in the Netherlands. Furthermore, religious warfare broke out in colonies that did allow other denominations and religions. Maryland, for example, was founded as a haven for persecuted Catholics but soon had a protestant majority and a virtual civil war between the two. Religious toleration began in opposition to forced worship and as a way to protect many groups from persecution from others. While religious toleration has historical roots in early colonial history it did not emerge in its modern form until Americans witnessed the hideous consequences of Hitler’s racist ideas. The impact of this awakening was profound and nearly immediate. In just a few years after the war, Major League Baseball was integrated; a film about anti-Semitism in America won the Oscar for Best Picture. Trumann ordered the integration of the armed forces and supported the recognition of the state of Israel. The Supreme Court ordered the integration of the public schools and the first Catholic was elected as president.
Ronald Marshall • Petoskey
Leelanau: Still worth the trip
Born and raised in Traverse City and with great grandparents who homesteaded in Kasson Township, it was a natural for our family to treat out-of-town visitors with a scenic drive out to Glen Lake and Sleeping Bear dunes in our oversized Buick sedan. Now, almost 50 years since my first drive out to Leelanau, I continue these tours with my own extended family and visitors. Everyone is still awestruck by the amazing natural beauty of this area… including myself.
We travel the same route my father took me on when I was just a tike. We drive past countless varieties of crops and roll down the windows to take in the scent of pines. We pull into the Inspiration Point turnout overlooking Glen Lake and pause… marveling how Mother Nature could have created something so beautiful. We hike the Empire Bluff trail through its majestic forests and are rewarded at the end with the spectacle of Lake Michigan sparkling below from 400 feet above it’s shore. We head over to the dune climb… remembering the thrill of running down it as children. And just past the dune climb, we go over a slight hill and are suddenly awestruck by the view of the Manitous as we head into Glen Haven.
So we keep making these trips through Leelanau’s rural roadways…as so many others do too (more and more each year) because we love its pristine natural beauty and its simple character. It is these very raw natural viewscapes that no man-made elevated steel walkway through the trees could ever improve upon.
Joe Lada • Burdickville