Humanity must take action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

As a physicist, I was very disappointed with President Trump’s decision to stick with his party’s line that denies the reality that our Earth is warming due to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The vast majority of scientists agree that the climate is warming due in part to ever-increasing carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gas) levels, now surpassing 410 parts per million, which correlate in large part with widespread fossil fuel use.

The increasing latent heat in the atmosphere is causing massive oscillations — drought, flooding, heat and cold — in our weather with increasing strength just as a spring does when increasingly stretched oscillates with higher and higher amplitude. Whenever there are rapid changes in the biosphere of the Earth, all life suffers as it struggles to adapt to new equilibrium conditions. Regardless of climate change denial by some of our leaders, this problem will only get worse with time and will not go away. Even insurance industry experts admit that there has been a 15 percent increase in payouts due to weather-related catastrophes in the last five years. 

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The saddest aspect of this tragic story is that we have so many means currently available to reduce fossil fuel consumption and make America energy-independent by using alternative sources of energy — including wind, solar and geothermal — and reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere by planting more trees. 

We need leaders with the vision and courage to implement far reaching changes in the energy industry via fair policies that wean America off fossil fuels and develop alternative fuel sources. However, as so many of these “leaders” are scientifically illiterate, they are incapable of understanding the precipice that we are approaching.  We should all be deeply concerned. We must accept the reality of climate change and enact strategies to reduce greenhouse gases in our atmosphere before it is too late for the Earth, our only home.

From Michael Pravica, Associate Professor of Physics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nev.


Bipartisan ObamaCare reform could start to heal divided nation

Rank partisanship. No issue is immune from it nowadays.

Have you ever wondered how we got to this point? I have. In fact, I would point to March 23, 2010, as the date after which bipartisanship in our country slipped into a coma. That’s the date, of course, that President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law.

To appreciate the significance of the moment, imagine you came home to your significant other and told them you had just made a significant investment for the family without their buy-in. That’s not going to go over too well, now is it? And if the promised benefits don’t materialize, well, your temporary sleeping arrangements are apt to be the least of your worries.

No matter how well-intentioned, the manner in which this piece of legislation was made the law of the land had all the grace of a forced feeding.

Several years later we are still living with its effects.

We had better figure out a way to constructively bleed off this anger or risk the mystic chord of memory that have bound us together for generations slipping around our collective necks. Reforming the ACA on a bipartisan basis would be a good place to start.

From Jim Eschrich, Lenexa, Kan.