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Forum, Jan. 10: Response to the climate crisis is elementary

Published: 1/9/2020 10:00:48 PM
Modified: 1/9/2020 10:00:10 PM
Response to the climate crisis is elementary

As we watch in dismay the horrific wildfires in Australia, my suggestion is that we mentally return to elementary school.

First, play Connect the Dots: Which of your habits has any bearing on climate events? Does it matter what kind of bags you use, or chemicals? Do you think about plastic and where it goes when you discard it? How about carpooling, or riding a bicycle? If your individual actions don’t seem to matter, try moving to Multiplication. Imagine millions of people behaving just like you, and consider the impact. Finally, we could play a game of Red Rover, in which the more people we can call over to our side the stronger we become.

If we want the elementary school children of tomorrow to have a planet resembling the one we enjoyed, it’s imperative to act now.

LINDA ARMSTRONG

Lebanon

The first step is to measure emissions

The best way to determine whether a town, municipality or state is serious about mitigating climate change is to see if it is at least measuring its own greenhouse gas emissions against science-based standards. How else is a community supposed to know what its targets should be, much less whether its actual reductions, if any, are timely or sufficient?

Indeed, there is an international standard for measuring greenhouse gas emissions at the municipal or community level that can be used for this at ghgprotocol.org (click on “Standards” and then “GHG Protocol for Cities”), just as there are also open-source, science-based tools municipalities can use to help set specific reduction goals and measure performance against them (go to sustainableorganizations.org and click on “Metrics”).

How many towns in the Upper Valley are using these tools or others like them? Are there businesses, governments and other organizations acting in kind? Is any of this happening in your town?

MARK W. McELROY

Woodstock

The writer is executive director of the Center for Sustainable Organizations.

The theology that empowers Trump

After the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, John McLaughlin, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said, “This is a classic escalatory cycle that at this point does not have a clear end in sight.”

President Donald Trump is simply following God’s will. Ask any evangelical. I mean ask them — your neighbor, friend, workmate — evangelicals are clear: Pray about it and the Holy Spirit will come to you and tell you God wants war and Trump is the godly man who will lead us.

Just like in President George W. Bush’s Iraq War, the evangelicals praised God. It is odd, really, how a God who sacrificed his son for peace, when he could have brought down 10,000 angels in an act of war, choose not to. I guess God has changed his mind. Well, 2,000 years is a long time to consider that early mistake.

Now war, not peace, is the way. Today it is clear: War is God’s answer to sin.

Sending our tax dollars to support God’s will — what better way to serve our Lord and Savior? — and the sacrifices we are called to make in health care, fewer people in poverty, a healthier earth, uncontaminated breast milk, clean air, taking care of the poor, and more. You see, God calls us to forgo his previous orders. The evangelicals are now the authors of God’s will on Earth, not the Bible. Jesus will come back sooner if the planet is in distress. The Bible tells us so. The evangelicals will all float up and meet Jesus, then Jesus will take them to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, eating and expressing their devotion to God. The rest of us will need to contend with the wars they supported and started. They get to escape the wars by being raptured, waiting until God gives them the New Earth he promised, and there will be no tears on that planet.

This is the theology that is taking us to war and empowers people like Donald Trump.

THE REV. GREGORY WILSON

Vershire

Waiting for next step in escalation

President Donald Trump’s actions regarding Iran have been increasingly aggressive, possibly leading to a full-scale war.

Early in his term, the president withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear accord, a multi-nation agreement that had the potential of delaying Iran from developing a nuclear weapon for 10-15 years. The withdrawal was succeeded by a host of sanctions that damaged Iran to the extent that it began provocative actions in the Persian Gulf.

The president’s latest action, killing Iran’s senior general, was considered by two of his predecessors and rejected as being too risky. Now we wait for the response and for the next step in the escalation by the United States.

President Trump’s policy toward Iran can be summed up in one word: Iranamok.

GEORGE SUTHERLAND

Grantham




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