Climate change isn’t same as the weather
Being a geologist, I know quite a bit about how the climate has changed over the past several billion years and can clearly see the path society is choosing going forward — the climate will warm, oceans will acidify, sea level will substantially rise, and precipitation patterns will change. This is fairly certain and it is our fault: burning fossil fuels is the cause.
What I am just starting to learn is that climate deniers are more similar to weather than they are to climate. Climate refers to long-term changes (such as the steady increase in global temperature since 1880) and weather is the year-to-year variability.
During the snowy and cold winter of 2014/2015, there were almost weekly opinion pieces from climate deniers asking how can the Earth be warming if it’s snowing so much. (They neglected to look farther than the Northeast United States.) However, this past winter I saw only one.
Maybe next winter, we’ll get more snow and more deniers once again? Or maybe the spring snow will bring them out.
The writer is an associate professor of Geology at Union College.
Casino will bring jobs and prosperity to city
There are many skeptics who are still against the building of a casino and resort in Schenectady. Many believe that such a large project would destroy the “culture of the town,” increase crime, and overcrowd the area that 66,135 residents consider home. These people should first take a look at the economic and social structure for Schenectady.
The growth outlook for Schenectady has been dim — recent job growth is negative .65 percent; household income is 35 percent lower than the national average; the crime rate is almost double the national average; and about 3,770 people sit unemployed. There is obviously a need for improvements to help lift Schenectady up.
The addition of a casino and resort is something that will help. The new project will bring in about 1,200 new jobs, which would boost household incomes. This would then be a catalyst for more business growth due to the increase in disposable income spending. If the 1,200 new jobs are given mainly to the residents of Schenectady, then the unemployment rate in that region would decrease to around 3.5 percent.
The addition of these new jobs and increased incomes would increase the current negative job growth forecast to a positive number. There is a high correlation between unemployment and crime rates: If more people are employed, they will also be less likely to commit crimes. The only overcrowding will be inside the casino and resort, as most of the workers can choose to live anywhere in the Capital Region, an area that is 7,228 square miles.
Finally, tax revenues can be put back into programs that would help revive the “culture of the town.”
Sanders, not Clinton, is correct on issues
Pretending I’m one of the people in the audience who pose questions to presidential candidates goes something like this: Madame Secretary, the New York fracking ban is a major achievement. When you say that you will “regulate” the industry, fractivists hear “permit.” Will you support trade deals that could overrule state sovereignty?
Do you really care about clean water in Flint, Mich., when as secretary of state you were the salesperson for shale gas fracking around the world? The “unresolved engineering challenge,” when cement shrinks as it dries, has caused methane leaks and fracking fluid to migrate and pollute drinking water across America.
Can we believe your stance on climate change when you are still calling natural gas a bridge fuel? The Harvard satellite data shows methane emissions around fracking sites poses a greater risk than burning coal in increasing greenhouse gases.
Would Goldman award environmentalist Berta Caceres be alive today if you had not supported the coup that ousted the seated Honduran president, backing instead a puppet that would enable large corporations to exploit and profit in the region?
What about the Iraq War and 200,000 civilian deaths, breeding ground for ISIS, Libya, hiding your deeds with a private email server?
Please vote for Bernie. He’s been fighting on the right side of history for the past 32 years.
Ask tough questions of presidential slate
The status quo isn’t working. As we embark on the tail end of this primary election season, we should all take a pause and ask ourselves the following questions: Are you better off now than you were seven years ago? Are your neighbors better off? Do you care?
Are you sick and tired of waiting around for things to get better? I have been patient, but it’s been too long.
Do you feel we are safe from terrorist threats on our home soil?
Do you think our southern border is secure from illegal immigrants and illegal drugs?
Stop drinking the Kool-Aid the press dishes out. Take the time to hear what every candidate has to say. None of them is perfect. Some of them are loud and obnoxious. Some of them are shifty. Some of them sit quietly and make you wonder what they are up to behind the mask.
Pick the candidate that overall will support most of your wishes. Don’t judge someone about one single thing. I can honestly say I can find something I like about each candidate.
And lastly, whomever gets in needs to be accountable for their actions. It’s nice to see so many people involved in the process this time. Let’s see how long the enthusiasm lasts after the party is over.
Repair damage done to Seneca Street now
The Daily Gazette’s April 11 road construction article has a great deal to say about safety precautions concerning the new roundabout on Erie Boulevard.
However, it doesn’t mention the terrible condition of Seneca Street, which was heavily used to avoid the construction preparations last year.
I would urge the city to move quickly and please fill the numerous pot holes before this route deteriorates even further.
Sanders revolution is real, so give in to it
I’m just absolutely amazed at how desperate everybody seems to be to discount Bernie Sanders’ revolution. And regardless of what anybody says, it just keeps on keeping on, y’know?
He has a long way to go before he wins the Democrat nomination and an even longer slog to the White House. But why not just make it easier on yourselves and just recognize that it — the revolution, at least — is real, huh?
Denial merely prolongs the agonizing withdrawal from the existing corrupt process, is all.
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