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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/23/2017

Krauthammer, like others of his ilk, wrong about climate change

Krauthammer, like others of his ilk, wrong about climate change

*Krauthammer, like others of his ilk, wrong about climate change *Democratic elections don’t guarant

Krauthammer, like others of his ilk, wrong about climate change

Charles Krauthammer’s July 6 column, “Obama fiddling over climate change,” is a classic example of climate change denial. I expect more from Krauthammer, who was trained as a doctor and should understand solid scientific evidence that humans are forcing climate change.

He says, “Global temperatures have been flat for 16 years.” That is a frequent claim by climate deniers, who pick 1998, an abnormally hot year, as a starting point. A chart of world temperatures over the past 40 years fits climate models extremely well. There is a scientific consensus.

Krauthammer then states we’ve done more than any other country since 2006 to reduce carbon emissions, suggesting we’ve done all we should. But in terms of percent reduction, we’re far below most developed countries in Europe.

We need to join the world community in addressing the greatest ongoing silent crisis of human history. The average American (2011 estimate) contributes 17.3 tons of CO2 [carbon dioxide] each year, the average person in China contributes 7.2 [tons], and a person in India 1.6 tons. We are the leader of the world. Should we not set an example?

We, as Americans, do not have the right to exploit resources without any thought of the impact on others. Most of the impact of climate change will hit people in underdeveloped countries, those who have done little to cause this crisis. As humans, we’ve managed to move our planet’s climate system, huge beyond imagining, and we now face the results.

At this time we need to move our political and economic system. Obama’s proposals on reducing power plant emissions are an important step.

Don Cooper

Amsterdam

Democratic elections don’t guarantee a democracy

The form of government that we call “democracy” is actually a constitutional republic based on “natural law” and the democratic ideal that government be based upon the consent of the governed [July 4 Gazette].

During the 20th century, Americans were taught by a “progressive” educational establishment that democracy is a form of government. To the average, “well-educated” American, democracy means “majority rule.”

So, when “democracy” breaks out due to an “Arab Spring” or an Islamic revolution (like Iran’s), and 51 percent elect a despot, Americans are perplexed to find that peace and freedom failed to materialize.

Most simply fail to grasp that democracy is not a form of government. In America, we hold democratic elections to select representatives in a constitutional republic. A modern constitutional republic is the rule of law, not rule by the majority. In our American republic, the individual has rights. You don’t need to be part of the majority to have rights. You don’t have to be a member of a minority to have rights. Every citizen has rights.

So, what are we to think when the majority elects a despot? What can be done when a movement uses the democratic process to install an anti-democratic, one-party rule that ignores both the rights of the minority and the rights of individual citizens?

Egypt did not become what Americans think of as democracy just because they elected a president. In President Mohamed Morsi’s case, his election became a mandate to eradicate the rights of virtually everyone who was not an Islamist. Even the rights of like-minded Islamists were on the chopping block.

It is fortunate that the military is there to press “re-set” and start the game over. In this case the “coup” is supported by about 30 million Egyptians out in the squares and streets.

Hopefully there will be a better outcome this time.

Larry O’Connor

Delanson

One week hardly enough for NYC Ballet at SPAC

Many dance fans and critics consider the New York City Ballet to be one of the finest, if not the finest, ballet company in the world.

The reduced residency of the company’s season at SPAC is a devastating loss to our cultural community. Might we suggest that SPAC administrators remove their cultural blinders and market to the world?

The results could prove astonishing.

Teresa Kennedy

Schenectady

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