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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, June 30

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, June 30

Your Voice

Trump policy a threat to future air quality

As an environmental management consultant for the past 36 years, I’ve been involved in cleaning up petroleum spills and Superfund sites, dirty landfills and other solid waste contamination.
For more than two decades I’ve specialized in air pollution.
The president’s proposed “Affordable Clean Energy Plan” is based on private-sector economics and deregulation, and not upon human health considerations; power plants are even subsidized by the federal government.
Compare all this to the 1970 Republican formation of the “Environmental Protection Agency,” not the “Environmental Regulatory Agency.” Two sides to every coin.
The president’s plan wants to encourage coal use (and thus extremely detrimental mining). With no national air-quality targets, he wants to leave such matters to the states and hope for new technologies in the future to address the problem. Air pollution does not abide by political boundaries, so delegating programs to states is a waste of time without a national unifying program.
We’ve seen pictures of people in Asian countries wearing masks on hazy, smoggy days; these aren’t just those prone to breathing diseases, they are large parts of the populations.
Ever stand downwind of a campfire? Once we start doing the same, it will be too late to turn things around for at least a generation or two, as it’s now too late for the carbon dioxide-based climate issues.
These non CO2-based protections are called National Ambient Air Quality Standards for a reason.
How quickly are you willing to invest in masks?
Sander Bonvell
Ballston Spa

Time for diplomacy, not bravado, in Iran

President Trump has placed this country in a dangerous box of his own making.
Against the advice of the adults in Washington, he chose to withdraw us from the Iranian deal. He promised to obtain a better deal. Where is it now?
Now the Iranians are blowing up our drone and moving us towards war.
The President’s response is to send troops to the Mideast (the area he promised to withdraw troops from). He has also shamelessly sent troops to the Mexican border. Saber rattling is not deal making. What we need now is diplomacy, not war mongering.
The adults in the room must speak up now.
Bruce Castka

Israeli snipers shoot non-military targets

In response to Rabbi Matt Cutler’s June 21 letter (“Anti-Israel letter full of inaccuracies”), in which he asserted, among other things, that “Israel does not assassinate politicians or intentionally kill unarmed civilians.”
I refer readers to a recent report from the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, which found, after conducting 325 interviews and analyzing videos of demonstrations at the Gaza border, “reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such,” while “the vast majority” of demonstrators “were not involved in any form of violence.”
To date, Israeli army snipers have killed at least 250 Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza marches that began just over a year ago.
As for assassinating politicians, it depends on what you mean by politicians, but Israel has long had a policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders, a policy known in Hebrew as “sikul memukad,” or “focused foiling,” which has been denounced by Amnesty International and other human rights groups, inside and outside Israel.
A list of victims can be found on Wikipedia. There are too many of them for me to conveniently count.
Carl Strock
Saratoga Springs

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