Candidates’ commitment to addressing climate change should affect our voting choices – Chicago Tribune
A devastating heat wave hits Europe. The heat wave in India earlier this year sounded like something out of a horror movie. Extreme heat is becoming more and more common around the world, including here in the United States, and it’s just one of many disasters triggered by climate change, which also include hurricanes, wildfires and droughts.
We are at a moment of decision. We must weigh every decision against the impact it will have on climate change – our voting choices first and foremost. In the upcoming midterm elections, we must insist that candidates outline the specific policies they will propose, defend and vote on to fight climate change. Will they push for a carbon tax? Will they advocate for emission limits for power plants?
We can no longer allow politicians to push through vague assertions that we should take action at some point. What actions will they take and when? We cannot postpone climate action to some future day. The day of decision is now, the policy must be concrete and the people who must act must be us.
—Jim Schwartz, Oak Park
I was shocked to read the story of the school for at-risk students aged 16-21, which is losing staff due to budget cuts (“Budget cuts force the school that serves at-risk students to lose half of its staff”, July 15). As a retired Chicago public school teacher, I know it takes a lot of information to reach some students. For a school that welcomes students in need, losing its funding is a tragedy.
Where I live, the local Catholic school was facing a budget cut or closure about 10 years ago. An article in the Daily Southtown led me to make a small monthly donation to the school, even though I am not Catholic. But it’s a school in my community. Schools are the foundation of the community.
After a few years, I was informed that the school was on a stable economic footing, so I ended my donations.
Why not ask the community to do something similar? Support schools in your neighborhood. I know you already do, thanks to taxes, but if you can, help your local school succeed. Students are our future.
— Janice Gintzler, Crestwood
Through my education in Chicago Public Schools, I learned a lot about decision making. I was taught to research facts from reliable sources and draw logical conclusions based on evidence. I also learned that we don’t live in a binary world. We live our lives in a big gray area. Therefore, we do not necessarily agree with others. If so, we would at least have a solid base on which to have a discussion that would allow for an active and productive exchange of ideas.
I made a New Year’s resolution that 2022 would be the year when, when given the chance, I would engage with those whose conclusions on key issues differ from my own. Specifically, I had the opportunity to have discussions with those who are strong supporters of the previous president.
I tried. Whenever a topic such as gun control, forced births, insurrection and the like came up, I failed miserably. My experience was as follows: first, the facial expressions change. The eyes begin to shine, the forehead becomes tense and the neck stiffens. Second, the tone of voice changes. He goes into a range tinged with anger. Third, the volume of the voice increases.
I got pissed off a lot. In addition, I have been treated with epithets. I was told that my reliable facts were wrong without being presented with evidence to the contrary. I first met with my arms folded across my chest and soon after found myself sitting alone as the other person walked away.
I fervently hope that my experiences have been unique, but I’m afraid they have not. Unfortunately, in my experience, it shows up just as often in the media. We definitely need to explore where the others are, but everyone involved needs to be willing to provide a way for this to happen and consider other possibilities. It’s okay to agree to disagree. Unless and until a major shift occurs in the way people think and react, I fear we are on a treadmill that is going nowhere.
My 2022 New Year’s resolution will be one of the few in my life that I can’t keep. I’m giving up.
—Terry Ferrari, Dyer, Indiana
Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the government’s top spokespersons on COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, has announced he will likely step down from his leading role at the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases by the end of President Joe Biden’s first term. .
This man served his country with vigor and dedication beyond his 81 years. For his unwavering service to our country, he was ruthlessly trolled by far-right zealots with a fervor that would have broken a lesser man.
Fauci illustrated the true meaning and intent of the words: ‘servant leader’. Few others have matched his many years of unblemished service to the country. I speak on behalf of a grateful nation: Fauci will be missed! Thank you sir!
—Ken Derow, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
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