Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: Climate change, capitalism, driver’s licenses

Climate deal a significant step

Re “U.S.-China climate accord already faces challenges” (Page A6, Nov. 13): The historic deal announced between the U.S. and China to reduce carbon emissions is a significant step forward on the road to an international agreement on climate change in Paris next year. Although this joint announcement between the two countries is nonbinding, it is the first time the U.S and China, the two largest carbon polluters on Earth, have outlined clear goals to reduce their emissions.

The agreement would put the U.S. on a trajectory to reduce overall emissions roughly 80 percent by 2050. Despite the efforts of climate-denying politicians and fossil-fuel executives to derail progress in addressing global warming, more than 66 percent of Americans support climate action. The best way to sharply reduce carbon dioxide emissions is to put a high price on carbon through a carbon fee and dividend program, returning the proceeds to all American households equally.

Ted Hamilton, San Luis Obispo

Climate deal is bogus

The media is making the verbal agreement on pollution standards by President Barack Obama and the Chinese government a real big deal. There is no document, no restrictions on the Chinese and no penalties. So what kind of a deal is that? It’s not a binding agreement; it’s bogus. It’s an attempt by the media to make a lame duck president look good, and the Chinese are laughing again at our expense.

Bill Moore, El Dorado Hills.

Deal a step in right direction

Re “One less excuse on climate change” (Editorials, Nov. 13): Kudos to The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board for supporting President Barack Obama’s agreement with China on ameliorating the effects of climate change.

The frequent refrain from those who want the U.S. to take no action is often: “It won’t matter if China doesn’t do anything.” Now China has agreed that the world can no longer wait for change in this most important issue challenging the stability of the global economy and the safety of all of the world’s population. Although the agreement requires more of the U.S. than China for some years, we were causing more carbon emissions than China.

It’s not a perfect agreement, but it’s a step in the right direction and recognizes the vital importance of moving forward to save the planet from the effects of climate change. It’s very scary, however, that politicians like Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell still deny the urgency of this action, even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence. The mantra of “It will take jobs away” is not enough to stop action. It’s reasonable to expect that jobs will also be created in new energy fields.

Linda Klein, Rancho Murieta

The Bee gets it wrong again

Score another one for China. The Sacramento Bee editorial board actually fell in line for the Obama administration’s announcement of a victory for climate change. Imagine that. I read the announcement and the editorial, and came away with a completely different take on the agreement between China and the U.S.

As the agreement reads, we will double our cuts in emissions while China will continue to increase its greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years, and then merely “cap” their pollution at that point. Sounds to me like China is being encouraged to increase its pollution levels as much as possible during that period so their future levels can be more generous when the cap goes into effect. Guess we hammered out a get-tough deal there.

Lon Kurtzman, Folsom

The root of the problem

Re “Black kids still dying at higher rate” (Our Region, Nov. 11): It’s too naive to blame the problem of early deaths of black children on poverty, lack of neighborhood grocery stores or gangs. Yes, these issues do have an impact on early deaths, but if we are ever to get real about this issue, then let’s start by getting to the root of the problem: racial discrimination.

For instance, regardless of social or economic class, African American women have a higher rate of infant mortality than white women. A lifetime of racial discrimination against black women causes stress that leads to higher infant mortality rates. Worse yet, this discrimination has become endemic in our systems of care, education, housing – to name a few.

A good place to start is our health care and education systems. If we identify, measure and address discrimination in these systems, we can begin to turn the tide of this horrendous problem. Also, the government needs to allocate real resources to having all funded programs adhere to the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services standards.

The question is: Who has the courage to move these fronts?

Paul Nolfo, Sacramento

Downside of capitalism

Re “Nursing homes unmasked” (Page A1, Nov. 9-11): I finished reading The Sacramento Bee’s most informative series on the nursing-home crisis. I also happened to watch the 60th anniversary showing of “Face the Nation” after reading the series and saw an old film clip of Nikita Khrushchev telling an American reporter that the reporter’s grandchildren will be living under a socialist government because of the limits of capitalism. While I do not endorse socialism with all of its own flaws, neither can I fully endorse capitalism.

The Bee’s series sheds light on the limits of capitalism, for whenever profit is the motive of any venture in this system, abuse of citizens is likely to follow. What is so concerning are the premeditated acts of some to deceive citizens and load layer after layer of legal manipulation to further the goal of more profit by way of less care for our elderly. This is immoral. I am one who has profited from capitalism, yet it humbles me to know I might be part of the problem, not the solution.

A.J. Helton, Roseville

Licenses for all by DMV

Re “California immigrant license preparations continue with extended DMV hours” (Capitol Alert, Nov. 12): Driving without a license? For hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the U.S., this is the problem they face. Even though they are immigrants, they still are living in the United States and should be treated like every other person.

It’s about time more states like California joined to give more driving permits to families with children who need a way to get to school or go the doctor’s office, as well as for the adults who need transportation to work.

It’s great how the Department of Motor Vehicles is working longer hours and finding new and efficient ways to help out as many people as they are able. Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval for training DMV workers is really amazing, and I hope more states join with California to allow immigrants to drive a vehicle with a legal permit or license.

Ameer Sublaban, Lodi

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