Letters to the Editor

Plastic bags, chemicals, climate change, torture

Why charge 10 cents for paper bag?

Re “A sea of plastic bags upon an ocean of trash” (Editorials, Dec. 12): Remember that California’s plastic bag ban requires grocers to charge 10 cents per paper bag if you forget your reusable bags. I know a couple who store their reusable bags in their car. When I asked if they ever sanitized them, their answer was no. They live in a Southern California community that’s had a plastic bag ban for years. Look for that to be a typical response statewide as soon as the novelty of sanitizing reusable bags passes.

Why will there be a charge for a clean paper bag when its price is already figured into the price of food? Had the ban not included a charge for a paper bag, my family and I probably would not have signed the petition.

Tom Buck, Gold River

Plastic bag editorial is hypocritical

The Bee has been relentless in covering and editorializing for banning single-use plastic bags. It’s typical of The Bee to impose its biases supporting legislation limiting choices, while not minding its own business. How does The Bee justify delivering its own papers to residential customers in single-use plastic bags?

Why not let consumers decide for themselves how they shop, rather than outlawing daily life conveniences?

I, for one, do not like carting off a dozen small items while fumbling for my car key. Better yet, lay off your duplicity until you find a way to deliver your papers in rainy weather without using plastic bags.

David Goldenberg, El Dorado Hills

Agency didn’t collaborate with anglers

Re “Green chemical regs based on science” (Another View, Dec. 12): Meredith Williams, deputy director at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, wrote in defense of the controversial Green Chemistry Initiative, stating that the “regulations are on track; the choice of consumer products is grounded in science; and the process has been broadly collaborative.”

The California Sport Fishing League’s experience with DTSC, however, has been anything but “collaborative” or “scientific.” In September, DTSC admitted it did not conduct any independent analysis that would justify a ban on common fishing gear. Moreover, anglers and manufacturers were not directly notified of the potential regulations.

We are still waiting for DTSC’s explanation of the methodology behind its determination that fishing gear should be listed among the greatest threats to the environment. DTSC is riding roughshod over anglers. Former Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee had it right when he stated the department’s process is “off-track.”

Ken Beer, Galt

Make pollution fight revenue neutral

Re “California helpless on climate” (Letters, Dec. 12): The earth only warms and cools when something forces its temperature to change – for example, the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth or the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Letter writer Larry Throop says the Earth is warming because it used to be colder in a period known as the “little Ice Age.” That period ended right when the Industrial Revolution kicked into high gear and humans began pumping large amounts of carbon pollution into the atmosphere. It’s the increased greenhouse effect that caused most of the warming we’ve experienced since then.

Throop also voices his concern that funds generated from forcing polluters to pay for their carbon pollution will be wasted. The solution is simple – make the system revenue-neutral, returning the funds to taxpayers. This is a small-government, free-market solution. Let’s support the best solutions instead of denying the problem exists.

Dana Nuccitelli, West Sacramento

Science, not pessimism, is the answer

The letter writer claims that there is nothing that can be done about climate change because it has been going on since the beginning of the planet, and that California’s efforts will be to no avail and only lead to more taxes that will go “down a black hole.”

Besides being sadly pessimistic, this letter ignores the science. The world’s most respected scientists take the position that the warming of the world has greatly increased over the last 50 years due to man-made causes and that much can be done to stop this alarming process.

I’m proud that California is at the forefront of trying to do something to reverse this trend. If we followed the advice of the letter writer, Los Angeles would still be choking with air pollution, acid rain would still be falling, and the ozone layer would be further depleted.

How about doing whatever we can do to preserve the health of this Earth for ourselves and future generations? Giving up is not the answer. We are not helpless, and we can lead the way.

Linda Klein, Rancho Murieta

No ‘nice guy’ rules in combat

Re “Humane code protects troops” (Letters, Dec. 12): I just love it when people take the high ground and try to lecture on torture and the Geneva Conventions. Anyone who has served and sacrificed for his country would know that in combat God turns his back so as not to see, and the Geneva Conventions exist only for the armchair warrior so he can feel good about the battlefield.

If you think there are “nice guy” rules in combat, then you are as nuts as those who start wars in the first place!

Richard K. Thompson, Roseville

Appreciate being a U.S. citizen

Re “Interrogations were barbaric” and “U.S. shouldn’t sponsor torture” (Letters, Dec. 12): Both letters claimed they were ashamed to be American citizens. Being ashamed to be a U.S. citizen is despicable.

If you have a child that has done something terrible, are you ashamed of him totally, or are you ashamed of that particular action?

The United States still does more good than any other nation in the world. The bottom line is that we are still the country that people in much of the world want to come to. I am ashamed that these two Americans don’t appreciate being citizens of the United States.

John Hightower, Orangevale

Eye for an eye is poor reasoning

Re “CIA report a hypocritical travesty” (Viewpoints, Dec. 12): While I understand the sense of fear and urgency when 9/11 happened, and some justify torture based on that fear, ultimately an eye for an eye leaves us both blind.

Richard Turner, Sacramento

Why do what we fear for our troops?

This issue is not a Democrat vs. Republican argument, but more a dishonorable disgrace against America’s morals, and most certainly a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Even though many lives were lost on 9/11, the revenge could have been taken without torture.

Why should we, as Americans, partake in such barbaric acts when we ourselves dread the same for our troops? Republican John McCain has spoken out against this practice after being on the receiving end of beatings and isolation as a POW. He knows firsthand the result of our behavior toward the enemy. Remember: “What goes around, comes around.”

Rudy Venegas, Citrus Heights

Torture negates U.S. as ‘beacon of hope’

To Charles Krauthammer and everyone else who thinks what was done in the name of our great republic and her citizens is OK via one self-serving rationalization or another, I say:

The Dred Scott decision was morally wrong. The treatment of many Native American tribes was morally wrong. Sending Japanese-American citizens to prison camps during World War II was morally wrong. Torturing captive enemies during war is morally wrong.

Each of the above morally bankrupt policies were both politically popular and supported by law at the time. If we are to be, as Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural address, “a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for people everywhere,” then all Americans should join together to ensure that this tarnish to our nation’s name never occurs again.

Calvin D. Nourse, Orangevale


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