Letters to the Editor

Climate change and denial: Letters to the editor, June 19, 2019

In this May 10 photo, floodwaters from the Missouri River flow through a break in a levee, north of Hamburg, Iowa.
In this May 10 photo, floodwaters from the Missouri River flow through a break in a levee, north of Hamburg, Iowa. AP

Price to pay for climate change

Recent alarming headlines: “Deep freeze has 139 million Americans facing dangerous [record-breaking] cold.” Is all the worry about global warming premature? Of course, there are still plenty climate catastrophes to worry about:

“Catastrophic floods continue to soak South and Midwest”

“Unprecedented flood season — 200 million people at risk for flooding”

“Farm losses drive Iowa’s flood damage to $2 billion”

Californians might wish for some of that Midwest rain to allay the hot and dry conditions that global warming has caused, leading to headlines like this:

“California’s Camp Fire Was The Most Expensive Natural Disaster Worldwide In 2018.”

Climate deniers are becoming an endangered species. Who can deny that these record-breaking floods, freezes and fires are real? The cost of doing nothing to curb climate change is also real:

“The economic cost of climate-related disasters hit $2.25 trillion over the last two decades, an increase of more than 250 percent compared to the previous 20 years.”

The longer we choose to stick our heads in the sand (or frozen snow bank, or flooded corn field, or scorched forest, your choice) the greater the price, in deaths and dollars, we will have to pay.

Bruce Ratcliffe, Fresno

On guns and mental health system

In the article about AB 392 (The Bee, June 16), the act to save lives, it talks about saving lives using nondeadly force. I am all for saving lives, of course —lives are precious — but, on the other hand, doesn't AB 392 collide with the Constitution that comes under the 2nd amendment of the the right to bear arms?

Just curious as to how they will be successful in passing this act without coming to heads with the National Riffle Association, or with people who feel strongly about using and owning guns. I would think this would raise more questions than answers. Not to sound heartless but, because one lady loses a brother, people can’t use a gun? That's like saying only certain people matter, plus nondeadly weapons are like bringing a bomb to a knife fight. If this is the case, than there should be an act to stop war then as well — we could have saved many more lives than with nondeadly force in a war.

This raises another question about the mental health care system — do we have the right care in place for people who need it?

Jennifer Alvino, Fresno

Corporations and their socialism

President Trump has admitted that he thinks he would receive a benefit from a foreign country, which violates the laws of our country.

Psychologically justifying his past activities of receiving aid from Vladimir Putin, as if to make that past and future behavior acceptable, although that is illegal, Trump is a walking, talking traitor to U.S. laws and the U.S. Constitution. To divert our attention away from his stupid mouth and an impeachment, he has most likely ordered the CIA to start a war with Iran, probably bombing the Japanese tanker a couple of weeks ago. Only one Democrat, fellow New York Mayor Bill de Blasio who knows Trump’s crooked business activities, calls Trump a traitor.

That is how the U.S. Navy misread radar and claimed in 1964 the North Vietnamese “attacked” our destroyers. President Lyndon Johnson and all of the old WWII veterans in Congress and the Department of Defense diverted our attention away from their crooked service to corporations.

Tell all of the young people you know: do not fall for their lies and their corporate socialism.

John Mizenko, Fresno

Abortion and becoming a person

The core question about abortion is, when is a fertilized egg no longer just human tissue, but a human being, a person? On May 26, NPR aired a excellent piece called “What science says about when life begins.” In short, science doesn’t say, it only identifies milestones in development.

In the first trimester, fertilization delivers the chromosomes. At week 6, a circulatory system begins, although there is no heart as such yet. In the second trimester, at week 20, the mother may feel kicking. Beginning the third trimester, 90% of premature babies can survive and a EEG pattern is first detected. At the end of life, a flat-lined EEG is the medical world’s determination of life’s end. This seems key to me, a body may be alive, but without a mind, the person is gone.

There seems no absolute answer, no black-and-white delineation between merely human tissue and the presence of a person; yet, faith claims to know this unknowable anyway. 1973’s Roe vs. Wade made abortion in the first trimester up to the woman and her doctor. I see no reason this should change, and anyone who believes this is wrong should not themselves have an abortion.

Don Smith, Fresno