Time for debate over; time to act
No matter how much evidence accumulates in favor of human-induced climate change, no matter how much climate disruption occurs before our very eyes, there will always be doubters and deniers. But as their numbers wane and their delusion and irrationality increases, can we afford to continue the climate change debate?
The longer it lasts, the less time we have to act. At this point, wouldn't it be wiser, more prudent and in our best interest to instead engage in a discussion of risk-reward analysis?
Comparing the risks and rewards of taking action versus "business as usual," both under the premise of climate change being real and nonexistent, one thing becomes very clear. The worst scenario — by far — is the strategy of doing nothing while climate change turns out to be real.
Climate disruption (a more accurate, revealing phrase than climate change) is certain to have profound, life-altering consequences. It is foolish to think they will all be favorable. This is an issue on which we should desperately want to err on the side of caution.
We have already squandered a couple of decades. Given what we know about the levels of carbon dioxide, acidification of the world's oceans and melting of glaciers around the planet, we should be embarking on an aggressive and urgent campaign to reduce our carbon emissions.
Chip Thomas, Tampa
Nick Anderson cartoon | Aug. 7
What an excellent depiction of reality in Nick Anderson's cartoon Tuesday, with the GOP asking President Barack Obama, "Why can't you bring home the gold?" while refusing to budge.
Obama has become the most filibustered president in history, which during the worst recession in 80 years makes no sense. This from a party that publicly stated over a year ago that their No. 1 goal is to make sure Obama doesn't get a second term — not the economy and not job creation. Numerous jobs bills have been blocked repeatedly.
We all understand opposition party politics, but this has gone way over the line, and the only people hurt are the very people who are supposed to be protected.
Bobby Lonardo, Seminole
Republican National Convention
Success has many fathers
I hope that the RNC delegates find our hospitality unmatched and enjoy their visit in every way. I will be busy avoiding all of them while trying to run my small business.
I started my software business of three people in Tampa in 1991 using my meager savings and my Visa card to get going. I paid myself just enough to qualify for benefits — yes, we offered health insurance to employees on day one. Today we employ nearly 100 U.S. citizens (as well as a few overseas).
My success certainly is in large part a testament to my dedication and hard work, and certainly the dedication and hard work of the men and women I have been fortunate to have work with me. However, it is also made possible because of our stable capital markets, efficient banking system, well-educated workforce, our roads, airports, utilities, and of course dedicated public servants in our schools, sanitation, police and fire departments. No, I did not build any of that.
The American Dream needs to be available to all Americans, regardless of race, creed or social status. Our values are hollow if benefits continue to accrue to an ever-narrowing group of citizens. The Republicans want to give me a tax cut, and I want them to instead invest it in the American Dream for all.
Jack Berlin, Tampa
For a wider, stronger democracy | Aug. 8, editorial
The missing middle
The smartest thing Democrats can do is open their primaries to independents.
Independents will decide many elections. They matter; they are the "middle." If independents are allowed to vote in Democratic primaries, they are much more likely to vote in the general election.
This could cause candidates to develop platforms appealing to the middle. You can be sure the Republicans won't invite independent input in selecting candidates. The Republican Party only wants radical conservative candidates who will not negotiate.
Opening the Democratic primaries would create better platforms, better candidates, less polarization and better government.
Jim Whiting, Redington Shores
Postal service losses hit $5.2B | Aug. 10
If the U.S. Postal Service were a publicly traded company, stockholders would have abandoned it in droves and it would have gone into bankruptcy. Retiree health benefits mandated by Congress for this quarter alone amount to $3.1 billion of the loss. It doesn't take higher math to figure out that the postal service is already bankrupt.
So where is Congress? It sends out mandates but no money to back them up.
It is time to act. The same rules that we apply to corporations apply to the USPS. Get your act together through bankruptcy protection.
Sankaran S. Babu, Wesley Chapel
Do your research
What has this country become? Shall we elect candidates because they have the best advertisements? Advertisements may be false.
If we do not consider a candidate's record of accomplishments and believe his or her plans for the future, we will obtain the "best politicians money can buy" and liars who continue to pull the wool over our eyes. Do your research and vote for a candidate you can accept.
Vote to protect our freedom, instead of voting to give it away for a false perception of security.
David Figueroa, Valrico
Rays plan adds to friction at City Hall Aug. 10
Mayor looking out for us
I applaud St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster for upholding his fiduciary responsibility to the residents of the city. It is not his job to surrender our interests to any developer/lawyer/city official/sports team that wants a do-over with a binding contract.
Many of us love the Trop and the way Foster is looking out for our interests and don't want any more of our tax money going to line the pockets of already wealthy individuals.
Dave Hoover, St. Petersburg