The time is now
Mayor Jane Castor’s ambitious plan for a stronger Tampa | Editorial, June 2
The lack of “arbitrary deadlines” in Mayor Jane Castor’s “Resilient Tampa” plan for projects like committing to 100% renewable energy falls short of the leadership we need. Such deadlines are not “arbitrary,” but rather based on clear science. In her own document, Mayor Castor reminds us that by 2100 sea levels in Tampa will rise two feet — at a minimum. We have only a short window to radically reduce emissions if we want to reverse the impending seas, and that window closes more or less in 2030. Furthermore, any transition to clean, renewable energy must be accompanied by the simultaneous decision to move off fossil fuels. A truly resilient Tampa is one that has moved off fossil fuels, not just one moving vaguely toward renewable energy. Cities like Tampa can work with Congress to meet the not-so-arbitrary, science-driven 2030 deadline by ending fossil fuel subsidies and investing in renewable infrastructure.
John Ward, Largo
Florida needs more philosophy majors. Here’s proof | Letters, June 3
Reading Peter Westmoreland’s letter regarding our best and brightest heading off to college with no plans to study philosophy resonated with me. Back in the 1980s when I majored in philosophy, a relatively small number of students at my college did so. I imagine it is an even smaller number today. One of my professors once said that philosophy is a reasoned attempt to answer essentially contestable questions. Studying philosophy leads to one of the most important skills one can possess: the ability to think critically.
Glenn Poskocil, Tampa
Look into the lab-leak theory — without inflaming anti-Asian hate | Column, June 3
The author touches on a valid point, “words matter,” but as so many pundits do, she misses the big point. If the leak was accidental from the lab that’s bad, but if it was intentional, that’s an act of war on the world. Either way, the former guy spent a year downplaying the risk and pointing fingers, instead of acting firmly and immediately with every tool at his disposal. There was a crisis and he failed.
Pat Ward, St. Petersburg
America is back
The coming summit
When President Joe Biden meets with Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, in Geneva on June 16, Americans can rest assured that this president will not disparage their intelligence agencies on the world stage and in the presence of America’s number one adversary, Russia. Among the issues on Biden’s agenda are the spate of Russian-based cyber attacks against America. Unlike his predecessor, Donald Trump, Biden is not in denial about Russia’s cyber assaults on American democracy. Who can forget Trump’s disastrous Helsinki Summit news conference in 2018 where he expressed his doubts, standing beside Putin, about Russia’s cyber transgressions? “I don’t see any reason why it would be (Russia)”, said Trump, disputing the findings from his own intelligence agencies. When Putin returns to Moscow after the Geneva meeting, he will know that what Biden has been saying, “America is back,” is not just a political catchphrase.
Jim Paladino, Tampa