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The Readers' Forum: Make a difference
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The Readers’ Forum

The Readers' Forum: Make a difference

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) is "on life support" as U.N. climate talks enter their final days, but he added that "until the last moment, hope should be maintained."

Make a difference

According to the recent report by the U.N. Environmental Program, there is a widening gap between the impact of climate change and the world’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to them. You really can’t escape the reported changes in melting ice, sea level rise, record-breaking heat and increased CO2 levels that are happening in our state and country and the world. Being overwhelmed with this information, along with the uncertainty about how to combat global climate change, can create a sense of helplessness, especially among the young.

Fighting climate change is complex and won’t be easy, as we have already seen. It takes resources, cooperation and a willingness to make changes to create incentives for clean-energy technologies and infrastructure. Progress will also be uneven with both successes and failures.

However, we as individuals can do our part and take positive steps to limit the impact of climate change. We can make individual choices such as efficient energy use. We can support climate initiatives at the local, state, and national levels. We can also let our individual voices be heard by contacting our congressional representatives and letting them know that we support efforts to make climate change a central part of our domestic and foreign policy. We can make a difference.

John Gunckel

Winston-Salem

Missed the point

The writer of the Nov. 7 letter “Crude insults” misses the point about the “Let’s go Brandon” chant.

I agree that any vulgar insult about any president is unacceptable.

However, this issue was started by an NBC reporter, Kelli Stavast, who stated that the crowd was chanting “Let’s go Brandon” when viewers could clearly hear that that was not what they were saying.

Had she ignored the chant or reported honestly about it, this whole issue would not have arisen.

Many people see what she did as a classic example of “fake news.”

Judith Cox

Kernersville

Two years from now

“Are you better off now than two years ago?” (asked in the Nov. 5 letter “Better off?”) is a legitimate question.

For me, and I think for many members of the pro-life party — Democrats — the answer is that we’re better off because we can actually sleep at night, not having to worry that the president of the United States is going to do something crazy.

I can understand how Republicans might feel differently, though. After all, the price of gas has gone up. That’s horrible!

But we could all be much better off two years from now if President Biden’s agenda passes. We could begin the essential shift away from harmful fossil fuels and toward the clean energy sources that save lives and mitigate climate change. The rebuilding of our dangerously crumbling infrastructure would make the nation safer while providing new jobs.

What Biden proposes and is working so hard to pass would be good for all Americans, not just the base that former President Trump favored. It’s a shame that so much distrust and misinformation has separated us.

Linda Patrick

Winston-Salem

A strangled democracy

As battles over state and national districting move from the drawing rooms to the courts, the Forsyth County commissioners have neatly redistricted themselves. No fuss. No bother. I attended one public session and was enthralled by the display of statistics, mathematics, measurement and chicanery that was rendered to explain the commissioners’ almost surgical decisions.

Seven of the current 101 precincts will be neatly split. Four new precincts will be carefully placed at the border between Districts A (two Black commissioners) and B (four white commissioners). Thus, Census 2020 population changes will be accommodated while a kind of strangled democracy is perpetuated.

That is, no sitting commissioner will have to miss a meal rushing about holding his or her seat. All will be as before.

“How do your figures change representation?” asked a Black friend in the small in-person audience. “I’m interested in three seats, but nothing has changed in 32 years.”

No, nothing will change. Indeed, the word “representation” was never used. Nor was the word “people.” Only numbers. There was, however, in response to a question, an admission that voters in the new precincts will “share characteristics” with those of their districts. That, it was explained, is so the plan “does not dilute the composition” of either District A or B.

“They’re packing us,” my friend whispered. “They’re packing us in.”

Jerry Adams

Winston-Salem

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About billionaires flying to space: Why don’t those billionaires help people on Earth? Isn’t there enough hunger and poverty here? People need help here. Now, not chasing after some distant star.

Too many Republicans are now flirting with violence in response to former President Trump’s Big Lie. They have a responsibility to walk it back before it explodes.

The writer of the Nov. 20 letter “Billionaires in space” needs to understand that people who have worked hard, established thriving companies and employ thousands of people deserve to have some latitude with their money.

COVID cases are surging across the U.S., including in Vermont, where 72% of residents, the highest percentage in the U.S., is vaccinated. I know this because I watch CNN and read The Washington Post and the Winston-Salem Journal.

As the season changes with a beautiful array of falling leaves and bright sunny treetops reflecting that natural beauty, my hope is that our political environment would shift from rage toward each other to reason for each other to advance the common good.

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