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Sunday's Letters to the Editor

Redwoods and climate

EDITOR: Your Wednesday report “Redwoods thriving as climate changes” reminds me of how steroids boosted the growth of Barry Bonds' home- run total. Good news, in a sad way. The fog belt may be burned into oblivion but the redwoods are sure to get more water — from the rising seas.

The last time Earth's carbon dioxide levels reached their current 400 parts per million, you could paddle a kayak from Jenner to the front door of the new Graton casino (see an interactive map at flood.firetree.net).

Here's better news: There's a pretty simple and painless way to reverse climate change. In 2008, our North Coast neighbor British Columbia established a gradually increasing tax on carbon fuels that returns all revenues to consumers and businesses.

The University of Ottawa just released a study on the results so far: a big drop in fossil-fuel consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions without hurting the economy.

Our Congress should do the same and stop gambling with our children's future. If you want to help, visit CitizensClimateLobby.org.

BRUCE HAGEN

Petaluma

Public-sector jobs

EDITOR: The issue being overlooked regarding BART is whether taxpayers can regain the absolute control that they deserve over the public institutions they create.

The moment legislators insert language into the acts that create BART, SMART or any facet of the public labor force, or impose a public employee union, taxpayers lose control. The public institutions gain control. That creates an artificial ownership of public institutions by the people employed by the taxpayers. This is backward. This shouldn't be construed as an anti-union or anti-labor stance. It's about good government. Unions are involved in an area in which they have no business.

As a public employee and a member of the Democratic Party, which helped create this mess, I would like to point out that while jobs are a pleasant by-product of the activities of government, they aren't the purpose of government.

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