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Bipartisan climate efforts

EDITOR: We have just recently reclaimed our clean air after several devastating fires. Climate change, along with other factors, is currently a driving force in California’s year-round fire season. I don’t know about you, but I am dreading the next inevitable fire with its potential for loss of life and home, and the toxic air requiring us to stay indoors, use face masks and close schools and businesses.

While the federal administration is undermining global efforts in Poland to find a sustainable solution to climate change, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the House last week with a solution that would lessen American’s emissions by at least 40 percent within 12 years. H.R. 7173, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, was co-sponsored by two Republicans and three Democrats, demonstrating that this is a bill that both parties can embrace. The proposal to have a gradually increasing fee on carbon with monies returned equitably to all American households would create 2.1 million additional jobs over the next 10 years, stimulating growth in the clean energy economy. We can all be a part of addressing climate change and reducing fire risk. Let your representatives — Rep. Mike Thompson and Rep. Jared Huffman — know that you support this bill.

EILEEN HEINRICH

Santa Rosa

Graton casino

EDITOR: After reading the giant spread on the Graton casino’s founding and large local political clout (“Tribal casino, resort wielding wider clout,” Sunday), it’s too bad your reporters didn’t interview any family members of habitual gamblers to determine the other side to this great economic success.

Obviously your story is slanted to favor the casino’s positive impacts in payments to municipal, county and state coffers, as well as spreading the wealth to other, less fortunate California tribes and scholarships. That’s really great, but it’s too bad you didn’t mention how the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria ran full-page ads in the days leading up to the vote on Measure N, which would have aided the poor, our vets and our elderly people.

FRANK H. BAUMGARDNER

Santa Rosa

Blue California

EDITOR: Mary Ann Bainbridge-Krause’s letter deserves a response (“Ridiculing fire victims,” Tuesday). She urged that readers should “review the votes cast in California in the recent midterm elections … the entire Central Valley is Republican … only the coastal areas of San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles are Democratic.”

I took Bainbridge-Krause’s advice to review, and her broad brush does not appear accurate. The results do not paint a pretty picture for Trump supporters like her. In the upcoming Congress, Democrats will control 46 of California’s 53 congressional districts, including all of Orange County, the 3rd and 7th districts in the Sacramento Valley and the 16th and 21st in the San Joaquin Valley.

Making references to the imaginary pipe dream about a “state of Jefferson” does little to alter facts. Bainbridge-Krause mentions President Donald Trump’s visit to Chico. Trump has repeatedly referred to the overwhelming evidence of human-induced climate change as a “hoax.” When someone questions Trump or his cult members about the subject, they always fall back by saying that they “are not scientists.” If Republicans are mad about political losses, perhaps they should try embracing facts and science instead of spewing false information.

KENT PORTER

Ukiah

Swiss suffrage

EDITOR: A recent Close to Home column, written by two men, discussing how great Switzerland’s representative government is, neglected an important fact (“Saving America by studying Switzerland,” Nov. 18). Women in Switzerland didn’t get the vote until 1971! So the “representative” government of Switzerland really only represented men. Kinda important, don’t you think? Actually, one of the Swiss cantons didn’t agree to allow women to vote until 1991.

My best friend in high school was our Swiss exchange student. She lived in Solothurn, so she only got to vote in the mid-1970s, whereas I voted in 1968 when I became 21. We often discussed how unfair it was that the first referendum to allow Swiss women to vote did not pass in 1959. She said, “What do you expect? Only men could vote on whether or not women could vote, and they were pretty comfortable being in charge.”

I love Switzerland and have spent many trips there enjoying the graciousness of the people and the natural beauty of the Alps. And I also appreciate the fact that women made up the majority of their government representation from 2010-2012. They waited a long time for the vote, but when they got it, they got busy! Let’s hope women here do the same thing in 2020.

CONNIE KELLOGG

Sebastopol

Climate catastrophe

EDITOR: Look. I’m 82 years old. I’ll be under a gravestone before catastrophic climate change clamps a big whack on the Earth, but you and your children will likely be struggling through existential time, when life on Earth gets extremely cruel, running toward grisly. Rep. Mike Thompson wrote that insects are disappearing, threatening every animal that lives (“A political war over climate change,” Close to Home, Nov. 17). Scientists paying close attention agree. The ocean is warming, and fish stocks have disappeared. Forests flame. Towns and people are incinerated. That’s a miserable portent of what more is arriving.

Humanity has blown its chance to gracefully avoid the disastrous impacts of climate change. Now we either completely eliminate fossil fuels within 10 years while also stripping out much of the CO2 we’ve already put up, or we go through a population bottleneck with lots fewer, if any, of us coming out the other side. Take your pick. It’s up to you.

BOB HIGHAM

Santa Rosa

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