Letters to the Editor

Debating Climate Control

Dear Editor: I have to say that pulling out of the Paris Climate Pact was one of Trump’s finest moments. It was him talking, all alone, with everyone against him, to the American worker… and the American taxpayer.

China had no obligations to participate for 13 years, as they open one new polluting coal mine a week.

India would not participate unless we sent them billions of dollars.

Third World countries would receive billions… the first 15 percent siphoned off by Third World dictators into Swiss bank accounts, as the American taxpayer is $20 trillion in debt… with another $200 trillion of unfunded liabilities being passed on to our kids and grandkids.

Of course, American coal miners could relocate to where the jobs are, i.e, China and India, so the news is not all bad.

Trump did a courageous thing.

I’m a simple guy, praying that healthcare and tax reform gets passed, for the benefit of American families who hopefully will be getting jobs in a growing economy.



Dear Editor: In the political arena, it appears that so many issues are in a state of flux. What one president approves, another seems to disapprove.

I know a man whose philosophy is that there are no absolutes. Truth is whatever an individual believes or what works for him/her. Although I totally disagree with him, he still persists to the degree that I finally told him, “It appears that you are more intent on convincing yourself than me.”

Regarding the recent case involving global warming/climate change, I would just like to add my own personal experience. I lived in London over 50 years ago. Smog masks were in great use back then, by the majority of people. You see, coal was the fuel used for heating and cooking, and in so many other areas. When the smoke mixed with fog, it created smog. I have personally stood on the sidewalk with the smog so dense, one could not see the curb. Crossing the street at an intersection could be hazardous, as there was little sense of direction. Traffic jams lasted until well after 10 p.m.

One episode of smog lasted six solid weeks, and when it finally cleared, the houses and buildings were covered in dirt. Afterwards, the burning of coal was banned.

Will the result of burning coal be any different in America than in Britain? Reminds me of the time in Massachusetts when they were going to legalize a drug, and a doctor from Turkey raced to Boston where it was being debated. The politicians said it was not harmful, but the doctor said, “Well, that is not my experience from where I come.”   They didn’t approve the drug.

Perhaps I haven’t kept up to date, but is there now clean coal? Is there a doctor in the house?



Dear Editor: Just a week after garnering praise from U.S. Catholics for his face-to-face meeting with Pope Francis, and for his decision to protect the needs of the Little Sisters of the Poor and of other Catholic institutions with similar objections to the mandates of President Obama’s Health Care Law, we now see that it might have been their votes which he really respected, not their moral views.

Unlike the papacy, the office of President of the United States does not come with a dogma of infallibility when the incumbent speaks on certain issues. I sincerely hope that Catholic voters, including those in our diocese, don’t feel otherwise, don’t feel that President Trump is always right.

Now, having said that, I’m sure that “True Trumpsters” will retort that, “Neither is the pope infallible on anything but solemnly proclaimed ‘ex cathedra’ faith-or-morals matters.”

Or, they may say, “The pope is no environmental scientist,” while at the same time denying that there is any such thing as “correct” environmental science. See the irony in that?

If I understood the president’s announcement on withdrawing from the Paris accords, it seemed to be largely an economic issue, a statement that he wanted to protect the jobs of American workers. If that’s true, then I think that Father James Martin, S.J., has a good answer. Following the president’s announcement, Father Martin said that we should “think not only about your wallet but your soul,” and that protecting the environment is a moral obligation for all people. He also said that, “You cannot care for creation if your heart lacks compassion for your fellow human beings.”

That’s the key, I believe: Christian fellowship, not just “me-ship.” If you say that “Environmentalism will take away my job, and I have a superior moral obligation to protect and to provide for the needs of my family,” the answer is that you may be in the wrong job, like the buffalo hunters of the 19th century who almost made bison extinct. They, too, would be (and were) put out of work when we decided to save the bison, but they found other occupations. It may have been painful for them and for their families, but our American prairies today are better for their sacrifices.

So, you can still be a “good Republican” and support President Trump on other matters; he has done some good things to help the Catholic Church in America. I’m not saying that he’s a terrible man, only that he’s wrong on making care for the environment into an economic issue when, at the same time, his proposed budget does little to advance the prospects of the poorest among us.