Union Democrat staff

Planet defrosting

To the editor

Two recent letters caught my attention. Polly Wright's letter (Jan. 5) claims the earth is cooling not warming. She presents periods of cooling during the last 50 years. Unfortunately, there were warming periods, too.

If I turn my refrigerator up two degrees then down one degree and repeat, in time, my freezer defrosts. The polar ice caps are melting. We have lost 1 million square kilometers of our polar sea ice. Winter snow packs, our late-season water resources are melting earlier. Montana's Glacier Park had 150 glaciers in 1850, today only 25. The planet is defrosting.

Dave Maloney (letter, Jan. 19) states smog in China kills 800,000 annually while making 22 million ill. He recognizes the global nature of the problem, saying people in Seattle are made sick by Japan's air pollution. But rather than taking pride in California's leadership in clean air policy, he concludes that the Air Resources Board is harming business. Since we can't regulate India and China, he says, California should lower standards.

Should we live in smog, and suffer the resulting illness and death? If India and China pollute their water supplies, should we? If they use child labor, should we?

Our laws protect our civilization. And our science, which has an amazing record of being right, is warning that nature is turning against us.

We can make up our own science, like the cigarette industry did for years, and deny everything. And we can begin a race to the bottom for our environment and wages.

It depends on what kind of a world we want. And the world is waiting for America to lead the way.

Robert Carabas


Corporate contributions

To the editor:

And now, the five conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices have granted corporations a green light to buy and destroy politicians with massive investments of corporate cash.

It's just freedom, say these justices, aka corporate flunkies, freedom of speech - billions, stolen from underpaid workers and foolish consumers, flowing into our democratic processes, used to destroy any would-be elected representative who would feign to regulate the corporation.

It may already be too late, in that a majority of sitting senators and congressmen are already owned by their corporate contributors. But if we cannot get a constitutional amendment passed to keep corporate money out of politics then our democracy is dead.

If you love your freedom (good and actively regulatory government protects freedom; corporate freedom equals a fascist tyranny that will destroy yours) and if you love democracy, then you will fight in every peaceful way you can to get corporate money out of politics.

The recent Supreme Court decision would allow a Chinese-owned Corporation to buy American elections. C'mon tea-partiers, do you really support this?

Bob Wetzel


Upside down

To the editor:

Ellen Beck's Jan. 18 letter ("Answers wanted") was upside down and out of context.

Maybe, instead of trying to taint the document with accusatory questions, she should have taken a look at it first. The document that she refers to, the Tuolumne Country Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Federal and State Lands, was prepared over many months with input from resource and multiple use advisors, and county staff members listed on the first page of the plan.

These advisors include Mike Albrecht, Bart and Matt Bloom, Sherri Brennan, Laurie Cashman, Reuben Chirnside, Larry Cope, Bruce DeMott, Stacey Dodge, Sasha Farkas, Melinda Fleming, Dick Gaiser, Allen Green, Carey Haughy, Frank Helm, Vicki Helmar, Pete Kampa, Jim Maddox, Tim Miller, Sylvia Milligan, John Mills, Gregory Oliver, Robert Ozbirn, Jim Phelan, Bill Sandman, George Segarini, Bev Shane, Nanci Sikes, Mike Vroman, Ty Wivell and Joseph Wright.

Right in the document it says that the plan was "underwritten by an economic development grant from the Sonora Area Foundation."

It also says on the bottom of every page that the plan doesn't "replace or usurp the lawful decision-making authority of state and federal agencies."

It further states on every page that the plan is "intended to provide an ongoing vehicle to create consistent policies and foster harmonious relations between the county and federal and state agencies."

Could it be clearer?

Maybe Beck needs to spend some time reading before she jumps to conclusions.

Gil Fryer


Happy reunion

To the editor:

Thank you to a woman named Tessa who found our dog, who had become lost and disoriented in the storm. You called our house and told our son you had found our dog. Upon hearing that his parents were not home, you put our big, wet, stinky dog in your car and drove him to our home.

Thank you for your kindness and willingness to help reunite a dog with his family.

Cheryl Divine-Jonas and family