Health

Right and Wrong Ways to Address Climate Change

More from our inbox:

  • ‘Spineless’? Pence Risked His Life
  • Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports
  • The Challenges of Vaccinating Toddlers

Credit…Josh Haner/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Every Dollar Spent on This Climate Technology Is a Waste” (Opinion guest essay, Aug. 17):

Kudos to Charles Harvey and Kurt House for their cogent myth-busting of carbon capture and storage, an uneconomical and ineffective solution to greenhouse gas emissions. We cannot afford to invest billions in magic fairy-dust ideas while shortchanging proven renewable energy and efficiency strategies that can dramatically reduce emissions right away.

To the list of false and dangerous solutions I would add: “renewable” natural gas, geoengineering and a sudden nuclear renaissance after decades of expensive failure. Investing in these pipeline dreams is not only a waste of limited resources, but also compounds the problem by throwing untold billions of dollars into harmful technology. We can’t afford such distractions when the future is at stake.

Ezra D. Hausman
Auburndale, Mass.
The writer is an independent consultant on energy markets and energy resource planning.

To the Editor:

Thank you to Charles Harvey and Kurt House for exposing the dirty secret that carbon capture and sequestration will not save us from the worst effects of climate change!

Climate scientists have told us that we must make significant reductions in carbon emissions by 2030, yet the Inflation Reduction Act foolishly sets 2032 as the deadline for starting C.C.S. projects. Fossil fuel companies must surely be aware of the past failure of carbon capture projects, yet they support this solution so they can continue to justify burning their products.

Economists and climate scientists tell us that the most effective tool in cutting the use of fossil fuels is through a tax, and making the tax refundable protects consumers. Yet apparently a carbon tax was a nonstarter in the final Senate negotiations.

Barry Engelman
Santa Monica, Calif.

To the Editor:

I agree completely that “Every Dollar Spent on This Climate Technology Is a Waste.” There is only one sure way that we know to achieve carbon capture and storage: trees! Thank goodness the Biden administration has recognized this fact and invested in the “America the Beautiful” Initiative to ensure large landscape conservation. Nature and people can thrive together by restoring our natural environment and sustaining our resource-based economies.

Brian L. Houseal
Brunswick, Maine
The writer is chair of the U.S. Biosphere Network.

To the Editor:

The authors are 100 percent correct. It is time we realize that carbon capture is a waste of money and time. Our money should be spent on renewable energy. We need solar panels on top of every house in America. We need wind turbines off our coasts and across the windy plains of our Midwest and West. We need our buildings and homes to be far more energy-efficient.

It is time we realized the urgency of our climate change problem. The drought in our Southwest and fires in the West, as well as droughts and fires in other parts of the world, are telling us that we must take action now. The time for renewable energy is now, and not 10 years from now. Our children and future generations are counting on us to do the right thing, and we must not let them down.

Marvin J. Woll
Raleigh, N.C.

‘Spineless’? Pence Risked His Life

Credit…Mark Peterson for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Mike Pence Is Spineless” (column, Aug. 22):

Charles M. Blow devotes the first 21 paragraphs of his denunciation of Mike Pence to dismissing him as a “spineless weasel” and only then comes around to acknowledging that, after all, he “did the right thing on Jan. 6.”

What Mike Pence did on Jan. 6 may well have saved the nation by both playing a critical role in coordinating with the Pentagon to deploy the National Guard and refusing to accede to Donald Trump’s demand that he abandon his constitutional obligation to play only a ceremonial role as the Senate’s presiding officer.

That Mr. Pence did so at the risk of his life makes his conduct all the more telling. I agree with much of Mr. Blow’s criticism of the views of Mr. Pence, but no other vice president has played so significant a role in protecting the nation.

Floyd Abrams
New York
The writer, a lawyer, is the author of “The Soul of the First Amendment.”

Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports

A pandemic-related rescheduling and the resurfacing of sexual-assault allegations have led to large numbers of empty seats at the World Junior Championship this month, even when Canada plays.Credit…Ian Austen/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Sexual Assault Revelations Dim the Shine of Canada’s National Game” (Sports, Aug. 14):

It’s not just Hockey Canada. Sexual misconduct is an endemic problem in most of our youth and young adult sports. Coaches and athletes are not educated about sexual assault and not properly trained in how to prevent misconduct. Sports federations have been resistant to addressing the issue.

Sexual misconduct and abuse have long been an open secret in a great many of our sports communities, as sadly 40 to 50 percent of all children who play sports before their 18th birthday will experience. Nobody wants the words “sexual assault” and “abuse” discussed in the same sentence as their sport, but it’s an enormous problem, and we need to address it.

We need to hold our sports federations to a higher standard. We need to work to remove the fear, stigma and shame for victims that keep them from coming forward. Let’s start by admitting the existence of this significant problem, not just in hockey, but in all youth sports as well. And then let’s work together to drive awareness and prevention.

Carrie Kehring
Woodside, Calif.
The writer is the founder of WeRideTogether, a nonprofit organization focusing on sexual abuse in youth sports.

The Challenges of Vaccinating Toddlers

Credit…Hannah Beier for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Why Are So Few Toddlers Vaccinated Against Covid?,” by Dr. Aaron E. Carroll (Opinion guest essay, Aug. 21):

As the mother of a toddler, I would like to ask Dr. Carroll, where are these vaccines available? My pediatrician (affiliated with one of the largest hospitals in Los Angeles) was denied doses of the pediatric vaccine. There were no vaccines available at the hospital. It’s not available at local pharmacies. No public vaccination sites have it in stock.

Tell me, with all of these logistical challenges, what are parents supposed to do?

Alejandra Riguero
Los Angeles

To the Editor:

Aaron E. Carroll wonders why vaccinated parents aren’t vaccinating their toddlers against Covid, then concludes that messaging campaigns must have misfired. The truth is much simpler.

Getting a shot is a harrowing experience for a toddler, and we parents aren’t eager to hold them down while they bawl at us with betrayal in their eyes. I got my three doses back when they were effective at preventing Covid, but Omicron variants break through so easily and so often that it doesn’t seem worth the terror it inspires in my children.

That doesn’t mean that Dr. Carroll is wrong, necessarily, about “suboptimal science communication by public health experts” (a line that perhaps proves the point), but I’d encourage public health officials like him to consider the substance of the issue rather than the style with which it’s been presented. Get me a vaccine that works or that doesn’t require a needle jab, and I’ll make an appointment for my kids today.

J.T. Bushnell
Eugene, Ore.

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