Climate change

It seems that every week Bo Peterson has an alarming article about global climate change. This used to be called "global warming" until the globe inconveniently stopped warming about 15 years ago.

You can put me down as a skeptic (as opposed to non-believer). What I do believe:

The climate is changing. There is enough convincing evidence that the Earth's climate has always been changing. It has always been going through either a warming cycle or a cooling cycle.

The climate may be warming. There is more published evidence indicating warming than cooling, but the scientific community is not unanimous, and politics plays a significant role in scientific funding and publicity.

I have no idea whether mankind is responsible for any of the change that is most assuredly under way. The issue is far too complex and too politicized for any lay person to know.

Jerry Funk

Horncastle Place

Goose Creek

'Zoned out'

Trees, trees, trees. You can't see the forest for the trees (or in this case I-26).

Distractions and carelessness are the cause of accidents, resulting in injuries and deaths. In this category we can list speed, texting, talking on cell phones and fatigue.

Most of these accidents occur at the end of or near the end of our trip. We have driven for hours and miles, and our system is tired.

Our eyes get tired and we only have a tunnel of trees to focus on and the road directly in front of us. Our foot gets heavy as do our eyes and we gain speed. The next thing you know we are on the shoulder of the road and hitting whatever is there. A tree.

We get zoned out. These trees cause a canopy of trouble. We have nowhere to look except straight ahead with trees all around and a road that is straight and narrow.

Take the trees down, open up the roadway, give us something to look at so as not to be hypnotized by the steady passing of trees. Sure, leave some trees as islands for scenery and place some cables or guardrails if you need to.

Enough talk. Just do it. More lives are at stake.

Topper Avenel

Clifton Street

Summerville

Gun excess

The number of guns in the hands of U.S. civilians exceeds 270 million. Per capita, only Serbia and Yemen come close. It is amazing that we don't see more mall, theatre and school shootings than we do.

We no longer keep our "loonies" in state asylums, but rather turn them out on the street as quickly as possible. My wife, a retired psychiatric nurse, can attest to the gross treatment we give the mentally ill. Perhaps even worse is the guy who just goes "over the cliff" due to any number of factors from job loss to marital problems and wants to make a statement to the world. And then, of course, there are political terrorists.

Is it any wonder that the NSA is into massive surveillance? I would hope that they extend that surveillance to domestic citizens. We should be ready to jump on the militia types the very minute they choose to start trouble.

It seems obvious that we will not limit the purchase and type of guns. The alternatives will be either a "Big Brother is watching you" society or increased senseless violence. The future does not look like guns and roses.

William A. Johnson

Serotina Court

Mount Pleasant

Cheap shot

The Dec. 17 column by Frank Cerabino regarding the proposed monument honoring Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Olustee is nothing more than a hit piece by someone wishing to belittle opponents. He completely misrepresents matters and ignores the basic facts.

For the record, four monuments commemorating those who fought in this action are presently in place at the Olustee Battlefield State Park.

The first, honoring both Confederate and Union soldiers who fought in the bloody battle, was erected in 1912 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

In the 1930s, smaller monuments were placed to honor the Confederate commanders in the battle, and in 1991 the Sons of Union Veterans (SUV) placed another to honor the dead Union soldiers still buried there.

The question then, is why does the SUV wish to add yet another monument for their men, larger than any of the others, when two are already in place?

It simply appears the SUV does not want to count the shared monument which gives equal treatment in favor of another one giving a "hoorah" for their side.

D. Michael Thomas

Indigo Lane

Goose Creek

First responders

I am getting concerned about my safety as well as the safety of others in the Lowcountry when emergency vehicles respond to traffic accidents.

I notice that the fire department, police and EMS respond to just about every minor wreck, whether or not there are injuries.

Why is this is, and who authorizes everyone to respond? Is the 911 Consolidated Dispatch Center (staffed by civilians, not law enforcement personnel) making these decisions? Is it a game to see who can get there first?

I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Mark Clark the other evening because of a very minor accident. Police were investigating when a ladder truck from the Charleston Fire Department came through the middle of the traffic, sirens blaring, lights flashing and the driver sounding his horn like a freight train, only to see that it wasn't needed. It continued on to Leeds Avenue, turned around and came back through the east-bound traffic with siren, lights and horn blasting.

This was unnecessary, and it caused motorists unnecessary grief. This happens all the time, every day. Why aren't additional units canceled once the first responder arrives and evaluates the scene? Why doesn't someone on the scene take charge and get the traffic moving again?

I often see law enforcement standing around instead of directing traffic. What is their purpose on the scene if not to do that?

I challenge the S.C. Highway Patrol, sheriffs' offices and municipal law enforcement agencies to look into this and develop a standard operating procedure for first responders in situations like this. If one exists, execute it.

The hurricane traffic disaster several years ago is a warning about potential danger if these agencies continue ignoring the backup traffic they create.

Robert L. Minter

Lieutenant (Retired)

Charleston County

Sheriff's Office

Mimosa Street

North Charleston

Citadel blessing

Our community is blessed and has been for the last 76 years with a beautiful, heartfelt, Citadel candlelight service.

Many thanks to The Citadel, its staff, faculty and students. It really puts us in the spirit of the season.

Praise the Lord.

Mollie Wilkinson

Jim Wilkinson

Citadel Class of '58

E. Wimbledon Drive

Charleston

So much missed

Our community recently lost a true man of God, a proven leader and a friend to many in Bishop David Bernard Thompson, the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Charleston.

I did not have a chance to say goodbye to Bishop T so I wanted share a few of my fond memories.

Bishop T's learned homilies, by design, were presented in three bullet points and were never longer than 15 minutes. He was savvy enough to know that the head could never take more than the seat could endure.

I miss his sense of humor. As a clergyman he always showed his love for the game of golf by reminding me that golf is the only sport with an "amen corner."

I miss his intellectual prowess as our conversations about the Christian faith provided me much strength and understanding.

I miss his big heart. His life was a wonderful testament to "how to live your life for others."

His presence is still very much felt here on Earth. Thanks for the memories.

Lon Burris

Meeting Street

Charleston