A headline in the May 14 Post and Courier read: “City seeking $2 billion to fix flooding,” as part of its overall plan seeks to prepare for 2-3 feet of sea level rise.
During the same week, the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere reached its highest level in 3 million years: 415 ppm.
But in 1982, scientists working for what is now ExxonMobil predicted this with uncanny precision. Their report forecast that CO2 would reach 415 ppm by 2019, accompanied by a 1-degree Celsius rise in the global average temperature. Because of these reports, followed by misinformation, Exxon currently faces litigation for racketeering and fraud.
But when Philip Morris USA Inc. was federally prosectuted on racketeering charges, did this bring justice to the families of millions who suffered from lung cancer from their products? Did it pay their medical bills or funeral costs?
Similarly, who will bear the cost of climate change to communities like Charleston? Will it be our most vulnerable citizens or our most powerful entities? What about in Puerto Rico or Paradise, Calif.?
One solution lies in a carbon tax, which, correctly implemented, would curb consumption by intensive industrial users while returning dividends to low- and middle-income households.
A similar effort by the bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund pays for public parks at no taxpayer expense through offshore oil fees and has had popular support for decades.
Therefore, the state and the city’s Office of Resilience must support solutions such as a carbon tax as part of their climate change strategy. With $2 billion of public funds already needed, it may not be only be the moral solution but the most economic.
Sam Rittenberg Boulevard
While reading “Decision at Delphi” by Helen MacInnes recently, she quoted a poem, “Waiting for the Barbarians,” by C.P. Cavafy (translated by Edmund Keely) that caught my attention:
“What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum
“The barbarians are due here today.
“Why isn’t anything going on in the senate?
“Why are the senators sitting there without legislating?
“Because the barbarians are coming today.
“What’s the point of senators making laws now?
“Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.”
There is much more to the poem, but these few verses remind me of a similar situation with our Congress and how members seem to be waiting for someone to do their job.
JOHN T. O’BRIEN
If our children would learn not to trash our roads and neighborhoods as part of their schooling in healthy living, then the children would teach their parents and friends at home.
And in years to come, the practice would continue.
Erasing the past
I have been observing recent developments in Charleston where parts of the city’s history are being eradicated. The latest debacle is changing the name of Dixie Plantation.
This makes about as much sense as those who claim the Holocaust did not happen. History is history, the good and the bad. We may not want to acknowledge parts of it, but it’s still a part of the past that cannot be denied.
That plantation was not named to maliciously single out any particular group. What has always set Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry apart is its fascinating and alluring past.
Now, I am afraid that our history is being diminished. Charlestonians, rise up.
Long Bend Drive
On May 14, several Charleston residents assembled at City Hall to express their discontent with the mayor and City Council’s failure to follow the city’s own guidelines against irresponsible development. But the turnout was not satisfactory.
Despite worsening floods and deforestation caused
by rapid and poorly plan-ned development, Charlestonians have yet to find
the motivation to force-
fully let their representa-tives know that this will be a major issue in upcoming elections.
A few people in our community are very active on the issue of overdevelopment. But until multitudes of ordinary voters make their voices heard, our politicians will continue to be controlled by corporate developers.
And those corporations will continue to run off with our city’s wealth, leaving us to pick up the pieces.
I exhort my fellow residents to take a vocal role
in defending our city and voting out leaders who fail to lead on this crucial issue.
If we don’t take responsibility for our future, no one else will.
Lady Cooper Street
Santee driving tips
Here are a few tips if you want to avoid a traffic ticket in Santee.
The speed limit is 35 mph; don’t exceed it.
Stop at red lights; don’t roll through them to make a right turn.
On a similar note, use your turn signals.
Leave a cushion of space between your car and the one in front of you so when you look up from texting, you’ll have room to stop.
Don’t text while driving.
Now, I know that sounds like a lot to remember but do your best to be courteous.
You never know if that driver you just flipped off is an officer in an unmarked car. I’ve been here 16 years with nary a ticket so I know it can be done.
The May 16 Post and Courier article by Catlin Byrd about the move to eliminate the Electoral College quoted state GOP Chairman Drew McKissick’s concern that eliminating the Electoral College would “undercut South Carolina’s political popularity” and “eliminate the political clout of smaller states.”
Eliminating the Electoral College would do a lot more than that.
If the Electoral College is eliminated and the popular vote determines the winner of the presidency, the votes of the people residing in the most populous states (California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois and Ohio) would elect the president.
And the votes of those in the remaining 44 states, including South Carolina, would be irrelevant.
The framers of the Constitution had it right, so leave it alone.
ROBERT G. CURRIN JR.
Palmetto Pointe Lane