Extreme heat (copy)

Extreme heat is predicted to increase in South Carolina.

I thank The Post and Courier for running the Aug. 9 article on the extreme heat predicted to increase in South Carolina as a result of our changing climate.

Every day we learn of additional concerns due to climate change: rising seas, worsening storms, flooding and, of course, the increasing frequency of dangerously hot weather.

There are multiple secondary effects, too: harm to our flora and fauna, to property values, businesses, our fishing industry, agriculture, tourism and the rising costs of adaptation.

Even our concerns about seismic testing and offshore drilling are connected. All result from our addiction to fossil fuels, once a boon, now a scourge.

There are four bills in the U.S. House that address our dependence on fossil fuels by doing what economists, scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say we must: price carbon pollution.

All these bills would help move us to a renewable-energy economy and grow jobs.

The best of them, HR 763, the bipartisan www.energyinnovationact.org, would reduce carbon emissions most rapidly while protecting low- and middle-income households from rising prices.

It would grow jobs in the Southeast and protect our coasts from sea level rise. It’s market-based, revenue-neutral and bipartisan.

Sen. Lindsey Graham recently started the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus as a conservative approach to environmental policy, a positive step forward.

He has also called for bipartisan and market friendly action on climate change. Tell Sen. Graham it’s time to lead by introducing a bipartisan, revenue-neutral companion to HR 763 in the Senate. Inaction will be far more costly.

KATHARINE HUDSON

Mum Grace

Beaufort

Global health

The World Health Organization’s recent decision to declare Ebola a public health emergency is a powerful reminder of the importance of long-term investments in global health.

International cooperation crucial to fight global disease

One of the most effective and efficient tools in our arsenal to stop the spread of infectious diseases and encourage developing countries to invest in their own health care systems is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Our state is lucky to have Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has been a powerful advocate for the Global Fund, which will hold its sixth replenishment conference in October.

Now that Congress has reached an agreement on spending caps, it’s important that it sends a clear signal to the world that America intends to continue our historic commitment to the Global Fund with the final part of our three-year commitment of $4.3 billion.

Thanks to bipartisan U.S. leadership, we’ve made incredible progress in global health over the past 15 years.

Our world, however, still faces some very real health threats. As a proud member of the ONE Campaign, which is working to fight preventable disease, I’m glad I can count on Sen. Graham to bring us across the finish line and ensure the United States upholds its commitment.

JENNIFER JONES-WOOD

Maybelles Lane

Charleston

NRA mantra

The Aug. 11 letter to the editor, “Gun Violence,” rehashes the NRA mantra: “Guns don’t kill people, people ... ” and cites a variety of other implements that could be used to kill.

It is true that box cutters enabled the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The key word here is “enable.”

Guns enable personal conflicts to escalate to a lethal outcome.

Letters to the Editor: Guns not cause of violence

Whether a domestic argument, road rage or a bar fight, if there’s a gun handy, lives can be ruined or lost very quickly.

Guns enable children to accidently shoot and kill another child or themselves. Guns enable a much higher success rate when depressed people attempt suicide. Guns enable mass murderers to kill people rapidly.

We need gun safety laws based on owner responsibility. In households with children present, ammunition and guns should be stored and locked up separately.

Owners who allow their guns to fall into the hands of children, criminals or the mentally ill would be held responsible. If guilty, they’d lose gun ownership rights and be criminally liable for negligence.

Many gun owners are conscientious about storage and handling. The safety-responsibility laws would target the owners who are not.

Sadly, enforcement would come after a shooting or another tragedy. The laws would have to be enforced with mandatory jail time to be effective.

Religion is unfortunately not the answer, nor is mental health treatment, because no one is willing to fund it adequately. We need better gun laws to make our society safer for innocent people, and especially for children.

DR. LUDWIG A. LETTAU

Boyle Way

Summerville

District disconnect

The July 25 town hall meeting hosted by Kevin Hollinshead, a North Area representative on the Charleston County School Board, opened a desperately needed dialogue to address an education system in District 20 that should be serving everyone.

Unfortunately, it was not an inclusive forum for all stakeholders of a potential merger between Buist Academy and Memminger Elementary.

It was also an eye-opener for me regarding the level of disconnect between my fellow District 20 parents.

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The panel of speakers concerned me. Most of the content was limited to Buist parents whose collective voice unfortunately seemed to be the only one given a platform.

The peninsula was not properly represented, and this has created a larger rift in a community that is already suffering from great social divides.

School designed to integrate downtown Charleston now grapples with a lack of diversity

The message from the final speaker from the B.E.S.T. Academy in Atlanta caught the entire audience by surprise.

His initial intention of promoting single-gender education programs was overshadowed by negative rhetoric regarding social values.

We are suffering from a crisis in our LGBTQ community in Charleston with two recent tragic losses. There have been 12 LGBTQ citizens killed nationwide this year.

If we are to rise above these injustices, we must promote human rights and be ashamed to allow such views.

As Charleston stakeholders, it is our responsibility to listen, engage and work toward becoming a community that respects human rights and the right to an education.

STEFANYA D’ALLESANDRO

Race Street

Charleston

Asking questions

I recently took an opportunity to contact Congressman Joe Cunningham concerning issues I was interested in.

The first contact with his office was to request clarification about a statement he made. I am still waiting for his response.

The second was concerning a bill to supplement union pension funds.

I asked for his rationale for this expense because our nation is in so much debt already. I got a reply that essentially said, “Yes, we are.” I have to assume he either does not want to explain his votes or he cannot explain his votes.

Regardless, I will continue to ask questions.

JAMES MERCER

Milano Street

Hanahan

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