Letters for November 17, 2011

Coral reefs and climate change

Re “Watts new with climate change?” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, Nov. 10):

It is amusing to read in this piece that Anthony Watts raises the objection in terms of lack of peer review of the published works that has changed the mind of a skeptic at UC Berkeley.

Mr. Watts is a weatherman, not a climate scientist. Weather and climate are not synonymous. The general public goaded by weathermen is so confused about these two distinct issues that we go on ad infinitum writing about these in the news media with no redeeming value.

Please allow this retired professor of chemistry to definitively show that greenhouse gases as per human activity do make a very serious negative effect. This point was published under my authorship in Physics Today (April 2008, page 10).

The coral reefs in Australia, Florida and Hawaii have been damaged due to acidification resulting from greenhouse gas dissolving in waterways like rivers and streams and then ending in our oceans. Coral reefs are made of the same material as is marble top in the kitchen; we all know when squeezed lemon drops fall on this marble top we damage it. Coral reefs play an important role in all life.

So please stop this unnecessary dribble about climate change being a subject of controversy. It is a fact, whether we like it or not.

Brahama D. Sharma

Recycling loopholes

Re “Recycling pioneer” (GreenWays, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Nov. 10):

I’ve been recycling for a few years. It’s been tough here in Butte County, as no place offers fair prices. Fair Street Recycling claims to, but I think they fall short of ethical.

The other day as I returned a bunch of items to the recycling center on Fair Street, I was informed by an employee that it’s not the company that’s ripping me off for those CRV dollars, but the state.

Not so true. I’ve found that most companies here in Butte don’t pay for wine, liquor, or large glass bottles. However, if I was to haul my loot to Sacramento, all items would be paid for.

I realize all companies need to make money to stay alive. Who is going to close these huge loopholes in the law?

Treo Benajan

Dear Rep. Herger

Thank you for sending me the text of your Veterans Day speech. Your words regarding veterans are surely eloquent, but nowhere in your speech did you declare that since you have been in office you have conspired to reduce veterans’ benefits every year, breaking the agreement that we signed onto when we went to defend this country.

You have done little but tarnish the reputation of this country by forcing the military to undertake missions that cause extraordinary harm to our economy, our deficit and to innocent people around the world. You continuously milk the image of being a supporter of the troops when you and others only serve to denigrate the tradition the U.S. military represents—honor in service.

When the true impact of what you have done in putting honorable men and women in harm’s way only to support the interests of weapons manufacturers and the extreme minority of Americans and associated foreign agents, you will be held accountable for your empty rhetoric.

Marne Bass

Occupy: two views

Re “What now for Occupy?” (Editorial, Nov. 10):

The suggestion that the next step for the Occupy movement is to work to re-elect Obama completely misses the point of the movement. While it may be true that “we are a two party nation,” this is actually a huge part of what the Occupy movement is protesting. They see quite clearly that both parties, Democrats and Republicans, are equally corrupt and beholden to Wall Street, the banks, and the corporations.

The Democratic apologists’ excuse that the Obama administration’s failures are due to Republican tea party obstruction is convenient, but ridiculous if you have been paying any attention to their actions over the past three years (the list of crimes and betrayals is long).

Likewise, the suggestion of “pushing Obama to get tough with banks and prosecute those responsible for the crash of 2008” seems hopelessly naive when all one has to do is look at who sits in his administration to know who he is siding with, and he shares in that guilt. The “lesser of two evils” argument doesn’t cut it anymore. The difference has become negligible, and most important, it’s still evil.

As to comparisons with the tea party and their supposed political impact, that movement was never a real people’s movement. It was funded by billionaires with a right-wing agenda (Koch brothers) and sold to people (with the willing help of the “liberal” corporate media) as a grassroots phenomenon.

The Occupy movement is a true people’s movement, and that is precisely its strength. Throughout this country’s history, it has always been people’s movements, not politicians, that have created real change (civil rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights). This is a movement for justice and equality whose time has come, and it will not be co-opted by politicians. Occupy Everywhere!

Miles Montalbano
San Francisco

I have been involved in progressive movements for 40-plus years. I reluctantly stayed away from the Occupy movement because of the frustration I experienced in the past.

I have little confidence in the movement at the present time because we are seeking change through marches and slogans. What we need is to aggressively register people to vote, inform those people what we are fighting for, and ensure that the voters show up at the voting booth.

This means that our outreach committees must engage the general public “one on one.” We cannot get our message across by standing on a street corner and showing signs and yelling slogans. We must go door to door and engage with the general population; we are past the time of preaching to the choir.

Spend your time contacting folks outside of the movement, and don’t be timid. The “1 percent” are laughing at us because they know that they have control of the House of Representatives. They know that yelling and marching will do nothing to elect people to the House! Stop and think about how we make change instead of doing what I call “feel-good things” to make us happy! Redirect your energy toward making a real difference!

Anthony Matulich

Right action

Re “Happy ending” and “Crystal Geyser pulls plug on Orland” (Downstroke, Nov. 10):

Welcome home, Gerard! Discovering that Crystal Geyser (in Orland) is going away at the same time that you are coming back restores my confidence in the right action of those of us on the left! After you get adjusted to your re-found and now permanent home, I look forward to helping ensure your sustainable and green consciousness pervades public policy.

Richard P Mazzucchi
Los Molinos

A treat for the ears

Re “Not-so-new music” (Music Feature, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Nov. 10):

I’m writing to thank Chico State’s School of the Arts for bringing the California E.A.R. Unit to town on Nov. 4. It was a great pleasure to see and hear the local premiere of David Dvorin’s composition, As Alice, which was creative, interesting, and just plain beautiful music.

And I was amazed by the virtuosity of the musicians—pianist Vicki Ray, violinist Eric Clark and percussionist Amy Knoles—who played the challenging music flawlessly and with obvious delight. The entire evening was a treat. Three cheers for everyone who made it happen!

Scott Lape