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Humanity overexposedThose who wish to downplay the effects of climate change to maintain the status quo often state that “Earth has been warmer in the past” — as if invoking that mantra absolves us from the worsening natural and social catastrophes we face as consequences of pumping greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.They may not know that although paleoclimatic records suggest there have been a few relatively small and short-lived blips of warmer-than-present temperature during the last 10,000 years, it appears one would need to travel about 125,000 years into the past to experience the same kinds of exceptionally high annual temperatures and sea levels toward which we are hurtling. And here’s the rub: the archaeological record shows that societies 125,000 years ago were vastly different from ours. Thanks in large part to agriculture, which emerged within the last 15,000 years, and fossil fuel-burning technologies, which really gained steam within just the last 300 years or so, our species has quickly become over-leveraged in ways that were not possible for the hunter-gatherers who inhabited Earth last time it was as warm as it might be by the end of this century.That some humans managed to survive the last time the climate was so dangerously warm does not negate the fact that we have set ourselves up for a very big fall this time around.Given today’s vastly larger population (nearly 8 billion and counting), our utter dependence upon industrial-scale agriculture, and our over-reliance on taxpayer-subsidized dirty energy, the fact that some hunter-gatherers survived the last interglacial period offers us agriculturalists cold comfort. If we wish to maintain any semblance of the surprisingly recent — and thus anomalous — lifestyle we think of as “normal,” the world’s governments must rapidly switch to cleaner sources of energy. Vote for leaders who will make that happen.Luke PremoPullmanPoster boyDuring his trial, Kyle Rittenhouse told the court that he went to Kenosha as a volunteer, to protect a car lot during a Black Lives Matter protest. In a published photo, he is shown owning the street with another white teen, both of them carrying assault rifles. Kyle was 17. The boys were out after curfew. Yet, purportedly, police welcomed them.During his trial, Kyle claimed self-defense for fatally shooting two white BLM protestors and seriously maiming a third. In an astonishing move, the court dismissed all gun charges. The jury acquitted him on all counts.After the trial, Kyle told the press that he is “not political,” “supports Black Lives Matter,” and that the trial was “about self-defense, not racism.”The optics say otherwise.The entire episode reeks of racism, from the delayed police response to the court’s rulings. Further, the acquittal is being politicized by far-right politicians and media. Kyle Rittenhouse is now the poster boy for white is right.It is too late to claim both sides of the street.If Kyle were Black, he could not have safely walked towards police, arms raised in surrender. Right-leaning groups would not have bothered to raise $2 million to go his bail and hire top-notch lawyers for a trial by jury. A Black Kyle would have no opportunity to tell his side of the story, no talk show appearances, no offers of congressional internships. Instead, he would have been slain by police on the street or incarcerated, for life without parole or on death row, since his victims were white. And, judge, they were victims.This lesson is hard: We still live in a world of white entitlement. But justice, not vigilantism, is the first step towards change.Lisa KligerMoscowIt needs to be definedBrian Leffingwell’s letter (Nov. 21), an attack of Lydia Fletcher’s letter (Nov. 18) against critical race theory, raises the major issue of definition of terms. It did not appear to me they were applying a common definition of critical race theory. Actual critical race theory should only be taught in college level courses.I have serious concerns about the critical race theory that is a Marxist derivative that appears to have as its intent to pit cultural groups against each other and makes no effort to learn from history and provide possible solutions to correct past sins against minority cultural groups. Marxism and socialism do not believe in God. If there is no absolute truth and no morality giver, then survival of the fittest is the governing principle and we are just pitting one set of moral beliefs against another, which will likely result in tyranny by one group.However, there is a God who has created all humans from a common ancestor and told us we are our brother and sister’s keeper. We have made significant progress in righting past sins in this country but we do need to continue removing injustices and inequities so that all have equal opportunity.Marxist and socialist groups have infiltrated all levels of education and are teaching doctrines and theories that will destroy this country if fully carried out. I agree with Lydia that we need to know and understand what is being taught in our schools. Where it is antithetical to the founding values of this country, we must work and pray for a change for the better. Sadly, the mainstream media seems to be fostering the confusion and cultural divisions because these apparently sell products and increase followings. Critical race theory needs to be clearly defined, including goals, if it is to be included in education at any level.Larry KirklandMoscowLaw and orderI note columnist Scotty Anderson (Nov. 27) claims he is a law and order person. Does he know the “law and order” phrase is a racist code phrase? Does he know that it was a “law and order” prosecutor who put Kevin Strickland, an African American, in prison for three murders for more than 42 years, and that the “law and order” state of Missouri is refusing to compensate Mr. Strickland for his illegal imprisonment (Thank God, a GoFundMe page will take care of this)? There are thousands of men and women, most of color, who have been unjustly incarcerated by “law and order” agencies.“Law and order” has long been a cry that people in charge have used to confront restlessness bubbling up from below, be it popular insurrections, public disorders, radical agitators or gangs. It has been used against striking auto workers in 1936 to the demonstrations organized by the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. to the Black Lives Matter movement of today.Anderson also says he is for justice. I take it to mean he is supportive of programs like the Innocence Project which helped to free the likes of Mr. Strickland. I also hope he is pleased with the verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery case. And I hope he is in favor of compensating the parents whose children were ripped away from them at our southern border the last few years.Mr. Anderson, please be very careful with the words you chose to identify yourself. I would hate to get the wrong impression.Wayne BeebePullman
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