Let’s have a rational debate, can we?4/8/2015
Rick Smith, in his letter on March 19, is too dismissive of those who do not agree with the majority of climate scientists. I happen to agree that human activities have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, and that those increases in CO2 likely do have some warming effect on our global climate. But, the science is not as settled as Rick Smith implies. Many factors affect climate trends, and scientists do not yet know exactly which factors will have what magnitude of effect. Climate models have already been shown to overestimate the rate warming. Respected scientists do disagree, even if they are in the minority. There well may be natural feedback loops that will counteract the effect of human action. History has shown, as Rick Smith implied, that the “consensus of experts” may be wrong. Additionally, even if the majority are correct, it does not automatically follow that more government regulation and raising energy costs is a better answer than keeping energy costs low and letting people decide for themselves how to best adapt to any changes that might occur. Finally, rational debate should not include name-calling such as “climate deniers” or “climate alarmists.”
Misses his Cityview
As a 9-year-old in 1966, I earned $1 a week delivering a weekly publication called the Fox Shopper to 100 homes in my Des Moines neighborhood. A 13-year-old acquaintance had the adjoining route with twice as many homes at twice the pay. Somehow he would always finish before me. Only later did I learn most of his were delivered in bulk to either the storm sewer or the trash. I was reminded of this last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday as I looked in vain for my weekly fix of Cityview at Aspen Athletic on Hickman Road in Clive. By Saturday I was forced to pick up a copy at Mickey’s Irish Pub in Waukee. I wonder if that same, now-61-year-old, has picked up the route.
We need to make Sen. Ted Cruz feel the political heat as Duffy’s welcoming ring of fire cartoon suggested March 26. Cruz, perhaps the greatest critic of Obamacare, deserves to be grilled about his decision to cave to reality and sign up for Obamacare. He acknowledged that since his wife is resigning her position and losing his coverage under her policy, he will be joining the Obamacare exchange. Prior to Obamacare, he and his wife could have faced being turned down for insurance due to preexisting conditions, paid excessive premiums or been subject to limits on coverage. You might think he would be thankful, but instead he continues to mislead about the law by saying Obamacare has “wiped out the individual market.” He will soon see that is simply false. All of Congress and its staff have multiple choices on DC Health Link, the Washington, D.C., Obamacare exchange. He will have the choice to choose from four private companies (Aetna, First Care, Kaiser Permanente, United Health) with multiple choices of plans and networks. Do you think when he actually understands his new insurance is better, more affordable, provides more protections and is coming through private companies he will admit he has totally misrepresented Obamacare?
More funding for education
With three granddaughters enrolled in the Waukee School system, I am worried about the quality of their education. Superintendent Wilkerson warned of damage to the school system if only a 1.25 percent increase proposed by Republicans is implemented. Wilkerson wrote: “…the last several years have been extremely challenging for setting school budgets. The legislative process has been frustrating and has complicated all school districts’ abilities to plan for the future.”
Many superintendents have reported that being underfunded again will cause increased property tax levies, significant cuts in staff, longer bus rides, reduced course offerings and increased class sizes. With an estimated 6 percent increase in state revenue beginning July 1 over current fiscal year revenue, priority should be given to our students who cannot make up a lower-quality education. And the needed funding should not fall solely on individual property owners.
Republicans have negotiated in “bad faith bargaining” with Democrats who began at a 6 percent increase and have bargained down to 2.62 percent with the Republicans not budging. Republican refusal to negotiate suggests that they vote as their party tells them. Republicans should be ashamed for not considering the views of their constituents, which includes school board members, superintendents, school staff and parents.
Julie Stewart Ziesman