Letter to the Editor

Do your part to fight climate change

In “Indiana’s Future Heat: Reports Outline Worst-Case Climate Scenarios” (June 12), the author shared many scary predictions for Hoosiers as outlined in numerous key reports published by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA), National Centers for Environmental Information, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the United States Drought Monitor, among others.

For me, one of the biggest concerns is that we don’t know just how bad things may get especially if we continue to ignore the problem of climate change. Experts who have done the research predict dangerous and challenging times for Hoosiers.

The predictions in the article are dire:

“Heat will hit southern Indiana hardest as daily high temperatures exceed 95 degrees, stretching between 50 to 89 days each year by the time 2100 rolls around.”

“Winters and springs will become 30 percent wetter. Heavy rainfall will be 64 percent more frequent.”

“Rising temperatures and reduced summer rains will extend the growing season and lead to drought.”

These predictions will impact our health, stress our healthcare system, increase crop failure, postpone Spring crop planting, increase flash flooding, and much more. Agriculture, healthcare, insurance, industry and homeowners will bear the burden.

We will all be impacted, from our rising air conditioning bills to our children’s health.

The good news is that the solution is known. According to the article, “The short solution, the reports note, is for the state of Indiana and communities to become resilient and develop energy efficient programs that reduce carbon emissions.”

We can and must act now to create a sustainable and livable state.

Even better news is that there is actually a bill right now in the U.S. House of Representatives that would decrease U.S. carbon emissions to avoid the worst predictions. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) will drive down American carbon emissions and help get climate change under control, benefiting Hoosiers and all Americans.

The EICDA will place a steadily rising fee on carbon pollution and return this revenue equally to American households. The bill uses a market-based approach to drive down carbon emissions while creating jobs and benefiting business.

You can help get this important bill passed by letting your representatives know that you support it. A brief phone call is all it takes:

n Representative Holingsworth: 812-288-3999; Senator Braun: 317-822-8240; Senator Young: 812-542-4820.

You can also work to outsmart climate change by getting active with a group named Citizens Climate Lobby (citizensclimatelobby.org)

— Heather Swinney, New Albany

Protecting the American worker

What does the trade imbalance really do to the American worker?

This letter is in response to guest columnist, John Krull’s article of June 14, “Democrats, seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.” In discussing why President Trump should be vulnerable in the 2020 election, Mr. Krull calls it, “the stuff of fantasy.” He states that, “No one sane would be dumb enough to threaten imposing tariffs on major trading partners that would punish American consumers just to look tough or distract attention from other problems.”

It is not the premise of this article that I find objectionable, but Mr. Krull’s apparent lack of understanding or appreciation for how America’s working men and women, including, the majority of Hoosiers, are affected by this issue.

Mr. Krull, can we turn that statement around? What American leader would be stupid enough to allow their major trading partner to steal their intellectual properties, unfairly subsidize their major exporting industries, manipulate its currency in order to make their goods cheaper, impose tariffs on our products while we allow unfettered access to our markets, and steal millions of American jobs decade after decade while doing absolutely nothing about it?

Well, let’s see. There was Obama-Biden, Bush-Chaney, Clinton-Gore, and all of the American Congresses that backed the one-sided trade agreements favoring large corporations over the American worker.

Our total trade deficit with China alone is approaching half a trillion dollars a year. What does that do to the American worker? Senior Economist Robert E. Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank says it best. “Trade with China has redistributed vastly more income from working Americans to those at the top, than it has created through any increases in economic efficiency.”

Scott estimates that the trade deficit with China alone has cost America 3.4 million jobs. He further states that, “The impact of the trade deficit with China is not limited to direct job losses. Competition with low-wage countries” [including Mexico] “drives down wages and reduces bargaining power for millions of workers throughout the U.S. economy.”

According to Scott, “ …trade with low-wage countries like China is largely responsible for reducing wages by nearly $2,000 per worker per year, for all of the 100 million non-college-educated workers in the United States. Most of that income was redistributed to corporations,” and highly paid workers at the top of the economic heap.

For many years in our family one of the major topics of discussion at every holiday dinner has been about American jobs being shipped off to China, Mexico, Japan, or somewhere else. Always present were expressions of utter disgust for our feckless politicians. Those same conversations have been occurring around millions of American family dinner tables for decades, including millions of Hoosier dinner tables. The Democrats were not listening. The Republicans were not listening. No one was listening: No one until Donald Trump.

Now suddenly, the Democrats are giving lip service to income inequality and a living wage. For the working men and women in America, that ship sailed long ago. Even after Trump’s surprising victory, too many on the left (and the right) still don’t get it. That’s the real reason Democrats will seize defeat from the jaws of victory.

For those that found the 2016 election a stunner, hold on to your seats. The wave that is coming in 2020 will be beyond your wildest dreams.

— Bethony Barker, Jeffersonville