Sally White: A virtual coffee chat over some core beliefs

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Steve Lunetta, in his Nov. 2 column “Do you really think that …,”
champions the idea of sitting down over a cup of coffee, talking over differing viewpoints, as often we find more in common that previously realized.

I would like to respond, over a virtual cup of coffee, to Mr. Lunetta’s views and toss in some of my own for his consideration. First, let me say that I am a strong proponent of open dialog and brainstorming both in politics, environmental issues, and matters of social justice.

His first question is: “Do you really think that humans are solely responsible for global climate change?” Let’s take out the word “solely,” as some amount of fluctuation in climate patterns has always occurred.

Instead, consider the findings of scientists who have spent their entire careers focusing on this issue. There is a scientifically proven connection between the rise of carbon in the atmosphere and rising temperatures around the planet.

The increase in carbon is due to the use of carbon-based energy sources. Climate scientists are not going to reap any financial rewards from slowing down the use of fossil fuels.

On the other hand, there are those who are make huge profits by denying human impact, in spite of the magnitude of scientific findings as well as the evidence all around us of rising seas, melting ice, more treacherous storms, higher temperatures, strange weather and out-of-control wildfires.

Could we agree, perhaps, that, though humans may not be the sole cause of climate change, they are responsible for a great deal of it? And, along those lines, if there is anything that we can do to preserve a better world for our children and grandchildren, it would be wise to do it?

I have often wondered whether “climate deniers” trust medical science when they or their children are ill, or whether they take no action as it might do more harm than good and is not really necessary.

Next up, open borders. I would certainly agree that open borders as a policy are not a good idea. The problem is that some of our government’s policies – NAFTA, for an example – have had detrimental effects on the ability of many small farmers in Mexico to make a living.

When, corn is subsidized here to bolster Big Agra, it is then sold in Mexico at a price lower than subsistence farmers are able to grow it. Few would risk treacherous border crossings if they were not desperate to sustain their lives.

Also, many businesses like to have cheap workers, and homeowners enjoy the benefits of inexpensive gardeners and house cleaners. Our government must do something to change all of the policies that cause this situation. This includes policies affecting other countries in Central America as well as Mexico. Looks like we can have some measure of agreement on that issue.

Are all cops bad? Of course not! We need our sheriff’s deputies and police to keep us and our property safe, and we appreciate their acting in a proactive manner as they have been doing in or community. We’ve heard much in the news lately about “bad” police officers.

It is usually the outliers that get attention, and there are occasions when we witness bad behavior. This should be handled in the same manner as bad behavior by any other citizen; a police officer should not be above the law.

I suppose that the remark about stories on TV about officers stopping criminals and helping people was added as a bit of humor, and not meant to really prove anything. (We see so much on TV these days!) Nor should the fact that there are black, brown and yellow officers count one way or another.

Regarding the quality of news today, I quite agree that it is abysmal, and I am quite open to how we might demand good journalism, as has been suggested. In fact, for the past six or seven years I have completely excluded TV from my life, choosing to gather my news from a variety of other sources.

Looking at the Putin matter, it still seems a bit early to come to any conclusion as to whether or not he had a hand in our last election. Why don’t we wait on that one to see what Mr. Mueller presents for our scrutiny.

Now we come to “why we got Trump.” Actually, we got Trump solely due to the existence of the Electoral College, an outdated process of picking the president. Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote by more than 2 million.

I’ve so enjoyed having this virtual coffee chat with Mr. Lunetta, and I welcome his response; I have been known to change my mind when presented with strong evidence. The scientific method, you know!

Sally White is a Valencia resident.

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