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Letters to the Editor: Climate predictions are not facts

Letters to the Editor: Climate predictions are not facts

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Climate predictions are not facts

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Mark Kettlewell’s letter “Don’t publish opinions that are wrong” is characteristic of a totalitarian movement underlying the global warming movement. Not content with climate exaggerations, supporters of this sentiment increasingly resort to censorship of opposing opinions — and even recommendations of prosecution for those who question the warmist dogma. This totalitarian impulse has increasingly earned many in their camp the nickname “watermelons” — green on the outside, red on the inside.

Kettlewell feels that censorship is warranted when opinions are contrary to the “facts”: that the world “will become uninhabitable . . . in the next 50 years” and that “the planet will no longer be able to sustain the global population’s projected growth.” What he identifies as facts are merely predictions of future events.

Indeed, warmists’ climate predictions decades in the future are no more factual than their predictions of dramatic warming over the past 18 years — warming that never occurred, despite steady increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Why are we to assume that computer models that produced such inaccurate predictions in the near term should be deemed infallible in the long term?

The totalitarian impulse behind this movement is confirmed in the writer’s final prediction that a “huge” government will have to ration scarce resources in a warmer world. Maybe the world will be warmer in the future, and perhaps a warmer world will, contrary to human experience, produce fewer life-sustaining resources. But if that is indeed the planet’s fate, it is anything but self-evident that a huge government must allocate resources. For centuries, free markets in the developed world (and increasingly in emerging economies) have very efficiently rationed resources through the laws of supply and demand. Let’s hope that command-and-control climate alarmists are kept as far from the levers of power as possible.

David Shuford.


Seniors grateful for city leaf collection

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In response to Michael Raff’s letter, “Time to cease curbside leaf collection”: I am a widowed senior citizen living on a very fixed income.

I enjoy living in my longtime home and am in fairly good health. I do all of my own housework but the yard outside is too much. I pay to have my grass cut and leaves raked. I live in an older section of Richmond with many large trees, which I enjoy. The leaf work is costly, so I budget a bit each month to be ready for leaf time. With so many leaves the work needs to be done twice each year. This year the cost was $330. The man who does my leaves told me to bag that many leaves (between 75 and 100 bags) would cost an additional $75 to $100. How thankful I am to have curbside collection. It would be nice to have the leaves collected in a timely fashion but because of all the rain and snow this year, leaves blowing in the streets haven’t been much of a problem in my neighborhood.

I am aware of the city’s lack of funds and of its needs. I’m also aware of Richmond’s lack of leadership and budgeting abilities, but taxpayers deserve leaf collection and fixed-income seniors are thankful to have it.

Sue Hurst.


Trump is a bully, not a conservative

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Donald Trump has a limited command of the English language.

We have spent decades teaching our children civility, that words hurt, how to be polite and to be truthful. Trump has managed to pull the wool over the gullible public’s eyes by doing the opposite of what we have been teaching children. In school he would be considered a bully and sent to the principal’s office. If that didn’t work and he continued on this course, he would have been sent to counseling to see if he could be rehabilitated. He is doing and saying every outrageous thing he can think of to see when people will wake up.

His lying and boasting are only matched by his deceitfulness. He is not a conservative.

Jackie Dickinson.


Sanders’ health care is a money-saver

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The World Health Organization ranks the United States’ health care system No. 37 in the world. Yet, we spend about 17.1 percent of our gross domestic product on health care as compared to France, which is ranked No. 1 and spends 11.6 percent of its GDP on health care.

Sen. Bernie Sanders deserves my vote because he understands how to fix this problem using The National Health Insurance Model (also known as the single-payer system). This system keeps hospitals and doctors private, while the government funds the insurance. It would do this by increasing taxes. According to the website, Physicians for a National Health Program,, it is expected that 95 percent of all households would save money if they switched to this plan. The tax increases would end up costing most people less compared to the amount they currently are paying for health care.

Sanders strongly believes this plan could save the U.S. money that is now being wasted on insurance premiums and overpriced medical bills.

Trevor Bedsaul.


Address the root of chronic disease

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

As I read various op/ed columns in The Times-Dispatch, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, I find a general consensus that the election is all about fulfilling dreams and responding to emotions rather than reality. The majority of people want instant resolution of long-developing problems.

I look back over the 60-plus years since I graduated from medical school and study the changes that have taken place in medicine that affect the population as a whole. The success of our efforts to cure acute disease has led to an epidemic of chronic disease as the population ages. The Social Security Act of the 1930s set a retirement age of 65, believing only a few people would reach this age. This was an emotional, political solution that failed to look at the need for a moving target that could be altered as better population data became available. As a result, the economy of the U.S., like other developed countries, is grinding to a halt from the cost of dealing with disabilities associated with aging.

Most of the disabilities are associated with poor behavior including overeating and lack of exercise. Many interest groups, medical groups and health agencies have been trying to induce the population to become healthier but this takes a lot of personal effort and time. At present our politicians are preaching simplistic answers — such as a single-payer system or doing away with the Affordable Care Act — which would result in costs that will disrupt the economy even faster than the current epidemic of chronic diseases.

I can only hope that the electorate will take a look at the long-term effects of the promises of politicians on all sides and focus on an individual whose is pragmatic enough to start solving these problems.

Christopher (Kim) Buttery.


Cruz may be what the nation needs

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In your editorial, “Shake up,” you state that “a Cruz nomination would be catastrophic for Republicans.” I hope you are right.

It would be a catastrophe for the elitist, progressive, ruling-class Republicans who want nothing more than to be an auxiliary of the Democratic Party. It would be a catastrophe for those Republicans who talk about faith and a redeemer in terms of tolerance and social justice, but denigrate a man who has lived out this faith and convictions — Ben Carson — as “preposterous.”

And it would be a catastrophe for Republicans who hold up Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie and maybe Elizabeth Warren as grown-ups but refer to candidates who consistently espouse conservative values as cranks and angry haters.

A catastrophe for the GOP establishment might be a blessing for our nation.

Chris Waters.



Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I have decided to vote for Ted Cruz in the Republican primary. Though a sitting U.S. senator, Cruz is clearly not an establishment candidate. He is an outsider who is hated by the Washington elite and the media alike.

Why do they dislike him so much? Because he will not play ball with those who seek to maintain the status quo. He’s planning to shake things up when he gets to the White House and they know it. He is the one true conservative in the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. As an unapologetic pro-life president, Cruz will work with Congress and the states to pass as many restrictions on abortion as reasonably possible. And he will fight hard to get Roe v. Wade eventually overturned. He will rein in our out-of-control federal spending and begin to chip away at the massive national debt.

Contrary to the practice of our current president, Cruz would not conduct our nation’s business under the influence of political correctness. He would stop the flow of illegal immigrants into this country and deport those who have no permission to be here. He would make sanctuary cities a thing of past. Unlike most of the other candidates, Cruz is unequivocally opposed to gay marriage. He is determined to appoint justices who would undo the Supreme Court’s egregious usurpation of the states’ right to ban same-sex marriage within their borders. He would be a strong defender of religious freedom for all. Cruz would not use our military as a tool for nation-building or to intervene in foreign civil wars. He would send our soldiers and Marines into battle only for the purpose of defending our country from its mortal enemies. And he would protect us from terrorism without spying on Americans or resorting to torture techniques of any kind.

Terry Mitchell.


Trump has the knowledge to run the U.S.

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Of all the Republican presidential candidates, there is one who stands out from the pack — and not because of his big mouth or his eagerness to call an opponent a loser. Donald Trump stands out because he isn’t a typical politician. He isn’t a politician at all, which could be exactly what this country needs. His superior skills at running his businesses will translate perfectly to running the country, especially economically. Unlike the majority of the other candidates from both parties, Trump made his name by by starting companies and creating jobs for other Americans. Both Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton have primarily dedicated their lives to telling people what they want to hear in order to be elected.

As a businessman, Trump has had to make numerous deals and negotiations with other people. This experience will allow him to repair the American economy. If he can make business negotiations with his own money then he is capable of making deals with foreign nations and Congress. Trump will be able to negotiate trade deals that work in our favor instead of against us. He will close the gap on the $365 billion trade deficit with China, which is growing every year. He plans to return lost jobs to America by imposing a 20 percent tariff on all imported goods. Doing this will encourage businesses to keep producing in the U.S. and bring back ones that have already gone offshore. This economic knowledge is the reason his antics haven’t lessened his appeal to me.

Adam Schneider.


Obama can be rancorous, too

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

President Obama recently declared that Republicans have no constitutional grounds to refuse to vote on a Supreme Court nominee. He challenged his political foes in the Senate to rise above the “venom and rancor” that has paralyzed judicial nominations.

Well, this seems to be quite ironic coming from a president who has been going around the Constitution for seven years. Does Obama really think that the Senate should cooperate with him and further his legacy when he has figuratively slapped the Republican-led chamber in the face so many times during his presidency?

Let the new president, Republican or Democrat, select the next Supreme Court nominee.

Kenneth Zajick.


Clinton will give us debt-free education

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Sen. Hillary Clinton is the most viable candidate for the presidency. She has a set of proposals to improve the United States’ education system at all levels of schooling. Clinton intends to make preschool universal across the nation. The National Center of Education Statistics states that in the past few years, fewer than half of the nation’s 3-year-olds are in school or instruction prior to kindergarten, and that only around 68 percent of 4-year-olds are in pre-K. These percentages are not acceptable for the well-being and education of our children.

Additionally, Clinton plans on ending the No Child Left Behind program. There is no proof that the program has been beneficial. Clinton proposes changes to tertiary education as well. She aims to propose her New College Compact Bill that would make community college and four-year public colleges free. According to, the plan will cost a whopping $350 billion, but Clinton plans to compensate for the costs by closing loopholes when it comes to taxing the wealthy and with contributions from students, parents and the states.

A vote for Clinton is a vote for debt-free education.

Jordan McLaughlin.


Rubio wants to revamp college education

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

All of the presidential candidates participating in Virginia’s March 1 primary have at least one issue on which their views differ from all the other candidates’. However, Sen. Marco Rubio’s proposal for education reform is completely different from the other candidates. He wants to overhaul higher education and change the U.S. accreditation process.

Rubio wants to change the way universities are certified. With today’s technology there is no longer a need to spend thousands of dollars and four years at a college to earn a degree. Under Rubio’s proposal, institutions would no longer have to have brick-and-mortar buildings to be accredited. He wants an accrediting process that is meant, according to to “welcome modern, flexible and affordable providers.” With this new system, universities would have more competition, forcing them to lower their prices in order to stay relevant.

If Rubio becomes president, his plans would allow every single person the option of pursuing higher education. With his proposals, college would be less expensive for students and the government would be spending less money helping people pay college expenses.

Cynthia Dugan.



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