Climate change is happening here and now
Climate change is often described as something that happens very far, far away in space and time. Polar bears are losing their habitat due to melting ice, sea levels will rise in the (apparently) distant future.
This year has made it clear that the time and place of climate change is here and now. Its impacts are no longer abstract but affect us directly: multiple heat waves that have broken records and made us hide inside. A drought in our area beginning before spring was even there and causing record low harvests. Forest fires have been breaking out all over our region, covering us in smoke since the start of summer. Across the country and around the world, we have seen unprecedented flooding, record hurricanes, more heatwaves and devastating forest fires, their smoke reaching the North Pole for the first time on record.
It’s a taste of how our climate, and with it, our way of life and our health, will be increasingly impacted if we continue with our current greenhouse gas emissions. If we are to prevent the worst of global warming, we as a society must take bold action to reduce our emissions.
Carbon pricing is such a drastic measure: a progressive levy on greenhouse gas emissions reaches all sectors at the same time so that energy producers and industries can quickly reduce their emissions. A fee combined with a dividend compensates for the price increase we would experience as consumers. This gives us the freedom to choose products with a low carbon footprint. Be part of the solution and ask your representatives, Sens. Cantwell and Murray, to take bold action such as carbon pricing to protect our environment and our way of life here and now (you can do this using the link: citizenclimatelobby.org/monthly- campaign appeal).
My cousin “Harriet” is a professor in not one, but two departments at Loyola University in Chicago: Philosophy and Law. With a double doctorate, Harriet frequently brings clarity to disputes between mere mortals. In the case of “anti-masks” who equate the inhumane practices and procedures of the Nazi Holocaust with the benign drawbacks of COVID-19 mask warrants, Harriet sums it up succinctly.
She insists that we should never compare the immoral Holocaust mandates to the COVID-19 mask mandates, for two obvious reasons. The Holocaust inflicted death through the mass extermination of the “undesirables”. In contrast, mandatory masks support life by protecting us from the coronavirus.
The Third Reich was unleashed evil. He restricted the rights of millions of people in order to wipe them out in the “final solution”. Mandatory masks only restrict the flow of air between people in order to protect us all from the virus that has already wiped out millions of people around the world.
So when we think we are inconvenienced by warrants, let us remember that this is nothing like the Holocaust; and if we are forced to wear a mask for public safety, it is “not going” to kill us. Not wearing one might, however.
Mask warrants protect lives. The Holocaust extinguished them. It is that simple.
Appalled at the letter, and the decision to execute it
I was appalled and disappointed by Tim Moore’s letter to the editor of the Daily News on September 16. Mr. Moore’s ignorance of immunology and basic biology is not surprising. I guess he is not trained in these areas. Nonetheless, his willingness to accept fairytale explanations of biological processes, from named and unnamed sources with little scientific knowledge or credibility is more difficult to understand.
Where to start? Even though vaccinated people “shed” the spike protein, this protein itself is not infectious or damaging. It is only when it is part of the viral capsid that it allows viral nucleic acid to enter cells and cause disease. Getting vaccinated, whether against influenza, measles, polio, etc., it all depends on our exposure to proteins, which induce our immune system to generate defense mechanisms. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do this by allowing cells at the injection site to transiently manufacture the coronavirus spike protein. Moore’s wacky claims about the dangers of “lost” spike protein are absurd.
Likewise, his claim that this protein damages the brain and reproductive systems is nonsense that Moore gleaned from sites and online groups with even less expertise than him. Some of these groups are just not informed, but many are involved in the game of conspiracy and disinformation to make money or for various other unscrupulous reasons.
This leads me to criticize the Daily News. At a time when even Facebook, which is not a model of journalistic accountability, strives to reduce blatantly false and damaging information, why is the Daily News willingly spreading this damaging drivel. Mr. Moore’s letter does not express his views. It just spreads lies and lies picked up from nefarious websites. Eventually, Joseph Biden was elected fair and square president, and he beat his opponent by an overwhelming majority in the popular vote. These are facts, not opinions.
Let’s talk about immunity
A certain percentage of the population not vaccinated against COVID-19 has been infected with COVID-19. Many of them were ill and many of them were asymptomatic. These people have some degree of immunity against COVID-19. We still don’t know much about natural immunity, but a study in Israel suggests that it is at least as effective as vaccination in preventing transmission and reinfection.
Money orders are the issue that has so many people in turmoil. Being told by an employer or government that you MUST get vaccinated to work conflicts with libertarian values ââof choice.
If the purpose of vaccination mandates is to protect the general public, then why not accept natural immunity as an alternative to vaccination. I’m not suggesting people go out and try to get COVID-19. It would be irresponsible and counterproductive. But a large number of people have already had COVID-19, haven’t had the vaccine, and for many reasons refuse to do so. That would require periodic blood tests which would come at a cost, but why not let them prove their immunity and get back to work.