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December 21, 2022, 12:06AM
Climate, farms and food
EDITOR: Green String Farms in Petaluma has announced that it is going out of business. This has shocked many locals who depend on its produce. But the reasons behind its failure are the same reasons many farmers struggle — lack of labor and water. Add to this the increased cost of fertilizer and fuel, among other increased costs, and you have a scenario that many other farmers face while trying to stay in business.
We just reached 8 billion people on this planet. Just 12 years ago it was 7 billion. Climate change and drought have fallowed many acres in the western United States. The Mississippi River is at its lowest flow in history. The war in Ukraine has destroyed the breadbasket of Europe. Green String Farms is just another example of farmers and agriculture failing because of climate change.
It’s time for people to realize that food doesn’t simply come from a grocery store. Water doesn’t simply come from turning on a tap. We need to support farmers — all farmers. We need to act on climate change by reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. We are linked to the environment in more ways than we realize.
EDITOR: David Haynes says he’s tired of reading the same anti-gun rhetoric over and over for the past 40 years (“Blaming gun owners,” Letters, Dec. 7). I hear him — I’m tired of reading the same weirdly spun statistics from pro-gun people over those same four decades.
By way of example, Haynes compares the 364 Americans murdered by rifles in 2019 to the 36,000 killed in auto accidents. This would be an apt comparison if those 36,000 people had been intentionally slain by bad guys with cars, but I’m willing to bet that very few of the auto-related deaths were actual murders.
In 2021, there were a record 47,000 gun deaths in the U.S., nearly 21,000 of which were homicides. Worldwide, the U.S. trails only Brazil in annual gun-related deaths, and Americans are nearly 50 times as likely to die as the result of gun violence as residents of the United Kingdom — a nation with strong gun laws.
These are the statistics that matter. Spare me the apples-to-car-crashes comparisons.
Trump trading cards
EDITOR: Donald Trump selling trading cards says so much about the U.S.:
— A man who was president and was only a narcissistic huckster has degenerated into something truly pathetic.
— Americans are being asked to pay $99 for putative artwork that is non-fungible etherware and can’t be traded or hung on the wall.
— There are people out there willing to burn $99 to help keep a man who is suspected of voter fraud, tax fraud and inciting an insurrection out of jail.
Is this a great country or what?
EDITOR: It is tragic that The Press Democrat, a paper that has attempted in good faith to promote the well-being of trans and queer people, printed Pamela Paul’s Dec. 11 column opining that trans people apparently don’t exist (“We’re free to be you and me — or not”). Is the meandering, self-contradicting essay that seeks to blame progressives for some sort of imagined mental prison really the best opinion piece the wire could come up with? By insisting on a biological binary that does not exist and removing transgender voices from the conversation, Paul presents her opinion as unchallenged fact, and The Press Democrat diligently helps her carry this water.
I refuse to let this go unanswered, and though Paul will never see my reply, I hope that every reader of this paper does: convenient binaries do not exist in this strange and beautiful world of ours, and certainly not within the realm of biology. Ninety-nine percent of the atoms in the observable universe are either hydrogen or helium, which leaves those of us carbon-based humans who need water and air to live very grateful for everything beyond those two.
EDITOR: I would like to add a priority for Congress: Pass the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022, which has bipartisan support. It raises the threshold to lodge an objection to presidential electors to at least one-fifth of the duly chosen and sworn members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It affirmatively states that the constitutional role of the vice president, as the presiding officer of the joint meeting of Congress, is ministerial and that he or she does not have any power to solely determine, accept, reject or otherwise adjudicate disputes over electors. And it strikes a provision of an archaic 19th century law that could be used by state legislatures to override the popular vote in their states by declaring a “failed election” — a term that is not defined in the law. Please contact your representatives to bring this up for a vote.
The National League of Women Voters has also taken on the audacious task of eliminating the Electoral College. Find out more information at lwv.org.
Sonoma County League of Women Voters
You can send letters to the editor to [email protected].