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Letters: Be a good steward

Johnson City Press • Jul 20, 2018 at 2:03 PM

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

Be a good steward

A July 6 Forum letter cites a biblical psalm to assert that “God controls the climate.” The author quotes prominent deniers’ claims that “carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops…” positing that lowering greenhouse gas emissions is counterproductive and will “cause higher electric bills for everyone.”

Many mainstream Christian denominations have issued official statements on climate change differing greatly from Mr. Nave’s claim. These include the 2014 “Pastoral Message on Climate Change” published by the Evangelical Lutheran and Episcopal churches stating: “Daily we see and hear the evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Most disturbingly, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate.”

They have called on congregations and institutions “to work for the just transformation of the world’s energy beyond and away from fossil fuels (including all forms of oil, coal, and natural gas) and toward safe, sustainable, renewable energy.”

Fortunately, this change is well underway. Conservatively, a hundred U.S. cities, counties and other entities, from Atlanta, Amherst, Salt Lake City and Orlando, to nearby Buncombe County in North Carolina, have committed to utilize 100 percent renewable energy in a few decades’ time or less; already a handful have achieved this goal. This transition would occur at a much faster pace, however, if a price were affixed to polluting fossil fuels.

Higher electric bills would likely result, yet market-based carbon-pricing proposals, with all revenue being returned to citizens, would grow the economy and benefit households. As one example, major business and elder Republican political leaders propose their “Carbon Dividends Plan” would “increase the disposable income of the majority of Americans while disproportionately helping those struggling to make ends meet.”

Based on economic grounds and our Christian responsibility for all of creation, including our children, it is time to tackle climate change.

SHELLEY STAHLMAN
Roan Mountain

Fast-moving water department

At 7:30 this morning, I contacted the Johnson City Water Department over a loss of water pressure in my home and a significant stream of water flowing down the street in front of my house.

A representative of the department was here by 8:30 and work had begun by noon. It is now 9:30 p.m. and those people are still in the process of cleaning up what it took to restore my water service.

I must commend the water department and thank their employees for their dedication to their part of the American infrastructure. I would hope that all responsible for our needs would be so dedicated. Thanks guys!

RALPH JOHNSTON
Piney Flats

Thanks for kind bikers

I was returning home last month and came to the light where State of Franklin intersects with Walnut. As you may know, it’s a two light left and right yield; three lanes coming together into one lane.

The next thing I knew, the right side of my vehicle was being banged into. I wanted to make sure I didn’t cause an additional impact, because I knew there were a lot of cars around me, having been given the green turn light.

I was shaking. I had immediately called 911, but I was so upset that I couldn’t talk. Cars were speeding by fast. A man and woman stopped. They were on their Harley. The lady talked to 911 for me. She stayed until everybody came to help. Both gave their statements, which most people don’t want to get involved. The other driver was charged with failure to yield.

My car is back to looking wonderful. But I want to say “Thank You” to the couple who helped me. To those looking from afar — we probably seemed odd by glance because I’m a Muslim who wears long clothing and a head scarf and they were a couple biking on a nice day.

That’s what the USA is about to me. A fruit bowl of individuals.

I lived in Washington County until I was 18. After that, I was blessed to work in different places. I came back home four years ago.

Some people are focusing on the angst the world legitimately feels. But if Harley riders and a Hijabi can look out for each other, I find no reason to give up hope in all of humanity.

I want to say again, whomever you were: “Thanks for giving your statements to police, for your hug and for caring.”

LISA A. SHANKLIN, PSYD
Johnson City

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