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Letters: Climate change is a public health threat

Johnson City Press • Mar 29, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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].

Climate change is a public health threat

I fully agree with this paper’s editorial on March 15, “ETSU’s College of Public Health essential to Tennessee.” In diabetes, cancer, being overweight and other stated health risks, Tennesseans are worse off than Americans in other states and need corrective help.

But new and growing health threats, both mental and physical and for all of us, now also come from the rapidly deteriorating climate. Not without reason did the Declaration on Climate Change and Public Health, by the National Medical Association, Public Health Institute, American Psychological Association and many other professional medical groups warn that the impacts from the weather crises are great and “demand immediate attention.”

Physically, these stem from heat effects, the rise in allergies and vector-borne diseases, water- and food-borne diseases, increased respiratory illness or even death associated with hurricanes and the many other, now so frequent extreme weather events.

Should it surprise us that these new weather conditions also can trigger severe trauma and emotional distress in people affected, anxiety about what the future climate will bring, and depression and financial stresses? Studies have found, for example, that nearly 30 percent of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina experienced some form of mental health issue.

The health consequences will fall most heavily on children, the elderly, socially marginalized people and those who already suffer from the chronic diseases in which we Tennesseans seem to “excel.”

The ETSU College of Public Health should now also include planning, monitoring, education and treatment capacity building related to these emergent and growing health threats. It should join the national medical associations in taking a stand on policy action to address the causes, and mitigation and adaptive response, to climate change.

FRANCES LAMBERTS
Jonesborough

End human trafficking

Thanks to the Johnson City Press for bringing attention to human trafficking. People wrongly think slavery ended in America. Sadly, the institution of slavery is still alive, it's just goes by a new name: human trafficking. Every day, millions of victims mostly women (one third children) are bought and sold around the world.

Dr. Phil exposed a rich and powerful pedophile ring on national TV. The woman on his show claimed to have been abused all her life and was trafficked to high-level politicians in America. What she described sounded satanic. President Trump promised to drain the swamp of pedophiles and end sex slavery and human trafficking epidemic in America. This could explain why some high-level politicians, government officials and media hate Trump because they fear going to jail for abusing children and other crimes. President Trump signed an anti-human trafficking bill into law. The Frederick Douglass Act Trump signed authorizes $430 million to combat human trafficking. Trump's Justice Department has had successful prosecution of over 550 traffickers in 2017 and over 1,500 arrests in 2018.

It's estimated, there are 94 children each month who are trafficked in Tennessee. Abuse of children causes revulsion if anyone has love for God, his word, the Bible or the children who are being victimized. Pray God will pour out his justice and pray for mercy and healing for the victims of abuse. Jesus said, "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he thrown into the sea, than he should offend one of these little ones." If you suspect child abuse or trafficking report it because Jesus said, "as you did to the least of these, you did it to me."

D.D. Nave
Elizabethton

Jazzed about jazz

If you missed the three nights of the Johnson City Jazz Festival, you missed some great music and world class musicianship, something all those who attended appreciated experiencing here in Northeast Tennessee. This great event would not happen without the input from many.

The organizers would like to thank the Carnegie Hotel for their significant support. The Ball Room is a great venue for this music event and Carnegie’s staff made sure all who participated, from visiting musicians to attendees, were well accommodated.

A special thanks goes to James Smith and his nephew, Lee, who donated audio equipment and many hours of expertise to make sure the music sounded great at all times.

The Festival would not take place without the support of our sponsor partners: Bank of Tennessee, First Tennessee Bank, Time & Pay, Albert’s Pawn, TVA Credit Union, Christian Schmid Design, LiveWire Radio 103.9, Interstate Graphics, Case Sensitive Photography and JRH Brewery.

Last but not least, we need to thank all media outlets for helping promote the event as we heard a number of attendees say they learned about the festival reading about it in the Press as well as other media channels. We appreciate the support of an event whose main goal is to provide our community the unique opportunity to listen to high quality jazz by great musicians from all over the country.

We heard overwhelmingly how much the 100s of attendees enjoyed this year’s event, so we look forward to seeing you at the 4th annual Johnson City Jazz Festival.

STEVE SCHEU
Johnson City

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