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Visit God’s house

In Sunday’s paper was an insert of over 100 things to do in and around the Tri-Cities.

One important thing was missing: Get your family to church on Sunday.

JOHN AUGUSTAS

Bluff City

Set carbon prices

The nation is experiencing ever more and costly, billion-dollar weather disasters — storms and flooding in Tennessee and in much of the East, severe drought in the plains and Upper Midwest, heat waves, drought and horrific wildfires in the west.

These have taken more than 100 American lives this year alone and caused grievous disruption of daily life for many thousands. They also are warnings as to the hardship-filled world we are leaving to the children.

They represent nature’s reckoning for the damage we have been inflicting on the natural world which sustains us, through using the atmosphere as a carbon dump since the industrial revolution.

Good to hear talk about making communities and the nation more resilient to these disasters, not simply funding the rebuilding after them. The president wishes to “build back better,” through hardening the electric power grid against disruptive storms and other measures. The Congress seeks to fund these, in the infrastructure and a much larger, budget-reconciliation bill. Even congressional Republicans, though long the main reason for lack of a national response to the climate threat, seem anxious now, as Louisiana’s Sen. Bill Cassidy stated, to “be for [measures that] make our country more resilient to natural disasters.”

Resiliency, or ability to bounce back from adverse impacts, is a promising start. One gratefully notes an upswing in bipartisanship toward it, such as the recent Senate passage of the “Growing Climate Solutions Act” which saw most Republican members, including Tennessee’s, vote for its agriculture-related incentive measures. Let’s build on this modest success with more far-reaching, bipartisan climate bills.

The Congress should work together toward solving the cause of the problem. As the scientists and the nation’s economists both advise, placing a market-based price on carbon would most quickly, fairly and effectively reduce and eliminate the climate-damaging pollution.

FRANCES LAMBERTS

Jonesborough

Freedom v. common good

I read with amused interest the op-ed by Lawrence Goldstone (Sept. 2) expressing his dismay over people who tout and exercise their constitutional freedom in ways he considers irresponsible and selfish.

It appears that what he really deplores is people who disagree with him doing what he doesn’t want them to do. He seems to be unhappy that people own firearms and protest election results, and he frowns on governors like Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis and their supporters.

Does it not occur to him that there are also those of us who are saddened by abortion, and who disapprove of governors like Gavin Newsome and Gretchen Whitmer?

However, I do respect that if people are acting within the bounds of the Constitution and their state laws, they have a right to their choices.

Mr. Goldstone seems to be more uncomfortable with differences than I am. He wants to insist that we all be willing to give up a degree of our individual freedom for the sake of the common good.

I have two questions for him: Which of his freedoms is he willing to give up? And who gets to decide what defines the common good? I thought that was why we had a Constitution and democratic elections.

ALEENE JONES

Johnson City

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