Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 4-28-22

We must address climate change now

We wonder why Vladimir Putin would willfully create the suffering and devastation we are seeing every day. What could possibly motivate such heartless and unreasonable action? Is he sane? And yet, the same question can be asked of us, citizens of the most powerful and prosperous nation in the world, for we have elected, supported, and praised leaders, who for the past 50 years, have knowingly endorsed policies and enacted legislation that have created a situation. I am talking about climate change, which is causing and will continue to cause more global havoc than what is currently taking place not only in Ukraine, but throughout the world.

“They Knew,” a new book by James Gustave Speth, lays out in great detail what he calls, “the greatest dereliction of civic responsibility in the history of the Republic.”

As far back as the 1960s, computer modeling and data on the growing concentration of carbon in the atmosphere allowed scientists to verify such changes and project probable outcomes. It was clear that carbon concentrations were increasing. It was clear that this was due to human activity. The consequences looked dire, but solutions were available.  President Nixon proclaimed in his 1970 State of the Union message that climate change was of particular concern to young Americans “because they more than we will reap the grim consequences of our failure to act on programs which are needed now if we are to prevent disaster later.”

That was 1970. It is now 2022, those “young Americans” are now old Americans, and we can blame ourselves for an enormous “dereliction of civic responsibility.” Every administration from Carter through Trump and now Biden’s has been unable or unwilling to enact legislation that addresses this problem to any significant degree. In fact, every single administration since the ’70s has actively promoted a fossil fuel-based energy system and the United States has the distinction of being the greatest single contributor to world-wide greenhouse gases. We talk about electric cars and rooftop solar panels as if we were well on the way to dealing with an immense catastrophe coming at us at warp speed. Meanwhile the demand for coal, oil, and natural gas throughout the world has never been higher.

No one knows if the feedback loops already intensifying global climate changes can now be halted or mitigated. We already know we are in for floods, fires, droughts and migration on a scale never experienced. But can we wake up to the fact that if we are going to address climate change at the scale which is now required, we all, but especially we whose entire economy and lifestyle is based on consumption, must change, quickly and radically, the profligate and careless way we live.

As individuals are we willing to reduce our carbon footprint substantially? Are we willing to pay more taxes? If the answers are no, then we should accept our responsibility for a miserable and bleak global future.

Lyn Mattoon



Disagrees with letter writer

Many of the statements Kathy Herald-Marlowe made in her recent letter about Sweden and immigration are not right.  A quick look at Google would inform her, or anyone interested, of the truth.

It is true that Sweden opened its door wide to immigrants in 2015.  It is also true that they quickly closed that door when it became obvious that many of those immigrants, who had immigrated legally, by the way, did not have the same view of their responsibilities as the government, representing Swedish society, did. I won’t belabor an itemization of those ways, the information is easily available online.

However, in November of 2021 a policy statement was issued by the leader of the opposition party there. Young immigrants, she said, must go to high school and beyond, if possible; if they are receiving state aid they must learn to speak Swedish, and they must work a certain number of hours; both men and women must adhere to these policies and, in the case of women, no weight is to be given to the opinions of the men in their lives as to what their roles and responsibilities should be. This last was reflective of the fact that a large percentage of Sweden’s two million immigrants are Muslim.

The interesting thing about all this is that it illustrates an official attitude about immigration:  immigrants are welcome if their intention is, and their actions show, that conforming to the society they have joined is important. It is not that society’s responsibility to adjust itself to the newcomers, to the extent that they pose a burden on the indigenous population.

I agree that all nations’ social programs and responsibilities are endangered by low birth rates. I’m not at all convinced that the solution, in our case, lies in a policy which encourages millions of illegal immigrants to enter our country. This policy seems already to be giving rise to a hardening of attitude in the far, far right. Is this a good idea? A quick Google at the conditions in Germany in the 1930s that led to the rise of national socialism might be instructive, and a warning.

Pamela Osborne



Thanks for the care

I’d like to express my heartiest thanks to Helen Killmer, proprietor of the Studio41 gym in Sharon; her sons, Harley and Hunter; the courteous and effficient personnel of the Sharon emergency ambulance service; and the excellent staff of the Emergency Room at Sharon Hospital; all for their prompt and professional handling of my recent fainting episode.

Fortunately nothing was more than transient, and after a thorough examination I was discharged and on my way within several hours.

Keith Johnson



Another view

To Mr. Godburn: Bemused whenever political discourse is reduced to Right vs. Left, Fox vs. New York Times, Team Trump vs. Team Biden. Doesn’t account for conservative liberals, liberal conservatives and other contradictions to assumed allegiance. Ultimately, preserving Global Environment trumps other issues.

Fixating on gas prices, border crossings, scandalous laptops, etc., is taking an eye off the ball. Perpetuating divisive rhetoric and keeping score of tiresome grievances turns a blind eye toward finding common ground for All.

E Pluribus Unum!

Jonathan Doster



Let’s make the world a brighter, friendlier place

With homebound folks glued to the news of the Ukrainian concerns informing more of the world that “Europe could be next”, I ask, “Are we planning to help one another here in the U.S. in each state to be safe from abuse and danger of all kinds?” This  Passover, Easter and spring season is one that many consider a time of community and restoration.

A newborn person (not necessary to dub only a babe or blank slate, which can diminish the overriding aspect of their spiritual and emotional authenticity, something more online forums such as Humanity’s Team are appreciating with insights from science and spiritual theories that we are much more than meets the eye yet also may be coaxed or forced to be chipped not only for GPS or using a prosthetic but connected with the internet.)

Having time, permission and forums to ponder things over a longer period of time is something I have aspired to do on my public outreach efforts online and in forums over many decades. Many say “one person can’t do much to save the world,” yet many such people joining together is what has carried humanity out of darker times and into a greater consideration of what is possible for the one and the many.

Promoting hope and meaningful ways to stay connected was key during the pandemic and is currently the lifeblood of the spirit of those seeking sanity and resolution to what Russia and the likes has pursued to the dismay of many who hope “someone else can figure that out.”

I hope to network with others on my public Facebook page and more who want to help create Caregiving Response Teams in the U.S., in every state and town, to prevent the kinds of problems that land many capable people in the streets or steeped in conflict whether due to confusion, care needs or counseling of many kinds (life isn’t as easy to live as it used to be when the rules and cost of living were not so high.)

Thanks to all pitching in to make the world a brighter, friendlier place at a more humane pace. Sri Chinmoy who founded NYC Meditation is an ongoing inspiration to many, another “just one” who made an incredible contribution humanity can benefit from in these challenges times.Let’s each step into our Winning Team Spirit Game every season of the year and of our lives!

Catherine Palmer Paton

Falls Village


Give your lawnmower a vacation in May

The bees are in trouble. Their dire situation is an unfortunate combination of many environmental factors including insecticides, colony collapse and short sited farming practices. One third of our food supply is dependent on bees.

“Do not mow in May” started in the United Kingdom and is now happily spreading in this country. It is simple and effective: Do not mow your lawn in May. Let the dandelions and wild violets flourish. Let the bees dance among the flowers, and collect pollen.

This simple practice increases bee diversity as well as the number of bees. We can also save on gas, and decrease emissions from our lawn mowers. We can do a very important something for the pollinators and for our food supply by doing nothing.

So, talk it up among your neighbors, and let your lawnmower have a vacation in May.

Jill Esterson



The Alamo - Mariupol

The fight for life is all they know

They raise their hands to take a stand

Holding out long as they can

In face of death defenders saith

We’ll hold our ground ‘til our last breath


We wonder how we can help now

To stop that madman in Moscow

Send cash, send arms, to help and harm

To fight invasion, keep displaced warm

Stop war drums, pray peace may come

Again to my friends shattered home.

Peter Fitting


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