Letters to the Editor

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The world is on fire

Editor: Scientists give us until 2030 to cool the planet below 1.5C and get CO2 levels below 300ppm. In essence, we are already too hot and on fire. The Amazon and Congo and South Asia lost 10.4m acres of primal tropical forests to wildfire in 2019. Australia lost 46 million acres that same year. In 2020, the American West lost 10.2 million acres. And as of today, July 15, Canada, Oregon, Washington have burned 1.25 million acres.

The world is on fire. There is too much carbon in the atmosphere. We must act now to put the fire out.

Phase One: Put out the fire. Plant trees. Millions of them.

Planting trees and green infrastructure is the first phase in this crisis. We must plant trees and plants en masse to draw down the carbon, and cool the planet all by 2030. Sequestering the atmospheric CO2 puts that fire out. And planting trees is the fastest, best and cheapest way to do that. That makes tree planters the first responders now the firefighters on the front line of a global ecological conflagration.

And yet, this existential threat of a climate crisis can be stopped. To do so, we must do two things: we must train the next phase of workers for the regenerative economy *as* they are working to put out the fire that is burning our house down to 2030.

As we do Phase 1 work, we must simultaneously prepare and train those workers *as* the next generation who will learn the skills, knowledge and trades to build our nation’s infrastructure and accelerate those Phase 2 regenerative businesses, economy and social systems within a safer, cooler environment and planet. A livable planet that our work of planting 1 trillion trees helped ensure.

Anything less will lead to a projected unlivable planet for our children’s children and any thereafter. Thus, we must remain mindful that we are in a long term climate campaign.

Prepping for Phase 2 renewable economy jobs with on-the-job training and workforce development programs can be achieved in company workforce development models that employ people with livable wages *and* provides a percentage of their workday for training and education towards that next level of green jobs.

Yes, we can do this. However, we must act now because our house is on fire. We must first plant the planet to reforest our primal and urban forests, and then we can pivot our time and resources to jump start a green, renewable future once we are sure that the fire is out.

Amos White

Actors wanted

Editor: A new theater project, The Food Bank Players, is seeking actors for an upcoming show benefitting The Alameda Food Bank. Artistic Director Gene Kahane former Alameda Poet Laureate and veteran director of plays at the Altarena Playhouse is hoping to perform Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing in early September at The Healing Garden in conjunction with the West End Arts District.

Actors aged 18 and up who are fully vaccinated are encouraged to contact the director at genekahane@gmail.com for audition and performance information.

Gene Kahane

Pass the voting rights act

Editor: Like many, I am frustrated with the roadblocks put up by Republicans in Congress that prevent even starting a conversation on critical pieces of legislation. I’m frustrated with the GOP’s relentless attack on our basic rights, including our freedom to vote. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 17 states have enacted 28 new laws this year that make it more difficult for eligible Americans to cast their ballots.

But I certainly haven’t lost hope or my determination. Right now, legislators are considering two crucial bills, the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Together, these bills would create national standards for voting and stop unjust and unfair voting laws. These bills are exactly what we need to reverse the worst attacks on our voting rights that we’ve seen in years.

I am urging Congress to prioritize voting rights and pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Macarena Valenzuela

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