Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor, March 14, 2019: Address the hidden costs of fossil fuels

Richmond Times-Dispatch |

Address the hidden costs of fossil fuels

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Early in the Industrial Revolution, scientists calculated the change in atmospheric temperature as the chemical energy of coal was changed to heat. Smog and lung diseases were early issues but they were hidden costs. Accelerated warming from methane, the melting permafrost, coastal flooding, heat-saturated oceans skewing polar circulations and insect-borne diseases of plants and animals are modern manifestations and also hidden costs.

A multistep solution to this problem begins with recognition of the problem and effectively addressing the original issue. Place a fee on the release of carbon dioxide and methane. Fuel companies will raise their costs; therefore take the fees and return them to consumers. Once we begin to pay for the hidden costs we can get on with the other steps.

Richard Rose.


District statehood is a dumb idea

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Making a city, the District of Columbia, a state is a dumb idea. Then cities all over the United States would be demanding statehood. The solution to giving people in the District of Columbia representation in the House and Senate is very simple. The land on which the District of Columbia sits was donated by the state of Maryland. Return the land to the state of Maryland. Problem solved.

Marshall Vaughan.

North Chesterfield.

City should try other ways to raise needed cash

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

As a Richmond resident, taxpayer, and RTD news junkie, I feel compelled to share my reaction to the recent tax hike proposals. Initially, I thought "here we go again" or "it doesn't have a chance," then my mind morphed into "If you see something, say something."

My repeating reaction to government tax hike proposals and spending usually follows this thought process: Too many people we elected to office have "the keys to the safe" and, regardless of the mistakes and waste, it keeps filling up again and again. People in business and private ventures also have a safe, but when they waste their own money, they must cleverly invent ways to fill up the safe again. Governments simply do not have the same time-honored ugly consequences attributed to their failed ideas as businesses.

City government has its hardworking employees doing what they can to provide services to taxpayers and grantees, but with even a small injection of private sector attitude, these same inspired civil servants could be proud of their cost-saving ideas instead of justifying more funding for repeated nonproductive projects. By most per capita spending measures, Richmond has an uninspiring record.

Selling unused city property, staying out of the grand development business, getting more people to work to pay taxes, and compelling more productivity from employees just might produce the savings and cash needed.

So what do the compelled taxpayers do to protest? Well, if they are not a member of the "donor" class, invited to party committee events, wait endlessly for a return call from their rep or endure the wait till the next election cycle, they write letters to the editor.

George R. Thompson.


Collect past-due taxes to stave off tax hike

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Regarding Mayor Stoney's proposed tax increases, an element of revenue has been left out of the equation: past-due taxes owed to the city that have not been collected.

The City Auditor's Office report dated , reports that as of , past-due taxes owed to the city totaled more than $77 million (with roughly half of that figure past-due real estate taxes). To make matters worse, the report notes that the amount of past-due taxes owed to the city has risen more than 25 percent over the past five years.

Certainly an argument could be made that if the city improved its delinquent tax collection process, a real estate tax increase would be unnecessary, especially in an environment of rising assessments.

Mark Varah.


Reproductive rights belong to the women

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

When a female and a male have an interaction leading to a very pleasurable sexual interlude, only the woman may experience unintended lasting consequences. The risk of this (sometimes) joyful sexual encounter could get her unintentionally pregnant.

But, tragically, sometimes a female is sexually assaulted or raped, and she has to live with that nightmare, while the male may have no lasting memory and is ready for another brief sexual conquest.

Weeks after a brief sexual encounter, the female discovers she is pregnant. Unexpectedly, one sperm of millions penetrated an ovum for the pregnancy to begin. After this fertilization, the development stages continue with this one-celled entity becoming a zygote, which develops into an embryo, then later into a fetus, concluding with childbirth.

A female has the option of abortion, adoption, or motherhood. The option of aborting the pregnancy while the embryo is developing is absolutely up to the female.

A female should decide, within a reasonable time, to continue or not to continue the development process of giving birth.

The termination of a fetus is not "infanticide." It is the right of females to conceive or not to conceive.

Seems that most pro-lifers who believe that life starts when a fertile female ovulates every month also believe that life does not end at death.

A female conceives for only one virtuous reason, that is, the female and the male are in total agreement to become parents.

In male-dominated cultures, fathers compelled their daughters to marry in disagreeable unions. Females were even blamed for infertility problems or for not producing a male heir.

Unwanted pregnancies should be stopped.

Jerry Rubin.


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