Time to act on clean power plan

Last week, courts denied a request to stay the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which sets the first ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants and encourages the development of cleaner, safer sources of energy.

The stay request was simply an attempt by polluters and their allies to block meaningful action on climate change, and the court’s decision is a rejection of their arguments against the Clean Power Plan. The EPA’s plan rests on solid legal ground and will protect our health and our climate from dangerous carbon pollution.

For the Americans who are in the hospital or home from school and work because of polluted air and the effects of climate change, there is no excuse for attempts to delay this rule. Carbon pollution fuels climate change, which triggers more asthma attacks and respiratory disease, and worsens air quality.

According to the American Lung Association, over 150,000 Philadelphians have asthma. Over 35,000 of Philadelphians with asthma are children. We cannot allow polluters to continue to delay progress, putting profit over public health.

The momentum is growing as more and more people call for action on climate change and support policies like the Clean Power Plan. The United States and nearly 200 nations reached a historic global agreement to avoid dangerous climate change. Pope Francis joined the chorus of those calling for meaningful climate action to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations in his encyclical, Laudato Si : On Care for Our Common Home.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement, a world-wide group of Catholics responding to Pope Francis says, “While discussions of climate change often involve debate about economic theory and political platforms, and while it can involve issues of partisan politics as well as “lobbying by special interest groups, our focus is on the moral and spiritual issues involved.”

The Clean Power Plan is a moral issue. Pennsylvanians too are calling for climate action – more than two thirds of Americans support the Clean Power Plan, and want action on climate to be a priority.

Pennsylvania’s elected officials must be responsive to this call to act. We’re fortunate to have leaders like Senator Casey who has pledged his support of the Clean Power Plan. For those who have yet to stand up in support of this meaningful climate action, I urge you to get on board, for the health and prosperity of our most vulnerable citizens depends on it.

Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark

Director

SSJ Earth Center

Chestnut Hill

Not appreciated in his hometown

Thank you for the article this week on Rel Dowdell (“Germantown filmmaker files bias lawsuit against college,” Jan. 28). Someone once said that a prophet is not appreciated in his own hometown.

I guess that is definitely the case for Rel Dowdell. I have never met him, but I have seen two of his films, “Train Ride” and “Changing the Game,” and they were terrific. If this man is not qualified to teach about films full-time in a community college, then I cannot imagine who would be.

If Dowdell was in New York or L.A., colleges would be all over him to come and teach the students, but Philly is still provincial in many ways, although we have come a long way in other things like restaurants.

I would not be surprised if there was some jealousy involved in why Dowdell did not get that full-time position at Community College of Philadelphia. I wish him the best of luck. This homeboy has talent!

Gregory Baker

Mt. Airy

Article about G’tn potter ‘wonderful’

What a wonderful article you wrote about me (“Personalized pet bowls a ‘mew’ thing for G’town potter,” Jan. 28)! It is so well written by Carole Verona, and I feel like you represented me and my work quite well. I’m honored to be in the Local! Can’t wait to show the kids that their dog is in the newspaper. Thank you!

Meredith Soto

Germantown

Deer deals made in the dark persist

An unadvertised meeting relative to Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law (the right of citizens to have notice of and attend meetings) took place on June 1, 1998 to set policy concerning deer.

It was attended by a dozen Commissioners of Fairmount Park, Fairmount Park staff in the person of William Mifflin and Barry Bessler, and representatives of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, according to Robert Hunter, then Secretary to the Fairmount Park Commission.

American independent journalist, Will Potter, said, ‘’Every citizen has the right to know what their government is doing.’’

The purpose of the meeting was to ‘’describe the process by which we get to the point to do away with the deer,’’ according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s then Deputy Director of Wildlife Management. The Commission made it clear that after a void is created by reduction, deer will continue to come in. The reduction process will have to continue each and every year.

And yet, during a meeting of the East Falls Community Council on Feb. 1, 1999, then Executive Director of the Fairmount Park Commission, William Mifflin, announced that the Park Commission approved a “one-time only culling of the herd,’’ reported in The Review on Feb. 3, 1999. We’re now into year 18 with no end in sight.

Regarding those who bear complicity in this ugly, unjust and protracted war on deer, it’s well past time that we hold their feet to the fire as far as their clandestine and destructive deer decimation policy.

‘’Our best weapon is sunlight,’’ said Potter. Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer (PAD) demands that this killing program be dragged from the darkness and ultimately ended.

The Sunshine Law must be respected so that the democratic process can function properly. Furthermore, scientific integrity must be the bedrock of sound deer policy. One crucial aspect of scientific integrity is independent peer review. Regarding the final report following the deer study, such a review was never actualized. The bogus report was the basis for this perpetual killing program. It’s shameful.

No longer should we be submissive to their authority. We must question it. They have a lot of explaining to do, but they’re counting on community ignorance, which is perhaps the biggest obstacle in restoring peace for the deer. The very essence of this longstanding siege must be made known and contemplated here and now. And the absence of sufficient public scrutiny is enabling this abuse. Any doubt or suspicions cast upon this deceitful scheme are terrifying to those bearing responsibility. Stand up for the deer. Speak out! If good, caring people don’t, who will? When will it end?

Bridget Irons

Chestnut Hill

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