ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson admits that the burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, but reassures us that society will be able to adapt (“Exxon CEO downplays energy fears,” June 28).

He goes on to question “the ability of climate models to predict the magnitude of the impact.”

Perhaps it didn’t occur to Tillerson, a businessman (not a scientist) who pulls down a $25.2 million salary, that the experts who use climate modeling may have used cautionary language and underestimated the impact of climate change.

It would be hard not to conclude this, given the devastating drought in the Southwest, broken temperature records around the world, unexpectedly rapid melting of the Arctic ice sheet and the attendant sea level rise along the East Coast due to a related slowing of the Gulf Stream.

Clearly we face a climate crisis in the making which will affect the well-being of billions of people worldwide.

Could Tillerson’s opinions have been shaped by his interest in keeping us dependent on the oil and gas industry? Surely!

Steve Coll, also quoted in the article, hit the real nail on the head.

There is still time to avoid climate change’s worst effects by reducing carbon emissions now.

Doing so will be much less expensive than the potentially devastating disruption we could otherwise face.

A U.S. Court of Appeals decision recently upheld as “correct” the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

We need these new rules.

We need an end to the wasteful subsidies ExxonMobil and others fossil fuel companies receive.

And we need a freshly elected Congress that can move us toward a clean energy future so that the impacts of climate change are lessened.

Sam Saltonstall

Peaks Island 

Stacking the court would be the real economic mistake 

In his column June 18 (“Unrestrained judiciary best at protecting our economic liberties”), George Will unwittingly underscores what’s wrong with the GOP: Ideologues who will sacrifice the needs of the nation “because a long-standing judicial mistake needs to be rectified.”

The “mistake” he refers to was made in 1873!

Over the next 100 years, what came to pass was prosperity and opportunity that made America the most powerful and envied nation in the world.

Heck of a mistake, George.

This is “the most compelling reason to elect Mitt Romney.”

The U.S. Supreme Court needs to be stacked with more conservative judges at the expense of much-needed leadership in recovering from a Republican administration’s failures that led us into the great recession.

There’s one problem with Romney that Will overlooks.

None of Romney’s private enterprise experiences created a net increase in jobs.

He only shifted wealth to the wealthy.

But according to Will, stacking the Supreme Court and throwing the economy under the bus will be worth it.

Now that’s what I call a mistake.

Jeff Lunt

Cape Elizabeth 

The national government must solve national problems 

There are undoubtedly multiple interconnected complex questions of policy and economics associated with any effort to improve the availability or quality or cost of medical services.

What is astonishing to me is the apparent persistence of the idea that there is any real constitutional question about the constitutional authority of the national government to attempt to resolve those problems.

The founders did not meet in Philadelphia to establish a national government that would be legally unable to meet national needs.

Undoubtedly, congressional authority to legislate is not unlimited, but the kinds of limits asserted by opponents of the Affordable Care Act are fundamentally inconsistent with the idea of a functioning national government

In construing the document, the starting point is to remember why it was written. It cannot seriously be doubted that the duly elected government of a great nation is empowered to address and attempt to resolve national problems affecting every citizen in every state in one way or another, at some time or another.

The idea that the founders placed sweeping national problems beyond the reach of the national government created by the Constitution is historically and logically untenable.

What is even more astonishing is that American newspapers and electronic media continue to report the retrograde resistance of the antinationalists as though it had merit.

President Jackson in the 1830s, President Lincoln in the 1860s, two Roosevelts and every president since the second Roosevelt have understood that the national government must have and must exercise the authority to address and resolve national problems. That is what it is there for.

Gerald F. Petruccelli

Cape Elizabeth 

Easing access to health care the right thing to do

I know there are people out there who aren’t happy with the Affordable Care Act, but it is on the books now. It’s a beginning, so tweak it!

It could lead to national access for all to the health care system. This is something that I agree with Annie Dunne that we should have had long ago (“Taxpayer-paid health care not just for politicians,” July 5).

Other countries created national health systems at the end of World War II. They have lower mortality rates, diabetes, heart disease and lower costs.

I’m tired of hearing people say, “I don’t want to be like Canada.” Well, we don’t have to be. We, I hope, have some very knowledgeable people who could develop a national system that fits our country. We can do better. I know we can.

Someone’s health and well-being (life and death) shouldn’t be a profit-making industry. This is immoral and not Christian. What we need in this country is access to the health care system for all Americans (wealthy, middle-class or poor). It’s the morally right thing to do.

Kathie McGonagle

Cumberland Foreside


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