LET­TER: Kingston en­dorse­ment of NY Health Act a bright spot

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

Dear Ed­i­tor, The Kingston Com­mon Coun­cil’s re­cent en­dorse­ment of the New York Health Act is a well-needed bright spot in our dark­en­ing hori­zon. This act — passed four years in a row by our state Assem­bly — and shot down, as many times, by the Repub­li­cans in our state Se­nate — would guar­an­tee health care for every New Yorker, re­gard­less of in­come.

There would be no pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions, no co-pays, and no de­ductibles.

And, re­mark­ably, as at­tested by the Rand Cor­po­ra­tion, the to­tal health care ex­pen­di­ture would be less. More health­care for less money — who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Most in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses would pay far less than they they are cur­rently pay­ing, and only 2 per­cent of the peo­ple would pay more — and they could eas­ily af­ford it.

Learn more by vis­it­ing https:// www.ny­h­cam­paign.org/

The New York Health Act is not only good pub­lic health pol­icy, it’s also good busi­ness. Let’s rise up and de­mand it. Paul R. Cooper Kingston, N.Y.

LET­TER: Plas­tic, gen­er­ally, is the is­sue, not just straws

Dear Ed­i­tor, Re “Ul­ster County com­mit­tee de­lays ac­tion on plas­tic straw law,” Oct. 8, 2018: Paus­ing on the plas­tic straw law should be part of a larger dis­cus­sion about pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

Just take a look at the Great Pa­cific Garbage Patch, a mas­sive dump of float­ing plas­tic garbage which even­tu­ally breaks down into mi­croplas­tic which then is eaten by fish and en­ters our food chain.

If we look at the daily con­sump­tion of plas­tic con­tain­ers in our su­per­mar­kets alone, in just the bak­ery and pro­duce sec­tions, it is fright­en­ing beyond de­scrip­tion. Ev­ery­thing from cook­ies and cakes to sal­ads and con­ve­niently diced veg­eta­bles are en­folded in killer plas­tic.

Back to plas­tic straws. Con­sid­er­ing that the lat­est fig­ure on their daily con­sump­tion is over 5 mil­lion, why not con­sider swap­ping them out to en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly straws made from pa­per, sea­weed, corn starch, bam­boo or hay?

Biodegrad­able straws are man­u­fac­tured here in the U.S.A. We need to turn to them for our use in­stead of con­tribut­ing to items that pol­lute the earth and, in time, are in­gested by us through ma­rine life. Myrna O’Sul­li­van

Ac­cord, N.Y.

LET­TER: In de­fense of sci­ence

Dear Ed­i­tor, With noth­ing more than math­e­mat­ics and sub­jec­tive records of grounded ob­ser­va­tions, sci­en­tists con­cluded the Earth was spher­i­cal. Duh! At present day, we take this sim­ple fact for granted be­cause it is ob­vi­ous. We have to re­mem­ber, there were no space­ships or high­fly­ing air­planes to pro­vide that vis­ual of earthly clouds and curves we all know so well from pic­tures, videos and first hand en­coun­ters. We re­lied on smart re­searchers and sci­en­tists to chal­lenge old ideas and solve new prob­lems in real time.

That process has never stopped, and we have ad­vanced our way of life on this planet based on that ex­act prin­ci­ple of knowl­edge.

Many sci­en­tists ex­pe­ri­ence ini­tial re­sis­tance from the lay­man pop­u­la­tion be­fore their find­ings are vin­di­cated. Hu­mans are stub­born crea­tures. But sci­en­tific method re­mains our best tool of earthly wis­dom.

With each reve­la­tion, we face the com­pli­cated task of in­cor­po­rat­ing th­ese new dis­cov­er­ies into our cur­rent prac­tices. Oc­ca­sion­ally, we try to re­fute in­for­ma­tion be­cause we dis­like the im­me­di­ate im­pli­ca­tions, and that of­ten de­lays ur­gent progress.

To­day, the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of our sci­en­tific com­mu­nity holds the hu­man race re­spon­si­ble for ad­versely in­flu­enc­ing the cli­mate and con­di­tion of our earth, and some peo­ple are still wedged in re­jec­tion of th­ese find­ings. The is­sue has be­come ex­tremely dis­torted with pol­i­tics.

At one point in time, the cig­a­rette in­dus­try ad­ver­tised to­bacco prod­ucts as healthy. Even­tu­ally, the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity stepped in and con­cluded the to­tal op­po­site. You would think that in­for­ma­tion would have been the end of the de­bate, but no.

Peo­ple were dy­ing of can­cer right in front of us, and the process of leg­is­la­tion to re­duce the im­pact of to­bacco prod­ucts was drawn out and de­mand­ing.

In the end, the re­search pre­vailed. Al­though you can still smoke un­der more lim­ited con­di­tions, the sci­en­tific ev­i­dence has been as­serted. Smok­ing is bad!

Like­wise, the ef­fects of en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion are as real as the af­flic­tions they are known to cause. Whether we de­cide to value this in­for­ma­tion as per­ti­nent to our sur­vival re­mains open to the pub­lic. With so­cial me­dia cre­at­ing such an open fo­rum, it has never been an eas­ier time to ad­vo­cate. Con­versely, it has never been a more con­fus­ing time to de­ci­pher the blurred line of cred­i­bil­ity.

How do we find ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion of which to for­mu­late and sup­port our philoso­phies? That in­for­ma­tion re­mains in the same places it has al­ways been, such as the pub­lic li­brary. Noth­ing will ever su­per­sede the elu­ci­da­tion of a peer-re­viewed schol­arly jour­nal.

To put it bluntly, sci­ence is our best tool of in­sight to­ward a bet­ter fu­ture, and a po­lit­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion in de­nial of such things is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous.

In the end, the world could be a bet­ter place if we all sub­scribed to the sound logic of sci­ence. Af­ter all, the earth is still round! John Pin­der Catskill, N.Y.

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