LETTER: Kingston endorsement of NY Health Act a bright spot
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
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.