Dear Editor,

Today, I am very pleased with the confirmation of New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland as the new Secretary Of The Interior. We are benefitted when women are in these important places and, particularly, a native woman with the sensibilities toward the land that are needed. But we have roads to travel and a big need to connect some dots immediately. These dots are not unclear and they have to do with a reasonable approach on issues of science, climate change and immigration.

As we approach another April 22 it will be 51 years since the first Earth Day. In the 1970's we suffered from incredible smog and, later in the decade, acid rain.

In the late 1980s a Norwegian scientist pointed out research on the breaching of the ozone layer. Our son was a baby then and now is 34 this year. In 1992, Al Gore made a run for the White House and we were, likely for the first time on public electoral record, confronted with his ideas on climate change. This again came to the forefront in 2000 as Gore was the Democratic nominee for president that year. Too bad, huh? Because the Republican response was blatantly anti-science to this challenge and it became the ultimate political football. Now, does this sound "pandemically" familiar? It should. Republicans obviously saw the issue in 2000 as potentially decisive so had to deny it with a campaign of doubts and, maybe, 3% of the scientists. Would you buy an unfamiliar product off Amazon with only 3% approval of previous consumers? It should not have to be pointed out that this was more than 20 years ago now and the wasted time has made our needed response more difficult.

We have a problem on our southern border. The problem is not new and, in fact, the Los Angeles Times reports today (03/16/21) that statistics suggest more people tried to cross last year over the January and February period than have this year. It was suggested that illegal crossings were the only avenue last year and, so, that is what we saw. President Biden has promised a humane policy and that will take time but we should hold him to that promise. It is less fair to have a politician like Californian Kevin McCarthy, Republican from Bakersfield, going to the Texas border and claiming this is a "Biden Border Crisis." But, it will be a Biden responsibility and it does not look like he has a magic wand for it.

Again, we must connect dots. Some like to claim that people come to America for the pot of gold. If that were exclusively so I don't know why all my conservative friends don't head for a no income tax state. I am guessing this is because they still have livable situations and they are used to their normal digs. What we do know (or are again finding out) is that when disasters happen (quick ones or ongoing changes) the poor are the folks that take the brunt of the negative outcomes. They live in the least developed and protected areas.

We have to connect the dot that climate change is spurring immigration. Anyone will move when staying means zero prospects for their children. As a nation of people which has many who love to think of themselves as Christian, what to do? Indeed, what to do? The connection of the dots will lead those willing to think to the mirror where they may see someone at least a little responsible for the immigration crisis because that same person is somewhat responsible for the climate crisis. I won't point you out, I stand in front of that mirror also.

Scott Hamre, Cherry Valley


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