Walloped by heat wave, Greenland sees massive ice melt (copy)

Small pieces of ice float in the water off the coast of Nuuk, Greenland, in June. The island is experiencing the heat wave that hit Europe recently.

Reduce carbon emissions

Recent articles about a massive ice melt in Greenland, huge fires in the Russian Arctic and President Donald Trump’s offer of manpower to help Russia fight these fires highlights a growing concern.

Climate change is increasing natural disasters and costing countries and their citizens billions of dollars as well as causing devastating personal losses. Many states, including Nebraska and Iowa, are still repairing flood damage after record spring floods. These losses are added to a bad farm financial crisis.

It is time for elected officials to take action. Supporting renewable energy and energy conservation is important, but it is also critical to use the power of the market to reduce emissions quickly to put a price on carbon and prevent climate change from getting worse.

There are three bills on carbon pricing in the House of Representatives and one bill in the Senate. Citizens Climate Lobby supports the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act, HR 763, which would cut carbon, grow the economy and provide families with a monthly dividend to help pay rising costs.

Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse and Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith and Don Bacon must become involved in legislation like this. Climate change will only get worse, and they owe it to their constituents to help protect our land and water and our way of life.

Moni Usasz, Lincoln

Child welfare management

The children and families of Douglas and Sarpy Counties are getting a quality, capable child welfare case management service provider that utilizes best practices to keep children safe and families together. The Aug. 4 World-Herald article, “New child welfare contractor wanted $15 million more to meet Nebraska’s caseload standards,” missed these points.

Concerns regarding a request for additional funds and caseload ratios are based on an incomplete picture.

In the emails cited in the article, a Department of Health and Human Services official asked St. Francis Ministries to verify compliance with the state caseload ratio statute and to clarify how its two-person case management business model meets that ratio.

St. Francis’ chief operating officer explained how his organization’s model meets the standard. He also indicated that adding different types of caseload workers, based on a different business model, would cost more money. About $15 million more.

Caseload ratios can be met under the original proposal, there were no funds added to the contract and the operating agreement was signed, all as part of the normal contracting process.

Children and families are getting a quality, compliant, capable child welfare case management provider at a fair price as a new era of innovation, increased collaboration and improved outcomes begins in the Omaha area.

Dannette R. Smith, Lincoln

CEO, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

‘Eye for an eye’ explained

In the Aug. 3 Public Pulse, Kate Merrell based her belief in swift executions on a biblical phrase, “eye for an eye.” This belief is rooted in the Old Testament (Leviticus 24:19-21).

But in the New Testament, Jesus says in Matthew 5:38-42: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

In other words, if someone does wrong to you, do not retaliate or demand to make them suffer. Rather, respond in kindness. For all who profess to be Christian, I just don’t think this is a good defense in support of swift executions.

Charlotte Shields, Papillion

Words matter

The man in the White House is a hypocrite. Nothing is more obvious from his speech Monday. Blaming individual perpetrators of obscene violence totally deflects from his own responsibility in contributing to the violence.

Words matter, especially when you are president of the United States.

We the people must remove this person from office. I am a registered Republican, but if Trump is the Republican nominee for president in 2020, I will vote Democrat.

Jim Lowe, Eagle, Neb.

The 9 R’s of recycling

I agree with David Corbin (“U.S. needs plastic surgery,” Public Pulse, Aug. 4) that we need to own our “solid waste problems.” It is not hard to reduce the overuse of plastics if you remember the 9 R’s of recycling:

1. Refuse plastic water bottles, cups, to-go containers, etc.

2. Reduce use of packaging.

3. Reuse what you already have.

4. Repair shoes, fix broken items.

5. Repurpose — i.e., dryer sheets make great dust rags.

6. Rethink before you buy new items.

7. Re-buy — try to purchase products made from recycled materials.

8. Respect the value and the resources used to produce it.

9. Recycle — the last resort. Recycling takes a lot of energy; maybe refusing is a better choice.

Kathleen Hughes, Omaha

Don’t tolerate racism

I am disturbed by the frequent comments I read that we are overusing the word “racism” and should be using it less. Some even claim that those who are calling out racism hate America.

I completely disagree. Racism has been a plague on this nation since its inception and continues to be one of the most destructive forces in our country.

The commonly heard claim that there is less racism today than ever before in our history is both arguable and irrelevant. Those who tolerate or encourage racism, especially for political gain, are the ones who hate America.

While racism weighs heaviest on non-white citizens, it truly harms every citizen (and non-citizen) of every race. It is the duty of every American to confront and oppose racist words, actions and policies wherever they are found.

Those who do so are patriotic Americans who love their country and invite us to be a better nation. We should follow their lead.

Rod Carlson, Omaha

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