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The Missouri River is still out of banks as flooding continues, as viewed from Lewis and Clark Park in Iowa on Oct. 24, 2019.

Shift river management

Maybe I’m oversimplifying the issue, but wouldn’t we all be better off if we tasked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with performing military-related jobs and left the management of the Missouri River waters to the farmers and industries that depend on it to grow food for the rest of the world?

Lane Leach, Omaha

Too much for Cowboy Trail

The Dec. 3 World-Herald carried an article on the repair to the Cowboy Trail and how officials are planning on spending more than $7.7 million to fix it.

The 195-mile trail parallels Highway 20 through northern Nebraska.

Having children in the Chadron area, we have traveled Highway 20 frequently for 20-plus years. Never is anyone using that trail. If the state has over $7.7 million to spend, maybe it should reconsider its priorities.

A few suggestions: major roads and bridges in disrepair, aid for the homeless, overcrowded prisons, veterans who can’t get health care or housing, kids who can’t pay for school lunches, the working poor lined up at food pantries or areas in western Nebraska that don’t have access to wireless communications.

Highway 20 is a low-trafficked, well-maintained road that could easily accommodate the occasional bikers. There are better ways to spend our tax dollars.

Kathryn Zeeb, Papillion

Who pays for flooding damage?

Nebraska has seen record flooding levels this year. The ground is too saturated to soak up any more water. We are going into the winter months when snow and ice will pile up until spring, when it all melts and has nowhere to go.

There are already forecasts of worse flooding when that happens.

This is what climate scientists have been warning us about. As ocean temperatures rise, more water evaporates, leading to more precipitation over land. The Midwest will continue to see flood levels break records more frequently.

To adapt, we need to invest in infrastructure that can handle the new levels of flooding. The state funds this with our taxes, so in the end we will be paying for it one way or another.

There is currently a bill in the House of Representatives called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, H.R. 763.

If passed, it would charge a fee to companies that extract fossil fuels and would give the revenue to American citizens. This would make fossil fuels less competitive with renewables and give Americans the revenue we need to adapt our infrastructure and pay for the effects of climate change.

But only if Rep. Don Bacon and other representatives endorse the bill.

Andrew Larson, Omaha

Decreasing intensity of storms

In the Dec. 6 Public Pulse, Frances Mendenhall urged us to act on climate change. In her letter she claims that “scientists tell us that our warming climate will make extreme weather more and more likely.”

She adds that “storms are constantly breaking records for their frequency and intensity.”

But the actual scientific facts show just the opposite. As I have written in a previous letter to the Public Pulse, an analysis of the records of more than the previous 50 years proves that the frequency and intensity of both hurricanes and tornadoes are decreasing.

So as carbon dioxide is gently increasing in our atmosphere, violent storms are actually decreasing. In addition, droughts in the United States have been within the normal range for more than 100 years, and forest fires in the Northern Hemisphere have decreased in the past 60 years.

We need to keep these facts in mind when we consider both the pros and cons of climate change.

Jack Kasher, Ph.D., Omaha

professor emeritus of physics,

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Are new trade deals better?

I would like an explanation from Sen. Ben Sasse as to exactly how these new trade deals will be better than NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership were.

I would like to know if he really believes that it was worth the bankruptcies and business closings that have occurred since this president withdrew us literally by the stroke of his pen from trade deals that benefited farmers and people like my husband and my business, which sold equipment to farmers.

Penny Fattig, Gothenburg, Neb.

Pheasant habitat gone

In response to Bruce Spain’s letter, (“Where have pheasants gone?” Dec. 8 Public Pulse), I wrote a letter in almost the same words approximately 10 years ago about Nebraska.

I haven’t purchased a Nebraska hunting permit in years. I have purchased two Iowa permits in recent years, including this year. I have enjoyed myself seeing some birds and watching my dogs work.

Where the pheasants go is unknown when their habitat has been removed as it has in Nebraska.

I am grateful to Iowa for not removing all the wildlife habitat.

It’s all about money.

Mark Carlson, Omaha

Threat of nuclear holocaust

Future historians who look back on the nuclear era in world history will remark on the ultimate stupidity of threatening genocide on opposing nations in order to prevent the deaths of one’s own people — ultimately — on the condition the world still exists for those future historians to speculate.

Isn’t there some other way? How can we sustain a very unstable peace while the danger of nuclear holocaust on a grand scale looms overhead?

Hopefully, we can reach the point where we evolve as humans to resolve our differences, by sharing our differences. The solution is “cultural diversity,” not racial purity.

Along those lines, the walls we build to protect us from outsiders are ultimately based on fear and paranoia — not a good combination for creating a bond for nation building, but is racial separation instead — the seeds for bigotry. What path should we take?

It is at this point the people should decide the fate of our leaders whose stability is in question.

David Fried, Omaha

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