Enact new rules quickly

We all applaud President Barack Obama, who has pledged that new regulations will occur to control power plant carbon emissions and that other important greenhouse gas production will be mitigated. The sooner the better, one insists.

Two years to start building the necessary filtration systems would be way too long. This is an emergency. From Science magazine: " ... 38 billion tons of CO2 ... needs to be cut sharply and promptly to avoid accelerating climate change."

The original proposed strong new rules must be adopted, unweakened by lobbyists' pleadings. Financing could be government supported. Utility CEOs are multimillionaires many times over and do not need exemptions or weakened regulations in order to survive.

Subsidies to build solar, wind and geothermal power plants might be increased radically. Worldwide reforestation seems a quick, cheap way to cut carbon in the air.

It seems rational to say we must find humane ways to limit population growth worldwide and to limit increases in energy demands, especially in developed countries.

And above all, the right-wing dominated House or courts must not be permitted to interfere, as they doubtless will attempt to do. They lack perspective on the global warming problem.

Terry Cochrell

Berkeley

Prayers with fallen heroes

I am not alone in feeling the pain and sadness by the huge loss of the 19 firefighters in Arizona.


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Those courageous firefighters lost their lives serving us, the people. Those heroes could have chosen a career thats would have only been beneficial to them. Instead they chose to make their career in serving mankind.

The Gospel says, "And whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve."

Similarly, the Quran states, "You are the best people raised for the good of mankind." The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, said "Sympathy for all mankind is a moral obligation and a duty."

Our prayers are with our fallen heroes who were among the best people for spending their life in the service of mankind. Our prayers also for their families.

May God bless them and may God safeguard all of our heroes who are fighting fires.

Ramlah Malhi

Berkeley

Plastic does not decay, but stays

Plastic stays plastic forever. The molecular structure is indestructible.

The "recycling" process -- imposed on maybe 1/1,000th of trashed plastic (think plastic wrappers on plastic containers, most products on store shelves) does not recycle into earth. A tree can never eat it.

Plastic recycling is putting that small percent of plastic into machinery that grinds it, adding unregulated chemicals -- regulation reduces profit -- to make it malleable, then constructing it into couches, textiles, shoes, and more.

Plastic lasts longer than nuclear waste. It will bury us! Please understand we are lied to by our "owners" so they can make profit off us. We're constantly in the position of finding how best to accommodate the lives we're forced to lead, constrained by "their" profit, instead of enrichment of our lives.

Please stop beating up our neighbors for bringing or not bringing their own bags when shopping.

Norma J.F. Harrison

Berkeley

Use the roads, follow the rules

I totally agree with the June 28 letter by Mary Rosenberg, "Cyclists are not above the rules."

I have observed exactly the same traffic infractions by cyclists and also by pedestrians. Some cyclists fly through the traffic signs and some pedestrians cross when the signal is against them. It's time they should be more responsible for their own safety.

One day, while I was stopped on Fairmount Avenue, a cyclist flew through a stop sign without hesitation. A vehicle on Richmond Street, attempting to turn left onto Fairmount, almost hit the cyclist. Fortunately, the driver was able to stop in time.

Cyclists should learn to stay in their bike lanes rather than swerving in and out of bike and vehicle lanes. Also, cyclists should have to use a hands-free phone. I've seen some of them talking on cell phones while cycling.

And pedestrians just walk right out in front of you. It's so much easier for a pedestrian to stop than it is for a vehicle. Did they never hear, "Stop, look and listen before you cross the street. Use your eyes, your ears and then use your feet?"

These incidents happen daily and cyclists and pedestrians should be cited. It seems as if some cyclists and pedestrians have a "death wish," seeing the way they take chances.

Bottom line: Using the roads? Follow the rules.

Pat Massaro

El Cerrito

The real price of profits

Steve Butler's recent column in praise of corporate profits borders on parody.

The secrets of their success? They pay fewer taxes (there go pensions and civil service jobs); hired fewer worker (off-shoring, automation); pushed these few employees harder (a personal life?); and stagnated wages, on which a Times front-page article reported.

The silver lining? Larger 401K accounts, if you have one, and if it is solvent when you need it.

I would rather see those profits go to defined benefit packages for the employees. Most important, an investment defined society places more value on money then quality of life, social justice and the environment.

Wendy Brubaker

Richmond

BART belongs to us residents

The greedy BART union bullies have no idea of reality. BART belongs to us Bay Area residents, not to the BART unions.

Bay Area residents make an average yearly income of $46,700, including benefits. Most of us, like me, get no pension except for Social Security. Mine is $17,300 per year.

BART employees don't even realize all the perks they get, such as low co-pay on health insurance and prescriptions, many sick days, overtime shifts, and much more. They receive an average of $79,000, including benefits. And then they get early retirement and pensions four times greater than mine.

And they want a raise? Unbelievable!

Public employee unions don't work because it is the unions against us citizens. Pres. Franklin Roosevelt said we can never have public employee unions because it is not the same as private sector unions; it won't work.

We now see public employee unions bankrupting our county.

Ella Jensen

El Cerrito