Shameful silence on climate change

At Wednesday night’s presidential debate there were no questions and no discussion about the worldwide effects of human-induced climate change. Unnaturally rising temperatures from increasing emissions affect vulnerable populations, infrastructure, international security, agriculture and ecosystems. We have ample evidence of those impacts in our country and the growing dangers are even more pronounced in developing countries.

Ultimately the effects will be obvious to everyone. By then it will be way too late to mitigate the damage. No matter what our various needs, wants and beliefs are as voters, we all have one urgent thing in common. Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Muslims — no matter what our race or culture, we are all sustained by this planet.

Beverly Roxby


Marble better choice for Senate

It was disheartening to learn of the allegations facing Sen. Andre Cushing. Our representatives in Augusta should be concerned first and foremost about their constituents, not themselves. Even without these allegations, Cushing has long courted special interests by accepting donations from out-of-state lobbyists and corporations.

The people in Senate District 10 need to know they have a better choice in Dennis Marble, who is an independent and has been for more than two decades. He is known throughout this community for his leadership skills and ability to work with anyone — regardless of party — to implement common-sense solutions.

Marble is running because he wants to help make government better in Augusta. He cares about the concerns of hard-working Mainers and small communities such as Hampden, which is why he has been campaigning door-to-door nearly every day, getting to know the people in his district. Unlike Cushing, Dennis has pledged to never accept donations from special interests. That is the kind of senator I want in Augusta, which is why Marble will have my vote on Nov. 8.

Jessica Brayman


Question 3 unenforceable

Tuesday’s BDN editorial in support of Question 3 on the November ballot covered a lot of ground and invoked just about all of the supportive arguments and a trickle of the opponents arguments. However, it failed to mention one of the most compelling reasons not to support Question 3: The law, if passed, is not enforceable. In a recent news release, the Maine Warden Service, which deals with more firearms owners than any other Maine law enforcement agency, said the law would be “difficult — if not impossible — to enforce.”

That’s all we need is another useless law that complicates our lives and can not be enforced.

V. Paul Reynolds


Set aside our differences

I agree with Geoff Gratwick when he writes in an Oct. 18 BDN column that “Our Founding Fathers knew the key to a functional democracy is civility, not trash talk” and that “our political speech is crippling our ability to do the work needed to solve the problems.” I, too, am frustrated at the current state of our political system. There needs to be cooperation between the different political parties in order to truly focus and find solutions to the issues our country is facing, such as drug price regulation, student loans, immigration. Without this kind of willingness to work together we will continue to be stuck in this cycle of negativity and stagnation.

As a country we need to serve as a role model for others around the world for what democracy can offer society. If the main concentration of those running for election is making derogatory remarks about the other candidate(s), then what does this say about our democratic process? This only fuels the fire preventing members from both sides of the aisle from working with one another. The Founding Fathers were able to find ways to set aside their difference and work together for the good of the country.

Whether it is to set a precedent for democracy around the world or for politicians to work effectively with each other, we must be willing to reflect on our political process and ask if it is really working for us.

Benjamin W. Bucklin


Carbon fee and dividend

I am concerned about some of the negative political ads about a carbon tax. According to NASA, 2016 is turning out to be the hottest year ever recorded. We know that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels contribute to our planet heating up and that this is happening very quickly. What we need is a fair way to address carbon pricing.

Carbon fee and dividend is a solution that might please Republicans and Democrats. And isn’t that what we need right now — a bipartisan solution?

It works like this: A fee would be placed on fossil fuels at the source. The fee would start at $15 per ton of CO2-equivalent emissions and increase steadily each year by $10. The fees would be returned to American households on an equal basis. Under this plan about two-thirds of all households would break even or receive more in their dividend checks than they would pay in higher prices because of the fee.

A border tariff would be placed on goods imported from or exported to countries without an equivalent price on carbon. So businesses would be discouraged from relocating to a country with more lax regulations.

This predictable fee might actually help businesses because they would know what to plan for. It might also encourage us to move to renewable energy as the cost of putting CO2 in our atmosphere slowly rises.

Can’t we solve our problems in a rational, bipartisan way? Let’s forget who is red and who is blue and pass a carbon fee and dividend.

Dorothy Lippincott


No more gun loans

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent over $2 million to promote firearm background checks. This “gun safety” measure has nothing to do with safety or addressing crime. It’s another attempt to strip us of our inalienable rights.

A neighbor of mine has borrowed the same 0.410 shotgun for many years, every October, first to take his son hunting and now a grandson. I hate to think I’d tell my neighbor no next year. I urge all gun owners, Democrats and Republicans to vote no on Question 3.

Terry Shortt


Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 8 election on Oct. 28. Not all submissions can be published.