Here's what we can do

about climate change

What can be done to forestall coming global disasters? Here are several suggestions:

Tax carbon emissions.

Close all coal plants as soon as humanly possible.

Move rapidly toward wind, solar, wave and other renewable forms of energy, including geothermal and new hydroelectric systems. Any government subsidies, stimulus money or tax breaks provided for this would save trillions of dollars in climate-related damage down the road (and not that far from now).

Call out corporations, states and countries that decline to reduce their emissions on a short time scale. As public attitudes change, especially in the courts, it may be possible to begin suing these entities for the property damage they are doing. (English law in the Lockean tradition is very good about protecting property.)

Divest from Big Oil and Big Carbon generally.

Municipalities and counties should take matters into their own hands, as have Sacramento, Calif., and Boulder, Colo. They should abandon electric utilities that depend heavily on coal and generate green electricity for their cities.


Somers Point

Faith and morality

can combat evil

Regarding the Jan. 9 column, "Improvements in mental-health services won't curb evil":

The author takes on an ancient mystery that will not easily yield to clinical psychology and medicine.

But his definition of evil, implying that it must include external violence and hatred, is insufficient. Yes, hatred of the other is central in an irrational, morally closed mind, but it does not always have to explode externally, as it did with Adam Lanza, who brutally killed the innocents in Connecticut.

Evil can have its day cleverly, subtly, secretly within the mind of its host and can be projected with the conscious or unconscious help of others. Think of the classical Shakespearian villain Iago in the tragedy "Othello." No guns there, or knives or axes. A smothering pillow did the job, and all by means of clever lies, gossip and manipulative speech.

Evil will out through creative means. It is part of our fallen nature, and the darker the form, the more frightening the consequences and the greater the mystery.

How, then, do we diminish our evil inclinations? By reviving and standing by our faith's moral codes, with a disciplined conscience and by practicing patience, understanding and, most of all, following the example of love exemplified by Jesus in his teaching and passion.

These remedies are the flip side of evil; they are the expression of the good.


Somers Point

Horseshoe crab harvest

harms valuable creatures

Regarding the Jan. 12 story, "Bill would reinstate horseshoe crab harvest in N.J.":

On the same day I read this story about a bill introduced by state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, to lift the moratorium on killing horseshoe crabs, I came across the summer 2008 issue of the Nature Conservancy's magazine, which featured the illustrious crab on its cover.

The article explained that the horseshoe crab "predates the dinosaurs by more than 100 million years." It also reveals the discovery of a compound called limulus amoebocyte lysate, found in the blood of horseshoe crabs, which has been very beneficial in alerting the biomedical industry about possible infectious substances. This has helped to save more than 1 million lives.

Because the crabs are used as bait to catch eels, prized in Asian markets, the harvest increased from 10 tons annually in the 1960s to 2,550 tons in 1996. This increased risks to loggerhead sea turtles and at least 11 types of migratory birds, which feed on horseshoe crab eggs.

To lift the moratorium for "30 or so" fisherman would be reprehensible. To use the excuse that "Delaware does not have a moratorium" is wrong, and two wrongs never make one right.

Perhaps fishermen could be retrained to find another way to make a living. Let's hope that it is Van Drew's bill that dies, rather than the horseshoe crab.


Beesleys Point

Van Drew understands

prudent management

Regarding the Jan. 12 story, "Bill would reinstate horseshoe crab harvest in N.J.":

Hats off to state Sen. Jeff Van Drew. He has put politics aside on working to lift the moratorium on the horseshoe crab. Van Drew apparently understands fair and just management.

I don't know a single commercial fisherman who doesn't agree with good, sound management. The environmental groups would have you believe otherwise. It is extremely difficult to find common ground with a group whose agenda is to stop commercial fishing altogether.

By proposing a very small harvest for the fishermen, Van Drew is helping the fishing community and at the same time helping to preserve a very important species of crab.


North Cape May