Letter: Break wasteful idling habits

I read with dismay the excellent Jan. 3 article by Empire reporter James Brooks, “Beneath the waves or beneath the land, warming Alaska poses multiple threats.” I hope we heed the warnings and, in particular, reevaluate our own contributions to the excess carbon dioxide from our vehicles idling senselessly that is helping to kill off our food sources and threaten our planet. The last quote from the article will hopefully change our behavior at home: “The details are still being studied, but Sigler said there’s one takeaway that Alaskans can make now: ‘The point is that carbon dioxide doesn’t just go into the air; it goes into the water, and it has effects there that are not visible to you or I.’”

The residents of this fragile ecosystem can help avert a disaster, one small step at a time. Instead, each morning when the temperature dips below freezing, thousands of vehicles in Juneau and Douglas stand idling, often for more than 15 minutes, to “warm up.” I counted six in a stretch of four homes on my way in to work this morning and three from one household last week.

For every 10 minutes of idling you cut from your life, you’ll save one pound of carbon dioxide — a harmful greenhouse gas — from being released into the atmosphere. (Sustainable America)

If that’s not enough reason to break your wasteful idling habits, consider each time you do it, that your are contributing to direct health effects linked to these emissions, including asthma and brain damage in children, and wasting money.

Jean M. Mischel

Douglas

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:41

Letter: A pro-life presidency is something to be thankful for

​On Jan. 20, we will see the inauguration of a new president. From the pro-life perspective, this is something to be thankful for. That day represents the departure from the White House of one of the most pro-abortion presidents we have seen to date. His replacement is a man who has voiced support for a number of pro-life, pro-family initiatives that will protect the rights of the unborn and their mothers. Read more

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:22

My Turn: Alaska’s national parks need infrastructure support

In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial anniversary. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Denali National Park, one of the many crown jewels in Alaska’s collection of our national parks. These parks represent the very best and most treasured public lands in our country. As we hear about badly needed infrastructure improvements to our roads, bridges and utilities nationwide, it’s important to remember that our national parks are not immune to these challenges. Denali National Park alone faces an infrastructure repair backlog to roads and facilities of $53 million.

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 09:22

My Turn: Reflecting on why I love Alaska

Gov. Bill Walker issued a proclamation designating 2017 as a “Year of History and Heritage” in recognition of Alaska’s sesquicentennial — the 150th year since Russia ceded its possessions and interests in Alaska to the United States. Gov. Walker’s proclamation encourages all Alaskans “to study, teach, reflect upon our past, and apply its lessons to a brighter, more inclusive future.”

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Thu, 01/19/2017 - 08:47

Outside Editorial: NATO and the EU: Mend them, don’t end them

The following editorial first appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

In lamenting President Barack Obama's foreign and military policies, Republicans have frequently offered a concise summary: "Our allies don't trust us, and our enemies don't fear us." They didn't imagine the day would come when the same might be said of a Republican president. But that's the prospect Donald Trump raises. Read more

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