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Sciencedoesknow, Mr.President

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Trump: ‘Don’t think science knows;’ Biden: President a ‘climate arsonist’ | Sept. 15

President Donald Trump finally visited California, where unprecedented forest fires have caused death, destruction and heartbreak for so many Americans. Again, he scolds Californians for not sweeping and cleaning the forest floors while expressing zero empathy, denying science, global warming and the climate crisis. He strikingly omits that 57 percent of California’s 33 million acres of forest are federally managed and under his control for the last almost four years. During a round table discussion with California leaders on the serious threats posed by climate change, the president disagrees, saying, “I don’t think science knows.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, comprised of the world’s most respected and knowledgeable scientists, tells us that the decisions made in the next 10 years will determine the climate of the planet for the next 10,000 years or more.

An even sadder truth is that horrific fires like these on the West Coast will worsen over the coming years and decades as they are driven by climate change. The effects of climate change are harming the health of millions of Americans and the lack of strategic, transformational climate change policies will certainly lead to the death of many of our fellow citizens, much like we are witnessing with this pandemic. Believe me, Mr. President, science knows.

Lynn Ringenberg, Tampa

The writer is a professor emeritus at University of South Florida Health.

Trump oversees historic accords | Sept. 16

U.S. presidents since the 1950s have pursued peace in the Middle East. But it took President Donald Trump, an outsider, a businessman, to actually achieve that peace. Trump’s negotiation and dealmaking abilities were necessary to successfully conclude the agreement with Israel, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The question is: Will Trump actually get credit for this agreement or is this yet another accomplishment of his administration that will be overlooked? President Barack Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize, despite the fact that his signature Iran agreement did little in the cause of peace. By that measure, a Nobel Peace Prize for President Trump should be a sure thing. Unfortunately, since this would benefit Trump, you can be sure that the left and the establishment will do whatever they can to interfere with that award.

John Chiarelli, Odessa The Do No Harm Act

I want to thank U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor for co-sponsoring the Do No Harm Act, H.R. 1450, which would restore the original purpose of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. We need to protect the rights of everyone. Unfortunately, the religious freedom act is now construed as capable of being used in a way that could cause great harm to many individuals in our community. Many of Hillsborough County’s hospitals are owned by various religious groups. While we want to make certain that the legitimate rights of these institutions are protected, we want to ensure that their preferences and practices do not cause harm by constricting the rights of those in their care.

I have late stage cancer. In an emergency, it seems likely I will end up in a hospital run by a religious group. I have a living will. I want to guarantee that my wishes concerning my end of life are respected by the hospital in the same way as a public hospital would. Thus, all of us would benefit from the passage of the Do No Harm Act.

Judy Adkins, Tampa

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