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At least young Floridians pay attention to climate change

At least young Floridians pay attention to climate change

Climate attitudes are changing dramatically

Young Floridians say, ‘Look Up’ and embrace the power of the sun | Column, Jan. 28

The greatest existential crisis is climate change. It seems only young people are paying close attention. Hopefully, older adults will see “Don’t Look Up” and be inspired to make some changes that promote a healthier planet. There has been some incremental change in people’s perception of climate. Only 48 percent of Americans expressed concern about climate change in 2014. However, they claimed that they would not experience any adverse effects. Asked in 2020, 57 percent, a 9-point shift, said they believed that “human activities” were mostly responsible for global warming. It’s particularly concerning here in sunny Florida that we have long ignored the issue and have become the third-largest emitter of warming gas pollution among the 50 states. Floridians, and all Americans, should make climate the top priority and shift towards clean renewable energy.

George Chase St. Pete Beach

Different types of diversity

Jan. 27| Jan. 27

None of us know for sure who is on President Joe Biden’s short list, but he has promised a Black woman to replace Justice Stephen Breyer in the name of diversity. But if he truly wanted to consider diversity beyond race, gender, and ethnicity, he should be asking where the candidates come from and where they went to law school. The current nine justices are not diverse. Breyer is from California and he attended Stanford Law. Amy Coney Barrett went to Notre Dame. The other seven justices are all from Harvard Yale Princeton. Six of the nine candidates are from the East Coast. You have six candidates to choose from. There are one New York University, four Ivy league and one University of South Carolina. We talk a lot about the red state/blue state culture clash, but really there is a bigger divide rural vs. urban, coasts versus the “flyover” states. If the president wants diversity on the court, why not pick a Black woman from one of those “flyover” states?

Karla Smith Tampa

It’s socialism

Blue states pay more than their fair shares Here are the receipts | Column, Jan. 22

The irony of the recent column that highlighted the difference between the taxes paid by blue and red states and the funds they receive was not surprising. While red states contribute less, they receive more than blue states. Blue states contribute more, but get less in return. It is the foundation for socialism, a concept that has been criticized by politicians from red states who continue to oppose expensive programs.

Sharyn Steiner, Largo

Irked by ‘adjustment’

Florida’s largest utilities win big if lawmakers gut the rooftop solar program | Editorial, Jan. 14

Just received my Duke Energy bill. It showed a $21.63 increase. I have solar panels and Duke created a “minimum bill adjustment” for residential customers like me. All customers pay $12.45 per month to buy electricity from them. Now, however, customers are charged $12.45 per month to purchase electricity from them. Duke says it all: “The minimum monthly bill shall be $30.” So now my bill is higher because I dared to get solar panels and don’t always need their energy. My new bill adds $17.55 to my total. Duke states that this “adjustment” is to cover the expenses necessary to maintain infrastructure and provide reliable, safe and cleaner energy to customers. This is what I’m already doing and it’s the same for every other solar and nonsolar customer. I believe this is because solar panel customers are being penalized. Duke doesn’t have the fuel to create more pollution and waste fuel to provide electricity to other customers. Instead, we provide electricity back to them. The solar customers are made out to be the villains, and that they are making the infrastructure more expensive for their regular customers. This is simply not true.

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Gregory Klein St. Petersburg

Money isn’t free

I voted for Trump, but I wish I had my expanded tax credit for children back. | Column, Jan. 27

What does voting for Donald Trump — who is no longer president — have to do with Congress today? I will tell ya what, absolutely nothing. These are some sobering facts people who complain about not being able to get free money should take into consideration. The Build Back Better plan is funded by taxes paid by fellow hard-working Americans. The Build Back Better plan will be a tax burden on your children and their children’s children. It is not the rest of the country’s fault that people choose to have kids before they are financially able to afford both children and a home.

Mark Khan, Tampa

Prejudice in my brain

For too many, ‘white’ is the default position | Column, Jan. 27

Leonard Pitts has always made me think. I grew up in segregation with all its implied meanings. I have always considered myself “progressive” and “liberal” but I still encounter old prejudices deeply embedded in my brain. I practice mindfulness and being aware of them when I see them. They are not pretty but they must be acknowledged. Our country must have the courage and will to heal itself.

Fern Williams Zephyrhills

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