Letters to the editor for Sunday, April 19, 2015

Not so fast on land transfer

Guy Farmer’s April 12 column advocates the transfer of Nevada’s federal lands to the state. Not so fast.

When Nevada entered the Union, it wrote a Constitution that gave up forever all claims to public lands here. At the same time, it was given 4 million acres that were to be managed to support education.

Under the state management Mr. Farmer has urged for the rest, that land basically disappeared into questionable schemes and deals benefiting a select few. Only 3,000 acres remain.

If Mr. Farmer is serious, a good starting point would be to explain how state management of public lands would work and how we’d pay for that; 85 percent of Nevada is a lot of land to manage — fire protection; law enforcement; roads; resource, habitat and recreation management. The list goes on. Our fellow Americans pay for that now. I doubt they’d do so after giving it to us.

Then explain how we’d prevent the officials pressing for this change from squandering this treasure as was done with the gift we received at statehood.

And finally, tell us how he’d build support for the Constitutional amendment that would be required to undo the promises made in the past.

The vast majority of Nevadans take pride in our state being home to the “American Outback,” are happy the federal government has largely protected it from becoming like the rest of Nevada, and don’t want to see it turned over to officials who’d likely mismanage or sell it.

Terry Burnes


Congress should pass climate legislation

In an editorial on April 11, you asked, “Are we at the tail end of a six-year drought or the beginning of a 40-year-drought?” It is the right question to ask. Scientists predict that “megadroughts” will hit the western U.S. and last for decades as a result of the long-term rise in temperatures. Nevada’s average annual temperatures have trended upward for the past four decades, and 2014 was the hottest year recorded in Nevada since measurements began more than a century ago.

The temperature rise is damaging Nevada’s ski industry by reducing the snowpack.

Agriculture suffers as the increased heat dries crops and soil faster and the shrunken snowpack provides less water for irrigation. By drying the forests, the rising heat is increasing the number of costly wildfires. Climate scientists say heat-trapping carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels is the main factor causing this long-term temperature rise.

To limit the damage, Congress should enact the carbon fee and dividend legislation advocated by former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Citizens’ Climate Lobby. This legislation is going to generate thousands of jobs in Nevada as it promotes the development of solar, geothermal and wind energy. Additional provisions in the law will spur other countries to increase their use of clean energy, reducing heat-trapping pollution worldwide.

By passing this legislation, Congress can promote job growth at the same time as it protects the economy from a runaway pollution-induced rise in temperatures.

Tom Shaw

San Jose, Calif.

Truth always prevails in court

Regarding Bo Statham’s commentary, a good litigator can always present a case for a bad client. However, an excellent litigator who has a good client has a better case because in a court of justice, the truth always prevails. Then you have a successful case and a successful outcome. In this instance, we are talking about selling out our grandchildren and the future generations to an extreme regime that does not care about your children or your existence.

I learned as a child, “if you play with fire, you get burned.” Appeasement can only lead to more. In this case, maybe parenting skills are lacking in this president’s skill set. He is not dealing with his children. He is dealing with mine and my grandson’s future. Losing this case in appeasing our enemy may be fatal for their existence. How do I know? My child was in Iraq during the war, and launched the most rockets at my child’s location. Why did Obama pull our troops out of Iraq before his cronies on the Internet encouraged the “Arab Spring” through propaganda about democracy and revolution? Maybe it was to proliferate his agenda to redefine the Middle East and empower Islam, as we now can see the fruit of his labors.

Your case against the Prime Minister of Israel is very weak and would not convince a jury that was trying a murder case. I appreciate your comments — this is still a freedom of speech country, for the time being. Let’s not play with fire; you might find it does ignite.

Sharon Scudder

Carson City


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