Pass a carbon tax that's revenue-neutral

All of us -- California businesses, residents and governments -- have worked hard to reduce heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, but discharges are still rising, according to a Times article, "Global warming already having dramatic impacts in California."

Meanwhile, we're suffering from higher temperatures, reduced water supply, increased allergies, and destructive wildfires caused by global emissions as well as our own. People in California do what they can, but we need effective federal energy policy, too.

I believe raising the cost of harmful emissions via a steadily rising, revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best approach. It uses the market, not regulations, to change behavior.

It has a real chance of passing Congress because both parties can support it. Returning all revenue to households will shield people from rising prices. Because it's a market-based approach that doesn't increase the size of government, it should appeal to the GOP more than new EPA regulations President Obama has proposed.

We need to let our Democratic and Republican congressional leadership know we want action now that puts a price on carbon pollution.

Kelly Cannon

Orinda

Many sensitive to racist depictions

This responds to Robert Stolte's letter, "The liberals are the real racists."


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Consider this about why many people are sensitive to the racist depictions of President Barack Obama: It isn't that he shouldn't be satirized, but attaching elements that include animals (monkeys), culturally linked foods (fried chicken), and incompetence (a clown), reinforce the destructive stereotypes of black people that have been integral parts of the country's racist history.

Too many people still embrace these harmful attachments so that the supposedly sought after dialogue on race can't begin.

As well, Obama is not just like any other president. Previous presidents have not been subjected to the extraordinary scrutiny and obstructive behavior practiced by those who hate him. As the nation's first black president (mixed background historically ignored), he is a convenient target for attacks from all ethnicities while denying the racism that undergirds their actions.

A possible solution for many white people's discomfort with race issues is for more fair-minded ones to speak strongly to their own against the family practices that have negatively influenced the way they believe about and treat others. Doing so would go a long way toward them calming down and accepting others as equal to themselves.

Barbara McClain

Rodeo

Program to fund 'Obamabirds?'

I am filling up my hummingbird feeder every day.

Usually it would last a week and I have always thought of it as a supplemental feeding for them. It is located in our flower garden, which they have the freedom to use, but instead they choose to sup from the feeder instead of the flower nectar.

My husband says they are not hummingbirds, but are Obamabirds. Is there a federally funded project that might help us with the cost of supporting these feathered freeloaders?

Vicki Carlson

Alamo

Don't let Brown raise your kids

They say children learn the most while they are young. It is the job of parents to raise their children -- not Gov. Jerry Brown or the government.

If you are born a boy, you go to the boys' restroom. If you're a girl, you go to the girls' restroom. It's that simple.

God gave you a brain, so use it. Don't confuse your children while they are young. Consult an anatomy book if you still can't understand.

Transgender people aren't born that way; they choose to be that way somewhere down the line when they are older. Parents, don't let Brown do this to your children.

Marzell Harris

Antioch

Hyperloop, wave of the future

Kudos to Elon Musk. The Hyperloop, his proposal for the next breakthrough in transportation, has me excited.

Where do I sign up? Let's scrap high-speed rail.

I question Richard Muller's opinion that Musk's proposals are "completely impractical." The UC Berkeley physics professor was once a skeptic of global warming.

If we can go to the moon, I think we can go from San Francisco to Los Angeles by Hyperloop transportation.

Lloyd Coyne

El Cerrito