It seems to me that President Donald Trump cares more about protecting fossil fuel industry billionaires than he does about our children. Ninety-seven percent of all climate scientists are telling us time is running out and we need to act on the climate problems we have caused by using coal, oil and gas for energy needs. But we’re not going to let Trump destroy the climate and our communities. It’s up to us to keep up momentum by stopping new fossil fuel projects and supporting 100 percent renewable energy. By a 5 to 1 margin, people all across the country support the goals of the Paris Agreement. The transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy is already turning into the greatest economic opportunity and job creator of the 21st century. Illinois alone had more new jobs in the renewable energy sector in the last few years than in any other.

By backing out of this unprecedented international agreement, Trump isolates the U.S. from the rest of the world. The rest of the world will move forward in the transition to 100 percent renewable energy. Now there shouldn’t be any illusions left about whether this administration is a wholly owned subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry.

Elgin signed onto the new Mayor’s Climate agreement today. We can all live sustainably.

Sandy Kaptain, chair,
ElginGreenGroups350.org

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Leaving Paris accord is a step backward

After seeing President Trump announce he and the United States “would not sign and would withdraw from the Paris accord,” I feel we are looking backward and will abandon any forward ingenuity. What’s next? Will we kill the internet to favor printing and clear cutting forests, or the auto industry in favor of carriages and buggy whips? Science and the rest of the world may not have all the answers, but then, there was a time that people felt the world was flat. Maybe President Trump still does, but it is obvious that Gov. Jerry Brown of California doesn’t.

Scott R. Zuhr, Park Ridge

We need permanent budget solution

In spite of an avalanche of protests, letters, marches, negative newspaper editorials, and a constant pounding on the doors of legislators by all sorts of constituents, including 224 school superintendents just this week, the General Assembly ended the regularly scheduled session last night without either a spending plan or a revenue plan.

The bad news is that it appears that the most powerful leaders in Springfield remain dug in on their positions.

The good news is that many legislators from both parties are willing to work in a bipartisan fashion to end this budget crisis. Legislators on both sides of the aisle fumed when the governor stopped the bipartisan budget compromise moving through the Senate because governor did not get enough structural reforms. An open letter signed by both Democratic and House State Representatives begged for bipartisan action. More and more, legislators are unwilling to push off permanent decisions with temporary band-aid bills.

As happened last year, however, there is talk of a stopgap bill which would release a little bit of money for social service agencies and higher education, and potentially pay for K-12 funding. This is not a solution. It won’t keep the school districts from floundering, the universities from laying off staff, or human service agencies from closing programs. Illinois simply does not have the money to pay its bills.

Legislators cannot be allowed to hide behind a stop-gap bill that provides only minimal amounts of what is owed and keeps schools from closing as some sort of solution. This only kicks the can down the road, taking the pressure off a true budget solution and allowing the state to crumble in the meantime. It is shameful that we are on the cusp of beginning the third year without a budget.

Every day the state operates without a budget, it incurs about $10 million in debt. That debt will compete with the funds needed to provide services in Illinois for years to come. A temporary measure does little to stem this incursion of debt and sets the stage for human service losses in the years to come.

The House returns later in June for “continual session.” We must make clear to our legislators that we need a permanent, sustainable fix to this budget crisis so that human service programs can finally prepare, plan, and do the work we all want to do.

Judith Gethner, executive director,
Illinois Partners

Griffin’s ‘joke’ was barbaric, cruel

So there it is, displayed on every news program — some blotting out this cruel and vicious image, others issuing a warning of the absolute horror we were about to see; one human being holding the bloody, decapitated head of another. The utter barbarism and soullessness of the scene is incomprehensible to almost every citizen of the United States and every other civilized culture.

Unfortunately we have had to witness this vile, evil scene on more than a few occasions. Daniel Pearlman, a reporter, was captured and later massacred, beheaded by those who only know evil. James Foley, a reporter, was also butchered, beheaded by the same terrorists whose only embrace is hatred and barbarity. This is truly the incarnation of everything we despise and must fight.

There is nothing funny about this. There are no jokes that will be tolerated about holding the bloody head of another human being. Just ask the families of those who’ve been slaughtered.

It’s a cruel and desperate comic who must sink to such a pathetic level as to use, even in a mocking way, such an evil and depraved effigy of anyone.

The families of the victims of such horror don’t deserve to relive their sorrow at the hands of such a cruel comic.

Mike Simon, Glen Ellyn