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Lesson of COVID-19 and wildfires? Vote for politicians who respect science

Government is incapable of dealing with crises when it exclusively chooses evidence that fits its beliefs.

Wildfires burn through Mendocino National Forest in California on Sept. 16.
Noah Berger/AP Photos

President Donald Trump has promoted a fatalistic view of both COVID-19 and climate change.

Regarding COVID-19 deaths, he has said: “It is what it is.” The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population, but more than 20% of its coronavirus deaths.

With respect to hurricane damage in Texas, Trump has stated: “You’ve had tremendous storms in Texas for many decades, and for many centuries, and that’s the way it is.”

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And now, in the face of conclusive contradictory evidence, Trump is blaming the devastating Western wildfires primarily on forest management, dismissing climate change.

In reality, it’s both. To quote the physicist Phillip B. Duffy, president of the Woodwell Climate Research Center: “Fundamentally, the science is very, very simple. Warmer and drier conditions create drier fuel. What would have been a fire easily extinguished now just grows very quickly and becomes out of control.”

Government is incapable of dealing with crises when it exclusively chooses evidence that fits its beliefs.

Earth Scientist Julien Emile-Geay has asserted that the 2020 election is “a referendum on objective reality.” This is exemplified by Trump’s Orwellian claim that the U.S. has the lowest COVID-19 mortality rate in the world.

On Nov. 3, let’s vote for candidates who respect science.

Terry Hansen, Hales Corners, Wisconsin

Liberate no-check hockey

I have generally agreed with every decision Gov. J.B. Pritzker has made regarding COVID-19, with one exception. He needs to understand the difference between check hockey and no-check hockey. The latter is what most recreational players do, from the youth level to the adult level.

While it makes perfect sense to lump check hockey into the high-risk category for contracting COVID-19, along with tackle football, no-check hockey is no more risky than basketball, which Pritzker has categorized as medium-risk. Having played both sports for decades, I would argue that basketball is riskier, because players come into close contact with each other — inside of six feet — far more often. No-check hockey should be reclassified as a medium-risk sport. It doesn’t seem fair that basketball players can play games, but no-check hockey players are limited to practices.

Glenn Bischoff, Bartlett

Prepare for a reshaped planet

The evidence points to the fact that we are too late to deal with climate change. The inferno in California is possibly just the tip of the iceberg as to what the world will have to deal with in the not-too-distant future.

California is burning up. Other parts of our country are suffering from historic flooding and other natural disasters. The effects of climate change will reshape the planet.

There will be a massive movement of people. Crop production will affected, creating food shortages. As a country, we must act now. We must mobilize our resources and get ready to handle an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

Our focus and the focus of other nations will have to be on what is happening inside borders and less on the outside world.

Ned L. McCray, Tinley Park