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Letters to the Editor

Trump’s tweet about forest fires ignores facts on the ground

A deer walks past a destroyed home after a wildfire burned through Paradise, California in November. | AP photo

President Donald Trump recently tweeted that “billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen.”

However, it’s important to take note of a 2015 issue of the U.S. Forest Service’s journal, Fire Management Today, titled Climate Change: The Future is Here. This publication states that “increasing temperatures and changes in precipitation and snowmelt patterns are increasing the severity and size of wildfires in the West.”  Concern is also expressed about the “occurrence of fire that is outside the range of our existing experience” and the danger this poses to firefighters and communities.

Hotter temperatures evaporate soil moisture and dry vegetation, making it more likely to burn. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that, over the last three decades, human-caused climate change has doubled the area affected by forest fires in the western United States.

Climate change should be a bridge, rather than a wedge issue. I’m heartened that the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act was introduced in both the House and Senate during the last session, the first bipartisan climate bill in nearly a decade. This legislation is expected to be reintroduced in the new Congress. Let’s work together on climate solutions.

Terry Hansen, Hales Corners, Wisconsin

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Trump thrives on fear

The adage “where there is smoke, there’s fire” seems to be President Donald Trump’s calling card. He has a tendency to incite fear with his many lies and innuendo. He runs amok with the U.S. Constitution. Shutting down the government for a foolish and expensive wall is ridiculous. Mounting pressure from furloughed workers and political adversaries is an invitation to ponder possible impeachment.

Richard J. White, Elmhurst