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Letters to the Editor

Climate change is a big part of our nation’s border crisis

A group of migrants gather at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to pressure their way into the U.S.

A group of migrants gather at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to pressure their way into the U.S. | AP Photo

The news coverage of our nation’s southern border has focused mostly on a border wall. The coverage defines the migration from Central America as a simple issue of asylum seekers fleeing drugs and gangs. But Americans are ignoring another threat driving migration: A changing climate.

For about the last five years, Honduras has endured a severe drought. Rural, poor farmers have seen their cornfields’ growth stunted and crop yields decline, to the point that farmers cannot feed their families, let alone have a product to sell. Coffee plant growers and the harvesters they employ have seen the drought lead to the development of a fungus that attacks and kills the coffee beans.

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These people cannot sustain themselves and their families and some have chosen to travel north to enter the United States for work and a better life.

Scientists have warned us that a changing climate leads to rising sea levels, destruction caused by severe weather, rising temperatures, threats to our food and water supplies and, eventually, to displacement of people.

The threat has breached our borders. It is time for our elected leaders from both political parties, and those in the White House, to commit to a comprehensive plan of action to fight the effects of climate change.

Bill Slowinski, Oak Lawn

Continue the push for solar jobs

Last week, legislators in Springfield met to discuss a newly proposed piece of legislation, The Path to 100 Act, with the potential to make Illinois a national solar leader.

As someone who grew up in Illinois and now works in the solar industry, I am thrilled that Illinois solar jobs increased significantly from 2017 to 2018, according to a recent Solar Foundation jobs report.

With over 1,300 new jobs, Illinois is leading the nation in solar job creation. However, we shouldn’t take this success for granted.

Before the state passed energy legislation called the Future Energy Jobs Actin 2016, only about 900 homes in Illinois had solar. Now solar is more accessible to Illinois ratepayers, and the market is taking off.

Lawmakers should do what they can to keep up this momentum.

I like knowing that I’m working at the forefront of energy and this is the future. I want to make sure this solar opportunity continues and expands for all Illinois residents.

The Path to 100 Act will do what’s necessary to build on our state’s previous policy success. I hope lawmakers will keep supporting clean energy job growth by supporting the Path to 100 legislation.

Charles Price, Chicago 

Keep race out of Smollett case 

I recently retired from the Chicago Police Department. The recent comments made about ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush and Rev. Jesse Jackson really infuriated me.

Talk about playing the race card!

As a retiree, I am still a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge 7. Our union has done many good things to help its membership for a very long time. It is senseless to label a labor union an enemy of black people.

The fact that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is African-American has nothing to do with the sequence of events that involve the false report by Smollett.

My message to all you community leaders who are making this a race issue is to please be mindful of what you are fueling with your rhetoric. The very same folks you are disrespecting are the ones that have to show up and help when 9-1-1 gets dialed.

Nenad Markovich, Portage Park