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Motivating people on climate

Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers a CNN piece on why people can’t accept climate science. Climate scientists emphasize three basic facts requiring action, not denial — rapid climate change is real, humans are its current drivers, and it’s overall a bad thing for current civilization, built for the prior, more stable climate. I guessed climate denial was related to political tribalism, deniers “teaching the controversy” as if there were one, as people did about cigarettes causing cancer, or about evolution.

Corporate interests push “plausible deniability” protecting short-term profit for industries at risk from climate mitigation. Gupta points out it’s easier to respond to immediate fight or flight issues, a tornado, flood or drought right now than it is to abstract-sounding data that those things will be much more frequent in the future.

People can’t accept hassles and sacrifices felt here and now to gain benefits diluted over the whole planet over coming centuries. He says emotional pleas, a starving polar bear with cubs stranded on a tiny ice floe in open water, or imagining our great-grandchildren collecting meager government rations after breakdowns of agriculture may motivate people to choose lesser environmental impacts, at the new car lot and the ballot box.

Peter Hasby

Rapid City

Let’s play 315 hemp questions

So our governor had the time to find 315 questions about hemp, all originating because she thinks it looks like weed? That's about 315 questions more than she had about letting her president introduce tariffs that crush our soybean farmers or on her first piece of legislation, a free-for-all on concealed weapons, which possibly endanger more than hemp.

Mike Thompson

Hill City

Noem’s hemp questions welcome

If legislators wish to draft and enact legislation to permit the growth of industrial hemp in South Dakota, then they should welcome the questions from Gov. Noem that define the questions to be answered before supporting the proposed legislation.

Gov. Noem is a lifelong farmer and rancher, and she has stated that she “would be thrilled to lead the charge in introducing a new crop that might bolster markets and support producers."

But this product has serious implications in health, public safety and family issues in our state. The governor has provided these questions, which were furnished to the Industrial Hemp Study a week before their most recent meeting, to help clarify the concerns going forward.

Despite that clarification, the study made no mention of the questions furnished in their deliberations and waited until after the meeting to even acknowledge the receipt, which led some to believe that the questions were not given in a timely fashion.

The proponents of this issue would be wise not to be unhappy with the hemp questions furnished but to focus instead on the issues and the answers the questions define. Their road to enactment would be far easier with the support of the governor.

Ed Randazzo

Rapid City

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