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A warming world affects us all. We must act now on climate change.

We over-50s are like the canaries in the climate change coal mine; This also comes out clearly in Susan Atkinson’s thoughtful column. “Climate change is not only a risk for our grandchildren” (February 7).

A warmer world affects the most vulnerable first: the old, the young, the sick and the poor. Not taking immediate action to cool our planet is both immoral and foolish. If the bell tolls for some of us, it will eventually toll for all of us.

We have solutions to save our world. They are exciting and offer great possibilities beyond stopping a crisis; new jobs and industries, greater economic equality, and major innovation are just a few.

Elections are at the door. Encourage your elected candidates to advocate for meaningful legislation like a carbon tax, one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions and a policy increasingly adopted around the world.

We need the personal and political will to act. Now.

There’s no time to waste.

—Sara Shacter, Chicago

Benefits of bold policies

Older Americans are often viewed as disengaged in employment, the arts, and the ongoing impacts of climate change, and are viewed as incapable of contributing to society in retirement. But it’s worth noting that America’s soon-to-be graying will be inevitable: For the first time in U.S. history, older adults are predicted to outnumber children. According to the US Census Bureau, in just 10 years, there will be 77 million people aged 65 and over living in this country, while the number of children under the age of 18 will be 76.5 million.

So yes, tackling climate change with bold policies like putting a fee on carbon emissions from fossil fuels and building a clean energy economy will benefit old and young alike.

— Joe Tedino, volunteer, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Chicago

We need permit reform

Thank you for Susan Atkinson’s column. Atkinson argues that although more and more people accept and are concerned about climate change, not enough is being done to mitigate it. To help solve the crisis, the US proposes a smart solution that would tax fossil fuel companies for their carbon emissions.

But I would add one more critically important action to his list: allowing reform. If the goal is to reach net zero by 2050, we need to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. We will never reach this 2030 goal unless we can build interstate electric transmission lines faster. It now takes an average of 10 years to conduct an environmental assessment, obtain permits and build an interstate line. Without the ability to accelerate this process responsibly, we will not have the capacity to bring new, cleaner, renewable energy from rural areas to urban areas where it is needed.

Additionally, Atkinson correctly advises readers to contact their U.S. representatives to take action on climate. I would like to add that when readers contact their MPs, they should state their demands as clearly as possible. We must tell our federal representatives that we need legislation that supports carbon pricing and allows reforms to build new interstate transmission lines.

—Andrew Panelli, Homer Glen

Simple lifestyle choices

Thanks a lot Leanne Italie, Associated Press For a collection of lifestyle changes to make our homes more sustainable and climate-friendly (“Little things make a difference,” in the February 1 edition). Practical ideas for all of us and a bonus for those looking for positive ways to celebrate Lent!

—Carol Richart, Downers Grove

Girl Scout cookies quest

I had a mixed reaction to the Tribune article (“Cookies Could Cost More Money,” Feb. 7 edition) reporting the rising prices of Girl Scout cookies. One gripe is the amount of each sale that goes to manufacturers, including candy giant Ferrero Group, rather than to the Girl Scouts and their programs. While I’m not a poor retiree, I’m concerned about the high cost and still ready to indulge in Thin Mints and Trefoils this time of year.

Also, like many people my age, I’m tech-shy, so I reacted badly when I recently found a flyer from a Scout letting me walk through my door and order cookies by scanning the QR Code on the flyer. That’s a bridge too far! Why not just order from Amazon, which is not as personal as a QR Code?

I share the concerns about the safety of the Girl Scouts and understand why they didn’t show up at the front door with their order lists. So, for the next few weeks, I’ll be staking out grocery stores where Scouts and their leaders are front row at tables selling cookies.

— Chris Donovan, Oak Park

Tom Skilling’s greatness

As a country music announcer, I have been asked to practice connecting with listeners, or speaking to my listeners as if I were addressing them personally rather than being part of a larger crowd. I assume the same goes for a degree in television. Tom Skilling, WGN’s retired meteorologist, figured this out a long time ago.

I’ve noticed that charisma comes in two forms: There’s the John F. Kennedy and Muhammad Ali type of charisma; There is also a Skill type. There is room for both in today’s world.

I’m not trying to glorify anyone, but I think there are two layers of great men; one for the George Washingtons, Albert Einsteins, and Martin Luther Kings, and the second layer is for what I call the Skilling group, or people who can explain these things clearly. complicated things like the weather for people like me: to educate, not scare. In a politically partisan, talk-now-think-later society, this is a gift.

Add Skilling’s name to the short list of those with the same talent: Orion Samuelson, Ray Rayner, Harry Volkman, Wally Phillips, Fahey Flynn and TV actor Bob Ross. If you’re familiar with these, consider yourself lucky; If not, search on Google.

We need more of this kind – and not just on air.

—Jim Newton, Itasca

My entry into Chicago

Lately choice of letters in slogans For Chicago (January 27) it reminded me of my first encounter with our wonderful city. Having spent the first 18 years of my life in the mid-sized cities of Nebraska and Colorado, my first day in Chicago was absolutely dazzling.

My mother and I arrived by train in 1956. Our first train ride was amazing and walking through the huge, magnificent Union Station on Canal Street took our breath away.

When we went out to the streets of Chicago, we looked at the skyscrapers in amazement. “Mom, they’re blocking the sun!” I said excitedly. A taxi stopped and we got in, afraid we were about to embark on the hair-raising, death-defying ride of our lives. But no, the taxi driver was driving like a normal person and we reached our destination safely.

What I remember most about the Magnificent Mile was how well-dressed the passersby were and how many of them were carrying briefcases. Was it Sunday? Did everyone go to church? No, it was a routine weekday. People in the Loop dressed like this: suits, shiny shoes, high heels, flowing skirts. Growing up, all I saw were cowboy boots, jeans, big belt buckles, and cowboy scarves and hats for both men and women.

Michigan Avenue was a mysterious world of gentlemen and ladies walking with great determination, looking neither to the right nor to the left, with a large goal in sight. The beautiful mannequins in the store windows showed nothing of these real, beautifully dressed men and women running in every direction.

This was Chicago; It was a world-class city with a river running through it, and I would soon be a part of it all.

— Kathleen Melia, Niles

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