Carbon Dividend Act aids public health and finances

Floridians can be thankful for Florida Reps. Ted Deutch, Francis Rooney and Charlie Crist, who are among a bipartisan group that introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 7173) in Congress. The act incentivizes the transition from a fossil-fuel economy to one based on clean forms of energy by charging for pollution and giving the money collected to all Americans.

The act would decrease carbon dioxide in our atmosphere faster than any other action that has been proposed. It would create an additional 2.1 million jobs in the first 10 years.

It is good for people, improving both their health and financial standing. It is bipartisan, and broad support is important. Furthermore, it is revenue-neutral, returning the money to all Americans, allowing them to decide how to spend it.

The act is a great way for Congress to begin dealing with the existential problem of climate change. Ask other U.S. representatives to co-sponsor and support H.R. 7173.

John E. Darovec, Jr., Bradenton

Series on midwives shows 'natural' can be dangerous

Thank you for the Herald-Tribune's very well researched, coherent and moving series on out-of-hospital births. I am a certified nurse midwife in the Sarasota area, and I was at the hospital the day Riva Majewski came into the obstetrics emergency care center.

I did not know her name, but of course the story circulates around the emergency room. I remember seeing her husband, and I remember crying. And praying. He looked as if could have been knocked down with a feather. I just wanted to hug him. I was appalled at the story.

I pride myself on being a CNM who can bring “the home into the hospital.” I have known some very good lay midwives; however, I have not been impressed by the cadre of lay midwives in this community.

I have patients who come to me and want “no intervention” and “all natural.” I explain to them that tornadoes, forest fires and earthquakes are also “natural” and we have to be smart and do evidence-based care regarding their birth.

I stress that if you have certain risk factors, we have to account for that. Not that we can’t have a beautiful birth, but safety is important. A birth plan means nothing if you take home a dead baby.

It bothers me that lay midwives demonize the hospital and doctors — never realizing that “natural” is not always beautiful. Sometimes it can be terrifying and dangerous.

Holli Askren, Sarasota

Gerson's column on 'amnesia' omits one moral-dignity issue

Michael Gerson’s column Nov. 21 (“Our awful political moment’s historical forgetfulness”) brought to mind Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s comment that “Life must be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” Mr. Gerson did well describing countries’ past immoral behaviors.

However, Mr. Gerson mounted a tiresome, divisive bandwagon to accuse our president of “historical amnesia,” ignorance and indifference. Mr. Gerson stressed the universal human rights of every individual and claimed the most urgent comprehensive attack on human rights comes from the nativist right.

President Donald Trump has stated he is in favor of immigrants' entering our county legally, and in his Charlotte speech declared he’d be African-Americans’ champion whether they voted for him or not.

Mr. Gerson worries about the absence of human dignity in America, but he omitted one huge moral-dignity issue. President Trump does have flaws — has there ever been a perfect American president? — but one reason that a pro-life president was elected was to hinder the pogrom of persons who will never have the opportunity to live in a moral culture.

How do pro-choice advocates in America explain that taking a life, rationalized as abortion, that could have positively influenced our moral culture is acceptable? Stopping a life is killing it. Are youth suicides or mass shootings not to be expected?

Don S. Corrigan, Venice

County and Benderson should heed public outcry

Regarding the proposed Benderson project on Stickney Point Road and U.S. 41. Are the county commissioners listening? The acrimony is not owned by one side or another. Strong and valid opposition comes from citizens of both parties.

From countless letters to the editor, to those who speak at County Commission meetings, the residents' concerns are rational and justifiable.

If the Benderson company truly cared about the community, it would cancel this fiasco or at least severely downsize it. This hideous, doomed-to-gridlock project has to be modified or, better yet, a new plan should be presented that will not contribute to the chaotic congestion at that intersection in the future.

My ears are already burning from the salty name-calling echoing from U.S. 41 and Stickney Point if this detestable project goes through.

Jane Pettit, Osprey

Correction

In 2016, Manatee County’s net financial position increased by $84 million. Due to an editing error, a letter published Thursday stated otherwise.