LI must unite to prevent flood damage
For decades, planners have warned of Long Island’s vulnerability to storms. Jun-Kai Teoh’s op-ed, “Mapping flooding risks for Long Island” [Opinion, Sept. 14], helps visualize these very real risks — but sadly, even such mapping may not be enough.
In 1984, the Long Island Regional Planning Board, armed with government funding from FEMA, authored a detailed Hurricane Damage Mitigation Plan for the South Shore of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
The report reached the ominous conclusion that the region is “vulnerable to storm-related damage and potential loss of life,” and urged substantive policy actions to curb coastal development.
In the years since, we’ve witnessed the price of not heeding these warnings, thanks to damage that high-profile storm events such as 1985’s Hurricane Gloria and 2012’s superstorm Sandy brought. Now, even so-called regular thunderstorm activity causes significant impact — and the ferocity of such events will continue to grow.
Localities must acknowledge that our region faces ever-evolving risks from the seas that surround our island, and collectively work together to sustainably protect our communities from harm. The viability of our shorelines depends on it.
— Richard Murdocco, Commack
The writer is an adjunct professor of environmental policy in Stony Brook University’s public policy graduate program and School of Atmospheric and Marine Sciences.
Long Island is in for even more flooding than previously thought, and we’re not alone. Nationwide, a study by Climate Central reports that 650,000 properties, or 4.4 million acres, will be swamped by 2050.
Even before the first UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sounded the warning on global warming in 1990, oil giants Shell and Exxon had internal reports from the 1980s predicting climate disaster.
We can’t listen to fossil fuel companies tell us we can’t cut the cord with dirty oil and gas. Their business depends on clouding our vision.
We must urgently transition to renewable energy for vehicles, heating and cooling. The Inflation Reduction Act and state investment in wind and solar power, battery storage, heat pumps, and electric vehicles will get us there.
— Karen C. Higgins, Massapequa Park
Mapping flood risk by ZIP code is much too blunt an instrument. It renders the key code by color inadequate to assess true risk. While this study may be a first step, it needs more precision. Track the data by block. That will narrow the need and alarm to more manageable levels.
— Raymond Roel, East Northport
The problem with adding solar panels
It seems that the readers from East Hampton and Port Washington who wrote in about climate and the need for change are not aware of solar concerns outside of their towns [“National Grid should stay in 21st century,” Letters, Sept. 13].
Most of Long Island’s makeup is many trees with average-sized homes on fairly small lots. Many of us don’t have the roof space to put enough solar panels that support our entire electric bill.
Other issues could be the expense of replacing an older roof or removing trees. That’s a luxury many of us can’t afford on top of purchasing the solar.
If you want to achieve climate and energy goals, you need to come up with a solution for everyone.
— Tricia Schreck, East Meadow
The letter “Biden speech incurs blowback from right” Opinion, Sept. 6] caused me to ask again, “Can people with many different beliefs live together in a democracy?”
I fervently believe that in the United States, this is possible.
In this democracy, we have different beliefs about God, about when life begins, and about our sexuality. We may not agree, but we cannot eliminate differences by making laws in favor of one point of view.
Our democracy depends on adhering to the Constitution. The First Amendment prohibits our government from “making laws that regulate an establishment of religion, or that prohibit the free exercise of religion.” If someone disagrees with me, it is not OK for me to put them in jail.
The reader states his religious beliefs, which he considers right and true. How is that a threat to democracy? A devout Christian or Jew or a member of any faith is not a threat to democracy by believing what they do. However, if he insists that all Americans must have the same beliefs — and laws be made to enforce one religious view of the world — then our democracy is indeed under assault.
— Linda D. Volkersz, Stony Brook
The writer is director of religious education emerita at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook.
Yes, 9/11 is sad, and so is Ukraine war
The reciting last Sunday of the names of those killed on 9/11 was so sad it occasionally brought a tear to my eyes “Call to ‘never forget’ being tested by time,” News, Sept. 11]. But a sadder thought is that in Ukraine, every day is 9/11. And it is because of the ignorance of the human race. War is and has always been a ridiculous concept, and I’m a Korean War veteran. Nations hate and kill each other. Then, years later, we forgive and forget.
America targeted the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and ’70s, and now you can fly to Vietnam and have coffee at a table in a restaurant on the streets where Americans and Vietnamese died. For what?
I was a kid during World War II when the Germans and Japanese were our enemies, but now they are our friends. That entire scenario is absurd. In 36 days of combat on Iwo Jima, nearly 7,000 Marines and about 20,000 Japanese died. For what?
Be sad about what happened on 9/11, and also be sad about the stupidity of war.
— John Procida, Flushing
Another case of deja vu all over again
I enjoyed reading articles in Sunday’s Sept. 10, 1981 Classic Edition about redistricting and electric vehicles, and an opinion piece about the Moral Majority.
It immediately transported me to today, 2022, because now I read articles about redistricting and electric vehicles, and opinion pieces about the MAGA Republicans. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Where will we be in the next 40 years?
— James T. Rooney, Centerport
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN OUR DAILY CONVERSATION. Email your opinion on the issues of the day to [email protected] Submissions should be no more than 200 words. Please provide your full name, hometown, phone numbers and any relevant expertise or affiliation. Include the headline and date of the article you are responding to. Letters become the property of Newsday and are edited for all media. Due to volume, readers are limited to one letter in print every 45 days. Published letters reflect the ratio received on each topic.