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It's a great start that the Star Tribune Editorial Board has recognized that civilization is accelerating toward disaster and that we need swift action on climate change ("Weather extremes should spur action," editorial, July 25). Now it needs to lead the communication on the urgency and opportunities of our situation. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognized in 2018 that we had less than 12 years to slash greenhouse gas emissions or face a horrific future in which hundreds of millions of people will go hungry, become homeless or perish.

Our news sources are not just for entertainment. They also have a responsibility to inform and arouse people to act. The IPCC scientists shared that limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius would require a fundamental transformation of energy, agriculture, transportation and other sectors of the global economy. Our news sources need a similar transformation.

There are strategies, policies and actions that we must take now, but few of us are aware of them. It is time for the Star Tribune to devote a daily section of the paper to educate us. I'm sure it could fit somewhere between the full-page Enbridge tar sands ads and the Travel section articles on how our lives will be complete with a (carbon-filled) family trip to Australia for a koala selfie.

This is a runaway train racing toward us, and our news media has been asleep at the switch. This is not alarmism; it is scientific fact. It is an immense challenge, and if we don't get it right, nothing else will matter. Our news outlets have gotten it wrong for decades. It's time to make amends.

Mark Andersen, Wayzata

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A headline in the July 25 paper states that the "World may be at tipping point for climate action." I am baffled and discouraged that the need for climate action wasn't abundantly clear much earlier. Certainly, we do not want to leave to our children and grandchildren an earth that is burning, flooding and poisoned. Minnesota's Republican House and Senate members are parents to a total of around 250 children and an unknown number of grandchildren. I ask these parents and grandparents to think about their kids' future when they vote on climate legislation. What kind of ancestors do they want to be: ancestors who helped the world become better? Or ancestors who contributed to its destruction?

Nancy Rodenborg, St. Paul

CRITICAL RACE THEORY

Somehow, the innocent are guilty and the discriminators are absolved

The real work and signal accomplishment of the Declaration of Independence is not as a guarantor of an equal society in America but as establishing a premise and framework upon which to build a better, equal-opportunity society in America. The distinction between equity and equal opportunity was carefully explained and lived out in the writings of American educators Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, who had both been enslaved.

Current critical race theory (CRT) and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training and methodology erroneously proclaim that people who are of specified races and have specified skin colors should be stigmatized and shamed for the actions of people with similar characteristics, many of whom are long since dead, while simultaneously excusing and absolving living adherents of CRT and DEI who, by their own actions, are practicing racially discriminatory behavior.

Lee Beecher, Maple Grove

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I am a rising high school junior in Minnesota. I believe that it is crucial for CRT to be taught in schools. It is important for all students, regardless of race, to have a deep understanding of the systemic racism that plagues our country. CRT allows for students to learn how to be anti-racist and create positive change in their communities.

Throughout my high school career I have taken many different classes that have included CRT. We have read books by authors of color and learned about history from Indigenous and African American perspectives. By examining works with nonwhite and non-Eurocentric lenses I have been able to engage with material and think critically about the world. I have been able to form my own opinion rather than just learning about one perspective.

This is why CRT is so important. Many argue that teaching CRT to young people will brainwash us. However, it is the opposite. CRT will teach us to engage critically with the world.

Lily Ahluwalia, Edina

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People currently arguing about CRT are like firefighters standing in the street arguing about the cause of the fire while the house goes up in flames. Like it or not, the fires of racism continue to burn in this country. Rather than fighting about CRT, Marxism, American exceptionalism and indoctrination, do something to help put out the fire.

Tom Ehlinger, Bloomington

SUBMINIMUM WAGE

It can coexist with other efforts

This letter is in response to the letter to the editor submitted on behalf of The Arc Minnesota on July 25:

I am a parent of an adult son with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who works in center-based employment and receives compensation. I would like to point to some discrepancies in that letter.

My son cannot work safely in the community. That's why he works in center-based employment. If you take away this option, he will sit home and do nothing. If you eliminate this program, you would severely diminish his quality of life.

You talk about eliminating subminimum wage as a first step. This is completely wrong. Subminimum wage and efforts to employ individuals with disabilities have existed side by side for years. Center-based employment is a first step. You talk about eliminating subminimum wage as a beginning, but it is really the end of options for individuals with severe IDD.

I applaud your efforts to promote the payment of livable wages, promote customized employment, create inclusive work spaces and build partnerships. However, none of these efforts are influenced by the existence of subminimum wage. In fact, the elimination of programs that support training and bridges to competitive employment will actually hurt your efforts in the short and long run.

I completely respect people with disabilities. I grew up with a disabled brother. I raised a disabled child. I respect their choices. Your choice to eliminate choices for these individuals and make them accept your choices is not fair.

Many families and individuals who support a loved one in center-based employment agree with me that you are taking choices away. Do not eliminate a program that has existed side by side with competitive employment for years. Choice is about giving everyone an informed option.

Jim Sillery, Eden Prairie

BOORISHNESS

Surely it will persist through time

I try to come up with at least one prediction per week, although I know it's difficult to make predictions, especially about the future, as the Danish physicist Niels Bohr famously said.

Here goes. You know all those noisy subcompacts that young people like to drive? I guess the term they use to describe such vehicles is "pimped out."

For small cars, they're incredibly noisy, aren't they? In my teen years, mufflers used to rust out every two years. If you couldn't afford to buy a new one, you bought "muffler tape," crawled under the car and taped up the holes, thereby quieting the car until you could afford a new muffler.

But I digress.

So here's my prediction: When we're all driving noiseless electric vehicles, some entrepreneurial genius will sell recordings of loud mufflers that you can connect via Bluetooth technology to your car's sound system. Voilà! Digital boorishness at your command! This technology will allow otherwise noiseless cars to be incredibly noisy. Huzzah!

M.L. Kluznik, Mendota Heights

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