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It’s no longer free to pollute carbon in Canada

Simple economics can influence human behavior. Humans listen to the economic sermon of the mighty dollar more than we listen to the moral sermons of right and wrong. We know it is morally wrong to pollute the atmosphere, as Pope Francis reminds us, yet we persist. Americans need encouragement to take action on climate change, and we can follow the lead of our neighboring Canada, by using economics. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on board with international commitments to reduce emissions, mitigating a warming and disruptive climate. It’s no longer free to pollute carbon in Canada. As of the first of April, all provinces are required to have some form of carbon pricing, which in turn will influence their choices for years to come.

Hats off to Canada for leading at this crucial time in history. Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna stated: “We are all paying the cost of storms, floods, wildfires and extreme heat. Our government is ensuring a price across Canada on what we don’t want, pollution, so we can get what we do want — lower emissions, cleaner air, opportunities for businesses with clean solutions and more money in the pockets of Canadians.”

In the U.S., the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) is gaining traction in the House of Representatives with 27 cosponsors. Similar to Canada, it would drive down America’s carbon pollution and bring climate change under control while unleashing America’s can-do talent in technology and innovation.

Susan Atkinson, Durango

Mark Kennedy is unfit to serve as CU president

I write to you as a 1996 University of Colorado alum and to strongly oppose the candidacy of Mark Kennedy as university president.

As you know, Kennedy represented Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a representative, he voted yes on constitutionally defining marriage as one man and one woman (July 2006); voted yes on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (September 2004); voted no on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges (March 2006); voted yes on deauthorizing “critical habitat” for endangered species (September 2005); voted yes on speeding up approval of forest-thinning projects (November 2003); voted yes on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers (October 2005); voted yes on prohibiting suing gunmakers and sellers for gun misuse (April 2003); voted yes on limiting medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000 damages (May 2004); voted yes on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients (November 2003); and the list goes on. Was this voting record discussed during his interview? If so, will his comments be made public?

Diversity of background and thought is right for higher education. At Colorado, at CU Boulder — everywhere. This is not that. This is a man who has stood with the gun lobby (A+ NRA rating), has opposed LGBT and civil rights at every turn, and is anti-public health and education.

As an LGBT community alum, I am particularly disgusted by his anti-LGBT voting record and current views. He has not “evolved” on fundamental issues of civil rights.

“The societal consensus on marriage equality has changed since that vote in the early 2000s,” Kennedy said Wednesday. “I consider same-sex marriage a settled issue. Today, marriage equality is the law. I support the law, and my track record affirms this support.

“During my time here at UND, we have appointed our first LGBTQ dean. One of my program directors at George Washington is gay. I have very positive things to say to you about my passion for all forms of people.”

Does he realize that Colorado’s governor is one of these different “forms of people”?

This is not someone fit to run my beloved alma mater. I am an active alum and a donor, and I am on the national board of advisors for the University of Colorado Alumni Association. I fiercely oppose this candidate.

Chris Allieri, Brooklyn, N.Y.