Digging a grave for all of us


Britain's government in its stumble over leaving the European Union may be nearly as dysfunctional as our own, but on one score at least the UK has its priorities straight.

The Washington Post reports that outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, in one of her last acts in office, has committed Britain to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the first of the Group of Seven advanced economies to set this goal.

Britain is far from alone in its determination to address the increasingly urgent climate emergency.

Internationally speaking, if anyone is alone, it's us, the United States, in our refusal to face one of humankind's greatest existential threats. In no other nation on earth, Robinson Meyer, Associate Editor of the Atlantic Monthly has pointed out, has a conservative center-right party hardened around a position of climate change denial. We alone, with our Denier-in-Chief, have damagingly and disgracefully isolated ourselves from the effort to save our planet for future generations.

Future generations, in fact, are leading the charge in Britain. The Post reports, "Major protests ... including by children skipping school to march through cities, have helped push climate change toward the top of the political agenda."

A recent Gallup poll suggests that two-thirds of U.S. adults believe that climate change is real and want our government to take meaningful action. So why do so many of our politicians have their heads stuck in the sand? Could it be that Britain has a more responsive, active democracy than ours?

The GOP refusal to take climate change seriously may be digging a grave for all of us. Those who've cynically supported our anti-science president may find that tax cuts and stacked courts don't matter when there's nothing left to buy and no rule of law left to uphold.

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

Poppy distribution thank you


The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 121 of River Falls wants to thank Dick's and Family Fresh Foods for the space provided us for our Poppy Day. We also want to thank everyone who donated for poppies during the month of May.

A special thank you to the person who put a $100 bill in a can at one of our stores.

Each year American Legion Auxiliary volunteers distribute millions of red crepe paper poppies in exchange for contributions to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans.

The veterans who make the flowers are able to earn a small wage, which helps to supplement their incomes and makes them feel more self-sufficient. The physical and mental activity provides many therapeutic benefits for the veterans.

The poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and it is worn by Americans to honor those who served and died for their country.

Donations received by Auxiliary volunteers for the poppies are used exclusively to assist and support veterans and their families.

Jeanne Williams

Unit 121 Poppy Chairmen.