Long Island floods, solar panels and war in Ukraine

LI must unite to prevent flood damage

For decades, planners have warned of Long Island’s vulnerability to storms. Opinion piece by Jun-Kai Teoh, “Mapping Flood Risk for Long Island” [Opinion, Sept. 14]helps visualize these very real risks — but unfortunately, even such mapping may not be enough.

In 1984, the Long Island Regional Planning Board, armed with government funding from FEMA, drafted a detailed hurricane damage mitigation plan for the south shore of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The report came to the worrying conclusion that the region is “vulnerable to storm-related damage and potential loss of life”, and urged substantive policy action to curb coastal development.

In the years since, we have witnessed the price to pay for ignoring these warnings, thanks to the damage caused by high-profile storms such as Hurricane Gloria in 1985 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Now , even so-called regular thunderstorm activity has a significant impact – and the ferocity of such events will continue to grow.

Localities must recognize that our region faces ever-changing risks from the seas that surround our island, and work collectively together to sustainably protect our communities from harm. The viability of our shores depends on it.

—Richard Murdocco, Commack

The author is an assistant professor of environmental policy in the Graduate Program in Public Policy at Stony Brook University and the School of Atmospheric and Marine Sciences.

Long Island is even more flooded than previously thought, and we are not alone. Nationally, a study by Climate Central reports that 650,000 properties, or 4.4 million acres, will be flooded by 2050.

Even before the United Nations’ first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sounded the global warming warning in 1990, oil giants Shell and Exxon had internal reports from the 1980s predicting climate catastrophe.

We can’t listen to fossil fuel companies telling us we can’t cut the cord with dirty oil and gas. Their business depends on the clouding of our vision.

We urgently need to switch to renewable energy for vehicles, heating and air conditioning. The Inflation Reduction Act and state investments in wind and solar power, battery storage, heat pumps and electric vehicles will get us there.

— Karen C. Higgins, Massapequa Park

Flood hazard mapping by postcode is far too crude an instrument. This makes color key coding inadequate to assess actual risk. Although this study can be a first step, it requires more precision. Track data by block. This will reduce the need and alarm to more manageable levels.

—Raymond Roel, East Northport

The problem with adding solar panels

It seems that readers in East Hampton and Port Washington who have written about climate and the need for change are unaware of solar issues outside of their cities. [“National Grid should stay in 21st century,” Letters, Sept. 13].

Most of Long Island’s makeup is many trees with medium-sized houses on fairly small lots. Many of us don’t have the space on the roof to install enough solar panels to cover our entire electricity bill.

Other issues could be the expense of replacing an older roof or removing trees. It’s a luxury that many of us can’t afford besides buying solar power.

If you want to achieve climate and energy goals, you need to find a solution for each.

—Tricia Schreck, East Meadow

The letter “Biden speech draws right-wing backlash” Opinion, September 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, it is possible.

In this democracy, we have different beliefs about God, about the beginning of life 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 respect for the Constitution. The First Amendment prohibits our government from “making laws regulating the establishment of any religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.” If someone doesn’t agree with me, I can’t put them in jail.

The reader states his religious beliefs, which he considers correct and true. How is this a threat to democracy? A devout Christian or Jew or a member of any religion is not a threat to democracy by believing what he is doing. However, if he insists that all Americans should hold the same beliefs – and that laws should be made to enforce a religious worldview – then our democracy is indeed under attack.

—Linda D. Volkersz, Stony Brook

The author is director emeritus of religious education at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Stony Brook.

Yes, 9/11 is sad, just like the war in Ukraine

The recitation last Sunday of the names of those who were killed on 9/11 was so sad that it sometimes brought tears to my eyes “Call to ‘never forget’ to be tested by time”, News, 11 september]. 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 always has 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 North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s, and now you can fly to Vietnam and have coffee at a table in a restaurant on the streets where Americans and Vietnamese are dead. Why?

I was a child during World War II when the Germans and the Japanese were our enemies, but now they are our friends. This whole scenario is absurd. In 36 days of fighting on Iwo Jima, nearly 7,000 Marines and about 20,000 Japanese died. Why?

Be sad about what happened on September 11, and also about the stupidity of war.

— John Procida, Rinse

Another case of deja vu

I enjoyed reading articles in the classic edition of Sunday, September 10, 1981 on redistricting and electric vehicles, as well as an opinion piece on moral majority.

It immediately transported me to today, 2022, because now I read about redistricting and electric vehicles, and opinion pieces about MAGA Republicans. The more things change, the more they stay 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 thoughts on today’s issues to [email protected] Submissions should not exceed 200 words. Please provide your full name, hometown, phone numbers, and any relevant expertise or affiliations. Include the title 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 printed every 45 days. The letters published reflect the ratio received on each topic.

Lynn A. Saleh