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Border success through housing, education

What our government is doing at the border is inhumane. Nearly all refugees trying to enter the U.S. are honest, capable, hard-working and willing to learn English if we give them the tools. We, in the U.S., urgently need immigrant help for farming, hospitality, construction trades, disaster cleanup and more.

Instead of separations and caging, let’s provide humane family housing during the three- to four-month vetting process and teach entire families English and computer literacy five to six hours a day; days they would otherwise be idly waiting.

Vetted refugees could then be matched to areas needing workers and newly settled families would have the skills to work, shop, drive and integrate into the U.S. environment. This is a recipe for success.

Our government has reduced aid to Central American governments claiming corruption. Why not bypass these governments and work with Central American churches? I saw firsthand in 2013, for example, how Catholic churches in Guatemala built schools, medical and dental clinics and women’s sewing centers and distributed small parcels of land to individual families for coffee and corn production. 

Kate Dahlstrom

Traverse City

Resisting the need for clean energy is a bad bet

The opinion piece, “Fossil fuel-free is a misguided pipe dream” (July 11), is shot through with misleading statements and invalid analogies.

The authors say it’s virtually impossible to make a rapid transition to clean energy, but while we undoubtedly can't make the transition in a year, we can (and must) make it over the span of a decade or two.

While climate scientists can't forecast whether it will rain in Detroit on July 11, 2050, they can reasonably predict that the global average temperature in 2050 will be some 3.5 degrees F hotter than it is now if we continue burning fossil fuels as we do today.

The authors imply that our choice is between fossil fuels and 1860s technology. Climate activists are not suggesting that we go back to the horse, but rather that we use 21st century technology to move on to the use of sustainable fuels.

Nobel-prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg said regarding climate change, “It is generally foolish to bet against the judgments of science, and in this case, when the planet is at stake, it is insane.” I couldn’t agree more.

Craig Stephan

Ann Arbor

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