Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

July 16 letters to the editor

How can anyone still deny climate change? 

In light of the unusual weather that has been experienced all over the globe and, nearer to home, the floods, heatwaves, dangerous air quality and more severe hurricanes and tornadoes, I foolishly assumed that even the most ardent climate change deniers would finally realize that climate scientists are right that we need to change our behaviors to avoid catastrophe.  

Thank you for publishing Cal Thomas’s column, “The catastrophe du jour.” I needed to be reminded that there is nothing that will convince climate deniers that “global weirding” is not a “Chicken Little prediction.” 

When areas of our country become uninhabitable, and when deaths attributable to climate change exceed the deaths due to accidents and gun murders, those dinosaurs who are still alive to witness it will likely say, “Who knew?” Their refusal to observe and draw conclusions from what is happening before their eyes is maddening. 

Richard Cohen 

Joe Biden must take responsibility for MVP 

President Biden may claim that his hands were tied by Sen. Joe Manchin and Republicans. However, when he agreed to sign their debt deal, the Mountain Valley Pipeline became his. And no one is tying his hands when it comes to an important safety measure regarding the MVP.  

Forty-foot sections of pipe flex quite a bit when they are moved from the factory to the pipeyard to the right of way and finally into a ditch. But the factory-applied coating loses its flexibility if it sits in the sun too long. 

The January 2020 issue of Corrosion Management reported the coating on Keystone XL pipe was “no longer fit for purpose” after it had sat in the sun for years — just as MVP’s pipe has. Every piece of KXL pipe tested failed the flexibility test and had cracks in the coating. Cracked coating is no longer corrosion-proof.  

There are only two ways to address the coating problem. Either replace the pipe with new, recently coated pipe or ship all the pipe in the field back to the plant for stripping, cleaning and recoating. This is what a Keystone XL pipeline manager said was necessary, because the coating process is quite involved and can only properly occur in a factory setting.  

MVP, a company that has paid millions of dollars in fines for hundreds of permit violations, will no doubt claim either the pipes don’t need re-coating or they can be properly re-coated in the field.  

MVP’s careless intent to install deteriorating pipes in our shifting karst topography, then increase pressure enough to force gas up almost vertical mountainsides, is certain to result in leaks. In the past, such leaks have caused deadly explosions. 

This is Biden’s call. The chain of command, from the bottom up, is the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg and, ultimately, Biden. He can enforce safety rule and ensure that the coating is sufficiently ductile to resist cracking — or he can ignore all the warnings. 

Barbara Daniels 

Morgantown has a panhandling problem 

My son and daughter and their children visited from Oregon and Idaho a couple weeks ago. My son and his wife went shopping downtown and had lunch at Gibbie’s, where the food was good and the atmosphere grand, and they enjoyed shopping at the Old Stone House.  

A negative was that they were stopped four to five times by people asking for money.  

My daughter and three of her former Morgantown High classmates, who now live in Charleston, D.C. and Harrisburg, spent a night at the Hotel Morgan, which they thought was special. After breakfast on Saturday, they took a walk on the rail-trail. Behind Reynolds Hall, they encountered a man with a large knife. They left the area and walked back on Beechurst.  

My family spent three days in Washington, D.C., visiting the Air and Space Museum at Dulles, the Lincoln, Jefferson and Vietnam memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, four buildings of the Smithsonian and Mount Vernon. On no occasion while in D.C. were we approached by anyone asking for money. And the only homeless person we saw was at a 7-11 near Mt. Vernon.  

With thousands of tourists visiting D.C. every day, it is a rich environment for panhandlers. So how has D.C. been able to minimize the encounters between the panhandlers, the homeless and the tourists while Morgantown appears to be helpless in this regard?  

I appreciate Tom Bloom’s good intentions relating to the panhandling problem in Mon County. But rules and laws without enforcement is just advice. 

Dennis Poluga  

To be part of a Christian church is to be ‘religious’ 

I am writing in response to the Sunday, July 9, letter, “Not religious? Church still offers community” by Wes Bergen.  

Everyone, no matter who he is, is religious. The word “religion” is believed to be related to the Latin “religare” which means “to bind.” Technically speaking, to be “religious” means to bind oneself to a particular set of beliefs and values.  

Therefore, following this understanding, every person is religious. We all bind ourselves to the natural law. Otherwise, rape could be justified.  

Atheists bind themselves to their belief in the god of chance and to their chosen moral code. Catholics bind themselves to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His church. Even those people who claim they are “spiritual” but not “religious” are actually following a religion they created based on their own chosen beliefs.  

The point of Christianity is to assent our minds, hearts and wills to Jesus Christ and His love and teachings. By being Christian, we are meant to change to become more like Christ. We die to self. We strive to combat sin in our lives. If you attend a Christian church but have no intention of being transformed or leaving behind beliefs that are contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, well, you are not following historical Christianity.  

Yes, we all need community. A community is united. We should accompany each other on our individual faith journeys, but the point of a journey is to be going somewhere. Christ united His Apostles. They were bound in their belief that he was God and that to follow Him was to love and believe in the truth. To follow Him meant to leave their previous understandings behind and conform to Him. At least that’s the Christianity found in the Bible and history. So to be Christian means to be religious.  

Rev. Fr. Brian J. Crenwelge