A missed opportunity in Berrien Springs district

Editor,

When reading the story about the Berrien Springs school board building flexibility into the school schedule to accommodate extreme weather, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that Berrien Springs – like communities elsewhere in Michigan – is home to some climate science deniers. A school board modifying school year schedules to accommodate climate change-induced extreme weather is, for Southwest Michigan, a prime example of how climate change is directly affecting Michiganders. This is affecting more than just farmers across the country, coastal and riparian cities that are experiencing flooding, residents of desert cities dealing with water quality and quantity issues, and Arctic peoples experiencing the ground literally shifting under their feet not just from earthquakes but from melting permafrost; it is affecting schoolchildren whose education is being disrupted.

Scientists have already shown that the dislocation of the North Pole’s polar vortex due to the disruption of the jet streams as a result of rapidly rising Arctic temperatures is a direct consequence of anthropogenic climate change. This is but one example of the kind of extreme weather that Michiganders are facing now and will face in the future. Early and late extreme temperature events, extreme precipitation events in all seasons, acidification of the Great Lakes, and droughts – all of which can bring other problems, such as northward migration of disease-carrying and crop-destroying insects – are other examples of slow-moving natural disasters that we’re also experiencing and likely to experience as we move forward into an unknown climate.

Berrien Springs officials should have looked at the additional school days as an opportunity to drive home the above points to their students. They should have worked with their teachers to develop a curriculum day that was devoted to teaching about how climate change is already affecting the children, how it is affecting people elsewhere, and what the science says they can expect in the future. Instead, you all looked at this as an opportunity to throw parties and engage in other non-educational activities. Shame on all of you.

Parents in Berrien Springs and other area districts in my native Southwest Michigan area need to demand from their schools that their children be taught this fact of life: we adults have ruined the world that they’re inheriting and they’re in for a rough ride.

Justin Bowen

Commerce Township

Biden’s past brain bleed incidents are troubling

Editor,

All persons running for office, being human, have some problems which come out during the campaign and the voters can consider them when voting. However, with Mr. Biden there are some conditions present which are either not noticed or not understood for their significance.

He has had two episodes of bleeding in the brain as a result of rupture of defective arteries. These events are commonly fatal, and if not, there are symptoms common to all when the person survives. Some of these are significant in important ways, and are always present to some degree.

There is always a problem with short-term memory, which interferes when performing complex behaviors such as driving, aircraft controlling and practicing medicine. Other thinking may be less critical, but it can still cause difficulty in some way.

Controlling emotions which are suddenly expressed, such as crying or verbal or physical aggression, come on suddenly with serious misunderstanding by others and are soon forgotten with denial that it occurred.

Errors of judgment when expressing opinions – verbal or otherwise – crop up in social situations, saying that which is usually avoided by most people.

The office of president is probably the most complex activity of any other occupation. Short-term memory loss can result in forgetting something when making important decisions. It can result in losing the train of thought when listening to issues brought to him for decision when others are not sure what to do. Errors of judgment in social interactions could lead to misunderstanding in any interaction the president has. Mr. Biden has been known to get over-close with women. He is known to make gaffes, saying something which should have been better left unsaid.

There has been an increasing recognition of this condition in veterans with brain injury and in athletes with concussions. Victims of this disease can have tragic loss of function in work and life in general and the cause is not recognized. The condition does not respond to any treatment.

I am a retired psychiatrist and have seen these problems, with tragic loss of normal function in many important ways.

Dr. Charles Payne

St. Joseph

Thank goodness for the honest person at Meijer

Editor,

Thank you to the honest person in Stevensville at the Meijer store last Friday night!

I used the self-checkout and picked up my two bags and walked to my car. After looking at the two bags of groceries on my front seat, I realized I did not have my purse. I walked back in the store and searched the checkout I used and no purse there. I asked the attendant if someone had turned one in. I walked to the service desk and asked if someone had turned one in. No such luck!

Turning to walk out of the store, another attendant helped me look and suggested I call back in 30 minutes to see if it had been turned in. Upon arriving home, I had to look up Meijer’s telephone number in an old phone book because my cellphone was in my purse.

Thank you, thank you, someone had turned it in. Upon getting my purse back I searched it and found nothing missing. This incident makes me feel good about the quality of people living in this area. Thank you to the honest person who turned it in and the Meijer attendants who helped me search

Sherri Nitz

Baroda