Our papers have earned 200 journalism and community awards, while working hard to be a credible forum for communication, freedom of speech and diversity of thought in the opinion section for people and groups in town. We have appreciated what everyone contributes to our community. We aren’t always going to agree with each other I believe that makes life more interesting. We learn more from each other if we have diverse views, share those views and learn from each other. I intend to continue to contribute my views and opinions to conversations that I believe is incredibly important to our communities. I learned decades ago, it’s better to first seek to understand and then to be understood.
These days there’s a lot to understand. Some people were very angry the last two weeks that I would have the gall to ask an unpopular question regarding the value of causing young people such anxiety over climate change.
I’m sure we both share concern for the anxious youth who are being told they are facing mass extinction. I also wanted to also consider the press release from the 500 climate scientists asking for a dialogue with the U.N. Climate Action Summit because they claim there is no climate “emergency.” Good thing I didn’t lead with “31,000 scientists say “no convincing evidence humans can or will cause global warming.” (http://www/petitionproject.org).
I was disappointed to learn a couple of our valued readers have opted to or threatened to cancel their subscription and that is disappointing. For us as an organization, our intent is to inform and inspire thoughtful conversational engagement for the betterment of our community.
It’s our job to ask questions. To dig a little deeper, especially as it relates to our local area and our students were demonstrating as well. I knew it was accepted that the climate fluctuates and that we’ve had periods of hotter temps and colder temps (Thank goodness those glaciers melted and created the beautiful glacial lakes like Lake Superior and Lake Michigan and what about those wooly mammoths dug out of the ice in Siberia with greens frozen in their stomachs?). It was news to me was that we were facing mass extinction in the near future and it sparked questions in my dark skeptic heart.
Especially since, when I was young, we were told cigarettes were good for us and saturated fats were bad for us. We were made afraid of chickenpox. We were told we were facing an ice age, Then we were told the oceans were going to rise and drown us out several years ago with several other predictions that didn’t happen. Then there was Y2K. We held our collective breaths on that one, only to once again, dodge that doomsday bullet.
There’s always a new “crisis” that costs us something. I just naturally have to ask before getting all upset or giving away more civil liberties, “Who is benefiting?” Who’s funding is tied to this? Is there a specific industry that is benefiting from this? Or is it government expanding their power to “help” us and/or take more of our money? We have to ask these questions, or we are just sheep.
In any case, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or have an open discussion. And that’s what bothers me the most. Why is it that the people who are asking the questions to explore and find the truth themselves are made to look evil? Isn’t that a dangerous road? Why would we be afraid of the conversation or the outcome if we are allowed to explore both sides?
I have lots of questions. I hope you will join me in the conversation. It’s too important to restrict our free speech because we are afraid of being bullied by what people will say or because we might be wrong, or we are afraid they will “cancel their subscription” because they “can’t support this.” As for me, I started this paper 22 years ago to provide a hub of communication for the community, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation and/or beliefs in immigration, vaccinations, Prop 13, Prop A and many other reasons. Let’s explore it all and learn from each other and treat each other with honor and respect. Remembering that each of us has individual intrinsic value, something to contribute and we are our community’s greatest natural resource.
One final note: The Village News, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook have not been purchased by anyone and there has been no percentage of it sold to any entity. We are still 100% locally owned and independent.
Julie Reeder can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.