Ending mass denial

We are destroying our planet's capacity to support life by burning fossil fuels. If we still believe that our inalienable rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - even for our children - we must work to stop burning fossil fuels.

We need to support the Clean Power Plan, the country's first step toward the 10 percent annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions needed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius. It's a very late start, but we're finally emerging from mass denial.

|Mark Perri, volunteer, PennEnvironment, Wilmington

We have a plan

The Clean Power Plan is expected to provide up to $93 billion in benefits per year by 2030 while creating thousands of sustainable jobs. The Environmental Protection Agency projects that "for every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan, American families will see up to $7 in health benefits."

Corporate polluters spent more than $700 million in the last election to secure an industry-friendly agenda. Within hours of the plan's publication in the Federal Register in October, 24 states sued to block it.

We need to show strong public support for climate action. We need our elected officials to withstand pressure from polluters and to protect our health and communities from the worst impacts of climate change.

|Hannah Ryan, Philadelphia


Not so cutthroat

China's President Xi Jinping and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou met last month to consolidate peace and maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. The meeting also strengthened the investment environment in the Asia-Pacific region ("China-Taiwan détente's effect uncertain," Nov. 29).

As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Taiwan's membership will benefit the other signatories, forging a stronger, safer, and better-integrated Pacific community. While this may foster healthy competition, it is a long way from, as economist Joel Naroff put it to The Inquirer, "want[ing] to cut each other's throats."

|James Yu, director, Information Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, New York


Familiarity breeds contempt

Reading of the endorsement of Gov. Christie by the New Hampshire Union Leader, I was reminded of the old saying that you only get to know someone after you have lived with him. Unfortunately, the paper seems to have based its recommendation on the governor's speeches, not what he has actually done in New Jersey. We who have "lived with him" have a diametrically opposed opinion; see the latest Jersey polls.

We know that he did not become U.S. attorney until months after 9/11; that prosecutions of so-called terrorists by the U.S. Attorney's Office were done by the professionals, not by someone with no experience as a prosecutor before his political appointment; and that although Christie talked a great game after Hurricane Sandy, there are still thousands who have not been able to return to their homes and hundreds of millions in federal relief that has not been distributed. We also know the financial condition of our state, including the nine credit downgrades so far during Christie's reign and his failure to replenish the pension fund as required by his reform law.

I fear for the country if he is successful in his quest for the presidency.

|Marlene Lieber, Medford

I'm afraid of Americans

My governor, Chris Christie, and many of his Republican colleagues are so concerned about my safety that they say they won't allow refugees fleeing war-torn countries into their states. Now I need only worry about being shot by gun owners who don't approve of those seeking medical care from Planned Parenthood or for some reason wish harm to clients and employees of an agency for the developmentally disabled.

I feel safer knowing that Syrian mothers and children escaping terrorism are being kept out because now I only have to watch out for some of my fellow Americans - the ones who hate, carry guns, and terrorize.

|Harriette L. Cohen, Mount Laurel


Evidence of things unseen

A letter writer maintains that "primitive religious beliefs ... retard and divide us" (Nov. 27). One wonders what causes him to believe that a "nonreligious, reality-based understanding of what is sacred" will ensure Earth's survival and perhaps even guarantee peace in the midst of human woes. Might it not be more intelligent to rely on past experiences of sacred intervention in this ailing world? Stories abound.

In the end, though, faith is a gift lived out in adherence to religious beliefs that allow us to carry on in spite of an ever-changing secular society. Some have it and some do not.

|Sister Barbara Bradley, Philadelphia

Excuse for things undone

After the latest mass shooting, Democratic presidential candidates said we should "take action" and "enact laws" ("Early reactions from candidates," Thursday). Republican candidates said "God bless" and noted that they were "praying for all."

Our next leader should take action rather than relying on the impersonal forces of the universe. God helps those who help themselves.

|John Brodsky, Swarthmore,