Tuesday letters : Sea turtles, tree power, tax returns

Tuesday letters : Sea turtles, tree power, tax returns

Sea turtles

Regarding « Dead sea turtle taken to NOAA’s Galveston lab after washing up at Seabrook home » (, Thursday), since 2003, the Turtle Island Restoration Network has sponsored the sea turtle rescue hotline 866-turtle5. If you find a stranded sea turtle, alive or dead, anywhere on the Texas coast you may call the hotline and someone will respond.

With more than 300 miles on our Texas coast, it is divided into eight areas for this public information number. The responders who answer for the various areas of the Texas coast all have the appropriate and necessary permits and training.

All sea turtles face many threats during their life span including incidental capture during commercial fishing activities, illegal harvest of eggs, entanglement in discarded fishing lines, boat propeller strikes, cold-stunning during winter fronts, loss of foraging and nesting habitat, predation, beachfront development and injuries as a result of consuming marine debris.

April to July is nesting season for sea turtles on the Texas coast, so please keep a safe distance from any nesting sea turtle and report this activity to the sea turtle hotline. Five species of sea turtle spend time in the Gulf of Mexico and our bays; Kemp’s ridley, loggerhead, hawksbill, green and leatherback.

Regarding « The carbon law » (Page A17, April 9), the concept of charging a « hefty » fine to discourage a perceived negative behavior will not have the desired effect on greenhouse gas emissions by industry. In most cases the profit margin will be increased to cover the fine with only a token effort at removal or reduction of emissions.

What is needed is a proactive approach to removal of the perceived primary culprit of climate change, that being carbon dioxide. The answer is so simple and obvious that it appears to have eluded the minds of the scientists proposing a new way (carbon tax) to honor the pledge of « almost 200 nations » to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by January 2101. How do we remove an overage of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? Let nature work for humanity by planting trees, billions of trees. They love carbon dioxide and give us a bonus of oxygen.

Humankind’s history has been removal of trees for fire, building material and clearing land for agriculture. The rate of tree removal has exceeded the rate of renewal and will increase exponentially with world population growth.

Forest land has been reduced not only for agriculture but for city sprawl and road systems. When we look for blame regarding humanity’s influence on climate change, we need only look in the mirror.

Michael A. Barnes,Sugar Land

Climate worries

Regarding « EPA chief calls for an ‘exit’ to Paris climate agreement » (Page A6, Saturday), while the Trump administration dithers over climate change, the environmental degradation continues. Ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising and pollutants are added daily to our air and water.

By the time the administration comes to a consensus that global warming is real and develops a plan, it may well be too late.

Jim McMahon, Spring