Some discussion ridicules the reality of climate change. Skeptics quote individuals, often not climate scientists, or make accusations of hoax or conspiracy by those alarmed about climate change.

Such ad-hominem attacks and context-free quotes are the refuge of folks unable to refute the solid preponderance of evidence supporting the existence of climate change and its primarily anthropogenic causes. (See 2007 reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, based on peer- reviewed studies by thousands of scientists.) Evidence compiled since shows that, if anything, the IPCC conclusions underestimate the speed and strength of the changes.

Those who downplay climate change and dismiss suggested societal responses reveal the limitations of their perspectives, when they studiously ignore the many independent reasons to move toward greater energy efficiency/independence, and away from fossil fuels. These include:

1. Improving national security by reducing dependence on hostile countries.

2. Reducing the economic and health costs of fossil fuel pollution.

3. Creating well-paying jobs.

4. Reducing the impact of likely long-term increased energy costs.

5. Improving global competitiveness of American business, currently weakened by our less-efficient energy use per value produced.

Let's support Congress and President Obama in finally addressing all these issues. — Robert John Scheelen, Medford

President Barack Obama and his attorney general nominee Eric Holder have an opportunity to show the American people that we can believe in the mantra "No man is above the law."

Given that Holder recently acknowledged that waterboarding is torture, he would be negligent if he ignored the Bush administration actions with respect to this crime. The same could be said of the Bush administration's eavesdropping on American citizens.

Investigations would provide sunshine on an era of darkness and give the public the answers we deserve. After the information was gathered, Holder could then decide on whether or not to prosecute. And if crimes were committed, and it seems likely, what better way to show America that the rule of law is intact and that the government is not above the law?

It is laughable to think of one of us walking into court and arguing that the traffic violation we were issued was in the past, therefore, we should ignore it because we need to "look to the future." America's future depends on the rule of law and guaranteeing that major criminal actions are not ignored even if investigation and prosecution make us uncomfortable. — Derek Volkart, Talent

As a 19-year-old man who voted for the first time in this last election, I must say that I am extremely happy with our new president.

My view of our government over the last eight years has been very dark. In my view the last administration has done nothing but destroy the values, image and prosperity of our nation.

I voted for Obama because he represented a new beginning to reclaim what is important for everyone in this nation and the rest of the world. He is much more than just the first black president (which in itself is important) — I think he has what it takes to keep our nation from falling apart.

I have seen people around the world celebrate the success of American democracy due to this election, and I realize that the election of this man has made us all safer, certainly safer than before with Bush's policy of bullets, bombs, and ignorance. He is working to dismantle institutions of torture, and vowed to help save our economy. I am waiting to see the great things he will do in the future as our leader. — Brandon Shirley, Medford

"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation; the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

These words are from President Obama's inauguration speech, Jan. 20, 2009, in front of the world. Yet three days later, Obama, in private, without fanfare and media coverage of Gitmo closing, signed an executive order funding abortions around the world. Americans have sanctioned killing 50 million babies since Roe v. Wade; now we'll fund the genocide of millions of babies around the world, thanks to Obama. I guess his speech about the God-given promise didn't apply to babies.

John Paul II, who wasn't a hypocrite, and actually followed what he professed, predicted, "A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope." It's sad for America when the president of the freest country in the world cares more about 200 terrorist detainees than millions of American and foreign babies in the womb. Soon he'll sign FOCA, removing all restrictions on abortions in America. The coming "change" sickens me. — Niquita Wilkinson, Eagle Point

We were deeply moved by your recent front-page story, "Israeli-Hamas war scars Gaza's children." These young innocents suffer from living amidst violence-prone Hamas terrorists.

Your lengthy article on Gaza children offers this brief statement about Israeli children:

"Israel's military offensive ... (was) ... launched Dec. 27 to try to halt eight years of Hamas rocket fire on towns in southern Israel. The rocket attacks have frightened children there and frequently sent them running for cover." Frightened children indeed. Imagine families facing surprise rocket attacks into their homes and communities for eight long years.

How many Israeli children — Muslim and Jewish — have been deeply scarred, both physically and emotionally? Where is the news coverage, with photos, of that horror launched by Hamas? How long must innocent children of all backgrounds and ethnicities suffer from the unwise decisions of their elders? — Betty and Marvin Kazmin, Medford

I hoped that our new president wouldn't live up to his record of supporting the unjust killing of the innocent. But on Jan. 23, he issued an executive order to spend our taxpayer dollars supporting groups, in foreign countries, that kill unborn babies. That's change that dead babies will find hard to believe in.

Obama's murderous agenda has begun. Our tax dollars are going to pay for it. The innocent will pay for it too. — Drew Hymer, Medford

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