A reminder to those who are persuaded by Joel Marks' letter (Aug. 14) that America has become a terrible place that grows worse each day:

America's children no longer work (and die) in coal mines and sweatshops. I invite Marks to explain why restoring the conditions that caused the Triangle Shirtwaist fire would restore America's greatness.

America's rivers are no longer so polluted they catch fire; cities are no longer poisoned by killer smogs. African American families can now drive from Los Angeles to New York without worrying about where they'll sleep and eat. Poverty and lack of health care are no longer the scourge of the elderly, and being born female is no longer considered a pre-existing medical condition. The list goes on.

America's problems won't be resolved by returning, as Marks implies, to a Gilded Age of boundless greed, low taxes, few regulations, laissez-faire capitalism and robber barons. — Bill Sherwood, Phoenix

In the U.S. this is the driest year in over half a century and so far the hottest year on record; July was the hottest month ever recorded; as drought sweeps the country over 50 percent of counties are declared disaster areas; wildfire grips our forests from east to west; the frequency and severity of droughts are projected to increase in coming decades.

Globally, the temperature has increased 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century as heat waves become more intense and frequent. Indeed, nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.

Among practicing climate scientists the consensus is clear; fully 97 percent agree that we are causing the problem. The economic and human cost constitute a tax on all of us imposed by the fossil fuel industry in its drive for profits just as severe as a tax on carbon production would be.

If an epidemic were sweeping the country and causing as much suffering and destruction as climate change, politicians would spare no expense to address it. They should not to bow to energy industry money and disinformation and deny the condition or its cause. They deserve no support whatever position they seek. — Alan Journet, Ph.D., Jacksonville

I hope the Sam Jennings Co. building will hang in there long enough to celebrate their centennial in 2027. It is part of Medford's history and a charming reminder of days gone by.

We have plenty of big new boxes around town. People from all over flock to Jacksonville precisely because it has placed value upon its old structures and actually venerated them. If we had foresight, we might actually set about to preserve this building legally.

"The Alamo," just like it's genuine counterpart in San Antonio, Texas, sits serenely unflinching, surrounded by towering newborns. I applaud the Sam Jennings Co. for holding firm and also providing the valley with much-needed repair services. — Karen E. Gordon, Central Point

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