Readers Write: Nov. 8

Climate trifecta a beacon of hope

Lost in the swirl of drama around the presidential election, a trifecta of global climate agreements came into being this past month.

It got little attention but deserves more. The Paris Climate Agreement (195 countries, signed in December but entering into legal force this October), the Kigali accord limiting the ultra-potent greenhouse gas chemical coolants called HFC’s (170 countries) and a deal to curb planet warming emissions from the aviation industry (190 countries).

All three agreements are examples of thinking for the long-term and global cooperation. They are comprehensive national policy solutions. They can make a real difference. This trifecta should be seen as hope that human society can foul the planet but may also be capable of redemption, albeit with no time to spare.


Don’t lower standards for graduation

Sorry, I can’t get overly enthusiastic with the recent article announcing the recent increase in Georgia graduation rates (“Graduation rates in Ga. approach 80%,” News, Nov. 2). In last week’s AJC, there was an article about students lagging in science learning, whereby only 22 percent of 12th-graders were at, or above, “proficient.” So the real question is, are students being educated? It is easy to increase graduation “rates” if one narrows the population being measured and administrations use no-fail and social promotion policies and eliminate graduation tests. Daily I run into high school students and recent graduates who can’t calculate the proper change without looking at the register. Too many senior students and recent graduates use poor grammar, can’t name the successors to the president’s office, can’t find Oklahoma on a U.S. map or the Atlanta airport without a GPS, determine how much interest they’d pay on a car loan, etc, etc. We can continue to lower the graduation requirements, but we will still have an awful lot of uneducated graduates trying to compete for jobs with the Chinese, Indians, Koreans, Filipinos, etc.


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