Our Readers Write: ‘Slow streets,’ carbon tax

A sign marks the "slow street" along Diamond Street in Pacific Beach.

Letters to the editor:

‘Slow streets’ show appreciation for surroundings

I was totally blown away by the film “My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix) and truly appreciate how Craig Foster shares his intimate learning from this teacher, therapist, friend, incredible liquid animal. Each time I view the film, more is revealed to me.

Foster speaks of his octopus teacher: “What she taught me is to feel that you’re part of this place, not just a visitor. That’s a huge difference.” Also, “she made me realize just how precious wild places are.”

If only all humans could learn to feel a part of this place, the ocean for those near the coast, to the point of wanting to devote themselves to protect it. To feel an intimacy, to become one, alive in the beauty of this spectacular, incredibly freeing ecosystem, is never to take it for granted.

Which brings me to give a shout-out for the idea of “slow streets.” I happen to live on Diamond Street in Pacific Beach, where people are the focus, not cars or trucks. People can safely practice social distancing, enjoy skateboarding, inline skating, walking with their families or even have a biking event right down the middle of the slow street. The quiet on our street is so welcomed, yet we get to hear the sounds of people enjoying each other’s company instead of the noise of vehicles.

And so appropriate to call it “slow streets.” People have slowed down as bike sales rise, and hopefully, as in “My Octopus Teacher,” people are slowing down to think about vitally important cleaner air, cleaner water, healthier living all around, getting to know the people in your neighborhood or the creatures in the ocean.

Hopefully as more slow streets are requested, the car culture may begin to decline. One of my pet peeves is the number of people that sit in their cars while it is idling and those hazardous emissions contribute to the air I breathe as I take a walk or ride my bike.

Jo Thompson

— — —

Carbon tax is best way to reduce carbon footprint

There are many ways we can personally reduce our carbon footprint, like driving less, going solar or eating less meat.

But while these will reduce our carbon footprint, they are not enough. The largest public statement of economists in history, including 3,589 economists, 27 Nobel laureate economists and four former chairs of the Federal Reserve, wrote: “A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. ... To maximize the fairness and political viability of a rising carbon tax, all the revenue should be returned directly to U.S. citizens through equal lump-sum rebates. The majority of American families, including the most vulnerable, will benefit financially by receiving more in ‘carbon dividends’ than they pay in increased energy prices.”

This strategy is fair, effective, transparent, good for the economy, bipartisan, does not increase regulations or the size of government, and will stimulate energy innovation. It is our best shot for stopping the global temperature rise.

Susan Kobara

— — —

What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in PB Monthly express views from readers about community matters. Submissions of related photos also are welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher. Letters are subject to editing for brevity, clarity and accuracy. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published.