Contact the White House and other elected officials

Contact the White House and other elected officials;  MESSAGES TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

Please address your government, when you recognize major issues that need to be more effectively addressed

Obviously, the White House and local officials need to be supported when drastic changes are necessary. Too many people do not understand how urgent changes are and how difficult it is for our institutions, agencies, industries, and governments to stop acting as if “business as usual” could solve problems. Concerned citizens need to think and act, do what they can to influence agencies.

In the U.S., you may contact the White House, https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/  (messages are limited to 2,000 characters including spaces)
and you may contact your Representatives, Senators, also local government officials.

Examples of messages: 

Messages for the White House
Urgency of climate emergency:
Israel-Palestine:
Abuses of internet, Surveillance Capitalism, Cryptocurrencies:
Abuse of legislative process, particularly in states:
Cryptocurrencies:
CO2 releases by conventional building techniques:
Messages to local governments (cities, states)

Urgency of climate emergency:
Dear President Biden:
All present proposals to halt rapid global warming appear grossly inadequate. CO2 levels are now like 2,500,000 years ago. Vicious cycles are speeding up climate change. At the present rate of progress close to a billion people may be forced to migrate due to droughts, loss of arable land, and floods. Violence and wars will hardly be avoidable.
HUMANE CIVILIZATION WORLDWIDE attempts to design comprehensive plans with model institutions that promote HUMANE growth and protect the environment.
Progress must pursue highly energy-efficient transportation, mostly plant-based diets, energy savings in housing, and actions that address other major greenhouse gas releases, e.g. from methane leaks and use of conventional refrigerants. We must build rail lines, high-speed and freight lines, and light-rail, mostly narrow track (70-100cm) that reach all neighborhoods, towns, and points of interest (many can be built on existing roads). We also must develop and mass-produce many types of human-powered, electro-assisted, and ultralight electric vehicles, with and without aerodynamic lightweight bodies; and we need everywhere lanes for these slower vehicles.
Construction must utilize lumber, engineered timber, and bamboo, not cement and steel.
The economic system must be reformed. We must rein in the highly profitable, parasitic financial institutions. The circulating money supply should belong almost exclusively to the people, enterprises and government agencies that work with it, not to banks and investors.
The gathering, storing, and analyzing of personal data, and cryptocurrencies must be outlawed; these abuses are extremely wasteful and unethical.
We must save in every way possible, avoid waste, realizing rapid changes in production, consumption, ways of commuting and traveling, and work. We must pursue more humane conditions, and we must become a model for the rest of the world.

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Israel-Palestine:
Dear President Biden:
ISRAEL DOES NOT NEED ARMS. And the world needs ONE DEMOCRATIC, SECULAR, HUMAN-RIGHTS-RESPECTING ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN FEDERATION. Israel does not accept a two-state solution in which a Palestinian state has the right to evict Jewish settlers and in which the traditionally to Muslims, Christians, and Jews sacred places become neutral internationally monitored sites. They hardly would allow Palestinians to freely cross Israel’s borders. The Holocaust does not justify Israelis’ religious claims of ‘owning’ Palestine.
Israel has driven Palestinians to respond in desperate ways. We must be unbiased and compassionate.
Please explain and advise: we do not need a Jewish state, no Islamic, Christian, or Hindu states. We must aim to establish secular, federal democracies that observe human rights and international laws.
Religions must be a personal matter. In decision-making, religious, traditional beliefs, and ideologies must never interfere with sciences and ethics, a central issue of ethics being broad compassionate empathy with no us-vesu-them thinking. Religious teachings are by definition intolerant – we cannot have “beliefs” that override any other knowledge and also accept other beliefs as equally valid. Consequently, conflicts between religions often lead to violence and wars.
WARS DO NOT SOLVE CONFLICTS; THEY PROLONG THEM, CAUSING MUCH SUFFERING. Instead of military spending, we need peace research and in every conflict work on unbiased mediation and international arbitration. We must not be allied with one murderous government and call its enemies rogue states. To weaken dangerous, corrupt dictators who are ‘addicted to wealth and power,’ we must take measures such as stop trade, freeze bank accounts, and pursue them in international courts; this entails that we and the E.U. accept sacrifices, not try to pursue benefits from continued cooperation.

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Abuses of internet, Surveillance Capitalism, Cryptocurrencies:
Dear President Biden:
Our government must address the misuse of artificial intelligence and of the internet, particularly the gathering, storing, and analyzing of personal data, and the creation and trading of cryptocurrencies. The technology companies pursuing these activities are extremely unethical; the world cannot afford the incredible waste of energy and resources, computing and human, and their adding much to global warming.
Rare earth minerals and metals used in electronic and electric installations must be highly taxed and used first and foremost for needed infrastructure, wind turbines, electric trains, etc. All energy, including electricity produced by solar panels, should be highly taxed.
It is not a philosophical question whether the data use developments is wanted and worthwhile. If people understand the goals and methods of Surveillance Capitalism (as described by Shoshana Zuboff), they reject them. People do not understand contracts that internet-user must accept; they are sweeping, complex, and hardly legal. We all must save, but otherwise, within ethical limits, we should be free to chose how we live; not monitored by sensors, and free of harassment when using the internet or watch TV. We must never become objects of tech companies’ behavior modification programs. We are not commodities, objects to be exploited. We must never be manipulated and controlled by machine algorithms. Otherwise our political system will soon be much worse than China’s political system.
Bitcoin in and of itself is completely devoid of value; but it aims to become an illegal currency with all functions of bank money, competing with legal currencies. Elon Musk’s decision to invest in Bitcoin and his temporarily accepting Bitcoin to buy Tesla cars reinforce steps in this direction. So far, Bitcoin trade has largely been like gambling; it also has been like a new version of a Ponzi scheme; it only gained value because of many new investors that expect profits.

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Abuse of legislative process, particularly in states:
Dear President Biden
Is it not time that legislators craft a law that forbids legislation that ‘addresses’ non-existing problems, that is, problems that are not based on reality and logical thinking?
Interest groups apparently invent problems that are based on lies, on conspiracy theories, or on spurious ideological or religious beliefs. Laws addressing non-existing problems are designed to please some groups, create unfair advantages for some political, ideological or religious minority, and eventually reward the legislators. This constitutes corruption. Such grossly unethical actions may also be seen as unconstitutional; they contradict the spirit of the constitution: elected officials are supposed to pursue the ‘general Welfare.’ New laws must conform with conditions: there must be evidence that a problem lawmakers claim to address actually exists, and lawmakers must assure that proposed legislation does not worsen a situation they claim to rectify.
Abortion-restricting laws that please a religious conservative minority, are promoted to protect women; it is known that medical abortions are safe and the laws endanger women. We know that laws severely limiting opioid replacement therapies please bigots who believe that all addicted people should be detoxified even though there is much evidence that detoxification is ineffective and dangerous.
Today most relevant appear laws that restrict voting. Rather than addressing a problem, they are designed to suppress the vote of the poor and ethnic minorities, people believed to be likely to vote for Democrats.
There are government agencies, such as the GAO, and committees in the legislature that are designed to provide oversight of government activities and efficiency – are they looking at these problems? It is obviously not efficient to waste time on legislation that has no honest, sincere intent; and is it legal if these laws are designed to please religious and white-supremacist groups? Do courts have to get involved?

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Cryptocurrencies:
Dear President Biden:
Please veto any legislation that gives legitimacy to private cryptocurrencies. Mr. Gary Genser, chair of the U.S. SEC, and lawmakers must resist lobbyists and clarify that cryptocurrencies are illegal.
Additionally, transactions of Bitcoin should be highly taxed – the creation and maintenance of Bitcoin wastes huge amounts of energy and electronic resources, a waste we cannot afford considering the climate crisis and economic disruptions.
Cryptocurrencies are neither commodities nor securities. They are not backed by any goods or assets. Profits for investors are not based on productivity of enterprises; they are like a Ponzi scheme, deriving value only from profit-seeking investors. Presently they may be seen as tokens for interstate-international gambling. However, cryptocurrencies are moving towards being broadly accepted; they expect to reach essentially stable values and be used like bank accounts, fulfilling all functions of money and competing with hard currencies in international trade. In effect, they aim to become (illegal) private currencies that compete with legal money.
Cryptocurrency investors and their lobbyists want to legitimize their activities and to enrich themselves, extracting profits off people’s real work without contributing to productivity.
If private cryptocurrencies’ use is allowed to spread, they will create inflation and interfere with the ability of the Federal Reserve Bank to steer the economy.
To compete with China’ digital yuan, the U.S. treasury working with the Federal Reserve Bank should issue a low-energy-use digital currency to pay for a universal basic income, for railroads, and other projects that address the climate emergency, while strictly limiting inflationary lending by financial institutions.

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CO2 releases by conventional building techniques:
Dear President Biden:
We must do everything possible to save energy, stop producing greenhouse gases and safely sequester carbon, growing plants and not allowing the plant material to rot or be burned – wood may be water-looged and sunk in lakes and oceans or it may be turned into charcoal. The best for of sequestration is using wood and bamboo in durable goods, mainly buildings but also in vehicles.
We need a moratorium on tearing down reasonably good building and on building with concrete and steel. We cannot afford the greenhouse gases from steel and cement production. New buildings should be built of recycled materials, wood and bamboo, sequestering carbon, rather than adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

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Messages to local governments (cities, states)
In Austin, TX:
https://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members
Since Austin wants to be a ‘green’ city, we need city ordinances that help protect the environment and minimize greenhouse gases:
– Tearing down reasonably good houses should need justifications and permits: it is extremely wasteful to destroy houses, tear out old concrete slabs and make new, bigger ones. If a house does not have adequate size and value, only remodeling with additions, built mainly of wood and recycled materials, should be allowed.
Concrete and to a lesser degree steel in construction must be avoided, even in large multistory buildings. We need to build floors and walls with wood (lumber and engineered timber) or bamboo, avoiding the use of cement.
It is easily possible to build wood structures considerably higher than 10 stories as shown by very high wood structures, for instance in Norway, Vienna, and Vancouver. The 18-story timber Brock Commons tower in Vancouver was built cheaper, faster than a comparable steel and concrete structure. In such construction significantly more carbon is sequestered than is released into the atmosphere.
– The city needs smaller and cheaper buildings, buildings designed to house multiple families, extended families or families giving homes to ‘adopted’ strangers, not huge “one family” houses that often house one or two adults. And considering people’s social needs and to avoid waste, houses should not have their own playgrounds and swimming pools.
– For presently homeless people, cities may be cheaply built tiny efficiency apartments or cabins with campground facilities, accessible by public transportation. People need bathroom-shower facilities and lockable spaces to store clothing and other items. Electric outlets and counter top areas should allow the use of electric skillet, broiler oven and/or microwave, and an electric tea cattle.

– Gas-powered leaf-blowers and similar gardening equipment must be outlawed; they are very polluting, noisy, and bad for the health of people operating them. They are not needed.
– Idling cars for more than a few seconds must be outlawed – there is no reason to run the engine with bright lights on while playing with the cellphone or resting in the car.
People frequently idle the car engine for minutes to an hour. It is noxious and sometimes dangerous to walk or ride a bicycle at night towards these cars’ bright headlights. Occasionally people take their foot off the brake and start moving without first looking forward, much less to the sides. It is wasteful. A small car engines uses a cup of gasoline in about 20 minutes, large engines more than twice that amount.
– Austin needs to continue looking at the need for bike lanes and often lower speed limits.
Example in South Austin: Streets like Oltorf West of IH35 and the lower part of Menchaca should have three lanes, the middle lane for turning, and bike lanes on both sides.

– While furthering plans for light-rail lines and buses, please consider:
Narrow gauge tracks are cheaper to build and cars can take narrower curves than standard gauge light rail. Narrow-track light-rail trains could replace buses, save much energy and transport more people. 100cm gauge are used for city street cars, e.g. in Zurich, and are much used for mountain trains, being able to climb up to 10% (much steeper with cough wheel technology). Smaller trains could consist in several cars the size of large vans. Narrow-track light-rail tracks are relatively cheap to build.

– Dog leash laws must be enforced – and maybe more off-leash areas created
Dogs are regularly let loose in Greenbelt, parks and grassy areas next to schools, and on streets. Police officers on duty but not responding to 911 calls should drive by greenbelt entrances and parks, warn and fine people who have their dogs off leash, particularly in evenings and on weekends.
Dog bites are expensive and frequent, in the USA more than 1% of people are bitten in a year; of these 1/5 gets infected. Treatments for dog bites are expensive.
– There are far too many domesticated animals. Particularly larger dogs are a major ecological problem – there should be a tax on owning a dog.

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