“Cooper should block mill that reduces forests to wood pellets” (Oct. 25) was very informative, revealing and a clear call for action to anyone who cares about our environment, our democracy, our treasured North Carolina forests and a sustainable future for our children. Informing the readers about the adverse impacts that the Enviva wood pellet mill would have both locally and globally is a responsible and greatly appreciated public service.
The writer stated that an average of 13,000 acres of forests would be cut down annually by this type of mill. Given the unquestionable value of our forests, this is an unacceptable outcome and one that should not be taken lightly. A permit for this type of operation was issued without the appropriate forewarning or adequate input from the local community. That is unconscionable in this day and time. The quality of life on nearby residents will surely be impaired. The governor’s “commitment to continue to embrace a clean energy future” is indeed a reason for hope. Let us not allow this hope to diminish by complacency or indifference to this unfortunate situation in Richmond County.
“Law School faculty’s strong chorus on ‘Sam’ ” (Nov. 1) says that “the UNC-CH law school faculty has stated its support for getting a court judgment on removing the statue.” The faculty as a whole did not make a statement. Individual faculty members did. Out of all the faculty who might have signed the statement, a minority actually did so. There are many points a faculty member might consider in deciding whether to sign a statement of this type.
We are fiercely independent lawyers. Each of us exercises his or her own judgment, expects colleagues to do the same, and respects them for doing it. That respect is a testament to the intellectual and ideological diversity of our faculty. We are proud of it. Sam Rayburn, the longest serving U.S. House Speaker in American history, once said: “When two people agree on everything, one of them is doing all the thinking.” It is a privilege to serve the university with colleagues who always think for themselves.
Martin H. Brinkley
Dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor
University of North Carolina School of Law
Regarding “26 killed after gunman opens fire inside church” (Nov. 6): It is time for everyone to recognize we have ownership in what happened at the Texas church. People must take a stand and insist that semi-automatic weapons will no longer be sold or allowed. You cannot solve violence with violence. Hearts, minds and the actions we take must change. Children are watching this, and I think about how this is shaping their hearts and minds.
The only change that will transform our world is love. I would challenge all righteous people to remove guns from their homes, vote for politicians who will work for removing these mass-murder semi-automatic weapons from our communities. Our world will only change when we change. I would rather put my faith in love and transformation than a cold steel instrument of death and destruction.