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AP file photo / U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene sits in an Atlanta courtroom in April.

MTG doesn't understand climate change

We know you heard about it. Marjorie Taylor Greene's most recent embarrassment to Georgia and the South: Earth warming is a "net positive," she recently told Right Side Broadcasting Network about the fact that the Earth's global temperature has already warmed by 1 degree Celsius.

Actually, Earth has warmed more than that, but this small misstatement is not the least of MTG's nonsense and dishonesty. Just in case you've been in a cave to escape the oppressive heat even before the first official day of summer, we'll catch you up on North Georgia's reprehensible congresswoman's latest moment of ignorance:

Earth warming is a "net positive, she claimed, because "We've had more food grown, which feeds people. We're producing fossil fuels that keeps people's houses warm in the winter. That saves people's lives. People die in the cold. This Earth warming and carbon is actually healthy for us. It helps us to feed people, it helps keep people alive, the Earth is more green than it was years and years ago and that is because of the Earth warming. That's because of carbon."

Whew! Our personal favorite is "we're producing fossil fuels."

Stop the presses! If she were right (she's not) we would have accomplished with just our pollution since the 1880s what the earth and early living organisms took millions of years to do: Turn plankton, animals and plants into underground natural gas, oil and coal. Don't take our word for it. Ask Smithsonian's ocean and geological experts or the U.S. Department of Energy.

Are we growing more food? Yes and no, and there's a catch. Consider these three factoids:

' By 2015, the world had lost a third of its arable land, according to research presented at the Paris climate talks.

' By 2018, researchers had determined there are more trees — partly because some were growing in areas previously too cold to support them and partly because of tree plantations, things like date palms and other farmed food sources as populations struggle to feed us all. But scientists say don't get too excited. Not all plants are created equal when it comes to creating carbon sinks that can offset our climate-warming industrial gases.

' Finally, a NASA study released in November looked to the future and found that climate change may affect the production of corn and wheat as early as 2030 under a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Corn crop yields are projected to decline 24%, while wheat could potentially see growth of about 17%. Wheat's growing range may be increased by projected increases in temperature, shifts in rainfall patterns and elevated surface carbon dioxide concentrations.

But corn? Not so much. "A 20% decrease from current production levels could have severe implications worldwide," the lead researcher said in a report published at climate.nasa.gov.

So, MTG, you still think Earth warming and carbon is actually healthy for us?

Put that claim right up there with the rest of your fake, misunderstood and dangerous conspiracy theories.

 

School security vote a good call

We wish it hadn't come to this: That there are so many guns in circulation and so many active shooters using them not just on the streets but in schools, too, that it's hard to feel safe sending our children and grandchildren out the door — even to school.

But it has come to this. In the country, in Tennessee, in Hamilton County and in Hamilton County schools — where just Thursday police were called about the possibility of a student on campus with a gun during summer school classes at Central High. Police and K-9 units were sent to the school but found no gun, according to a statement from Chattanooga Police Capt. Jerri Sutton.

So we applaud Hamilton County Board of Education members' 7-0 vote Thursday to appropriate $950,000 to put security officers in every school building.

The board also voted to petition the Hamilton County Commission to appropriate another $1 million from its fund balance for the hiring and retaining of additional security officers for the 2022-23 school year.

Board members said the district, in subsequent years, will allocate a recurring $1.8 million from its general fund for safety officers.

Hiring will begin immediately. Training will start soon after.

The school security officers will differ from school resource officers in that they are not actively employed by law enforcement. They all will be armed, but the security officers will not legally be allowed to make arrests. However, they may detain and use force, according to the school system's safety coordinator.

In recent years, the district also has been updating other security measures, including an investment of about $5 million to re-engineer school entrances.

We'd like to hope these precautions are never needed. But we believe it's better to prepare to be safe than sorry. We commend the school board's vote.

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