We are in remarkable times.

Millions of dollars and a great deal of publicity have been accorded to hearings involving two privileged white people debating what happened at a party 36 years ago. International news media have printed pictures of gigantic North Korean trucks, with wheels too numerous to count, parading missiles that make the trucks look like toys. Brazil may have a new leader with a track record of bigotry who nostalgically refers to former days of dictators, and democracy is being challenged in Poland, Hungary, Turkey and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, as Rome burns, the Neros of the world wave their fingers at each other, seeking to appeal to the confusion and fear of their subjects, telling them we can revert to some halcyon era. The latest UN report indicates that the planet is burning up. Our president’s solution is to “bring coal back,” laugh at the Paris Climate agreement and sneer at responsible environmental policies that will make the planet habitable for our children and grandchildren.

Ford Ballantyne III, Verona

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