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Honor McKinley with climate change bill

Kudos for The Sun's editorial urging Republicans to focus on cutting emissions before time runs out ("The poster state for climate change," Sept. 2). However, if they hadn't griped about Denali's renaming, I wouldn't have known Mount McKinley was named for President William McKinley. And I grew up in Ohio, not far from Canton and Mr. McKinley's burial place.

I did know about the former president's magnificent memorial. My junior high school history teacher had an unusual hobby — every summer he traveled the country visiting and photographing graves of American presidents. Every year he showed us his slides of graves. President McKinley had a most magnificent burial site.

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With this Denali hoopla, let's not miss the irony. McKinley's vice president, Teddy Roosevelt, famously said "Conservation is a great moral issue for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation." President Roosevelt would have acted patriotically to cut emissions. Today, he's turning in his grave for the state of his party. TR's party immorally ignores scenes of Alaska's changed climate. They harp about Denali's name being restored based on a petition from Alaska's legislature 40 years ago — and Congress failed to act on that petition, too. It's a mountain of irony.

To honor President McKinley, they should introduce climate legislation to safeguard our nation. They could name it the McKinley-Roosevelt climate bill. It would honor President Roosevelt's environmental legacy. It would be a monumental accomplishment for House Speaker John Boehner and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a worthy tribute to McKinley that would substitute for a remote mountain.

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Rabbi Judy Weiss, Brookline, Mass.

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