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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Western Editorial Sampler - Big issues: Climate, guns, health insurance, Chuck Hagel ...

Above: 2012: The year climate change got real.

Some Western editorialists today are focused on national, or even global, issues.

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Like climate change:

The hottest year: Time to end climate change denial — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

One degree Fahrenheit. That’s all. That’s the margin by which the average national temperature in the United States in 2012 broke the record for the highest ever recorded.

But before anyone dismisses the new record as being a small difference, remember that the normal variance for the nation’s average temperature, year to year, is measured in tiny fractions of a degree. The range since the late 19th century has only ranged between 50 and 54.3 degrees. Until 2012, that is, when it reached a record 55.3 degrees.

So the one-degree difference is properly referred to as "shattering" the old mark, in the same sense that a difference of only half of a second could honestly be said to have shattered a previous best for, say, the 100-meter dash. ...

Keeping an eye on the oilsands — Edmonton (Alberta) Journal Editorial

... There can’t be many Albertans left out there still clinging to the illusion that the largest energy project in the world — one that has created 170 square kilometres of tailings ponds — is having no impact on our environment. ,,,

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Gun violence:

Stop these tools of mass murder - Denver Post Editorial

Gun mania — Los Angeles Times Editorial

Seize moment on gun rules — Eugene Register-Guard Editorial

A targeted – not shotgun – approach to gun reforms — Tacoma News Tribune Editorial

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Health care costs:

Health care spending slows, but not insurance costs — St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial

Health care cost controls must not be undermined — Spokane Spokesman-Review Editorial

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National security:

Why Obama stands firm on Chuck Hagel — San Francisco Chronicle Editorial

Grunt-turned-statesman, Hagel is right choice for Pentagon — St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial

Hagel is a sound choice — Eugene Register-Guard Editorial

Pick a defense secretary who has seen the face of war

Confirm Obama’s security team — Seattle Times Editorial



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