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Editorial: It seems to us – BPO’s gift; new climate threat; brave UPS driver saves a life

It won’t pay the bills for furloughed government workers, but it was a thoughtful gesture, anyway, by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

The BPO offered free tickets to Thursday’s performance to federal employees who are out of work because of the government shutdown, and to members of the military, including veterans.

The stresses are growing on furloughed workers who get no exemption from paying the mortgage, buying food for their families and heating their homes. While the orchestra’s generosity didn’t help with that, it surely offered a welcome respite from the burden of worry.

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For those who aren’t worried about melting icecaps, rising sea levels and increasingly violent storms, we call your attention to another consequence of a warming climate: Your morning jolt is now at risk.

According to findings published in Science Advances and Global Change Biology, 75 species of coffee bean are in danger of extinction because of climate change, deforestation, disease and drought. Altogether, now: “Yikes!”

That’s not the main reason to heed the facts of climate change, of course, but it shows that its ramifications will play out in ways most of us have not yet even considered.

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Here’s a story to warm your heart, if no other part of your personage. Ryan Arens, a UPS driver in Bozeman, Mont., last month heard the agonized sounds of a dog that had fallen into an icy pond. “This dog was screaming and crying and going crazy,” he told the Great Falls Tribune.

So Arens, a self-described animal lover, did what he had to do: He stripped to his boxer shorts, used the boat of another man trying to rescue the animal and got out onto the ice, carefully trying to distribute his weight.

He fell through, anyway.

Seeing the dog begin to go under, he swam to her and pushed her across the ice to the shore, where an onlooker gave him a blanket to wrap around himself.

After a warming shower, he finished his route.

Sometime later, he had a package to deliver to the dog’s owner. Sadie – that’s her name – was in the man’s pickup truck and saw her rescuer. “She was freaking out, and when he let her out she ran to me,” he said. “She must have remembered me. It sure made me feel good.”

Amen to that.

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