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Published: Friday, 12/31/2004

A 'novel' approach to warming

In a recent column, "The myth of warming," Jack Kelly supported the premise of Michael Crichton's latest novel regarding the "preposterousness of the notion that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide can have much effect on climate "

Mr. Kelly conveniently ignores the fact that the tiny fraction of the atmosphere composed of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor is essential to the earth being a habitable planet instead of a frozen wasteland. Indeed there is no doubt within the scientific community, even among global warming skeptics, that these gases retain heat.

The real issue is not that carbon dioxide is a small component of our atmosphere. It is how much impact the doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the even sharper increase in methane emissions will have on global climate.

Some climate scientists agree with Mr. Crichton and Mr. Kelly that the planet will warm by only about one degree celsius in the next century. Far more, however, see a higher probability of a two- to five-degree increase and some anticipate catastrophic warming of six degrees celsius or more. The vast majority agree that this change is caused by human activity and not just normal climatic variation.

Mr. Kelly's assertion that "global warming is heavily politicized pseudo-science" "perpetrated by crackpots and con men, not scientists" hardly contributes to serious debate of the issue. The fact that his evidence is based upon a novel, rather than the well researched evidence supported by virtually all National Academies of Science, including our own, speaks for itself.

Richard F. Weisfelder

Swan Creek Drive

Jack Kelly is no scientist, and neither am I. That is why I would rather base my opinion on the threat (or non-threat) of global warming on something other than Mr. Kelly's Dec. 25 column, "The myth of warming."

The column used a novel by Michael Crichton, State of Fear, as its scientific foundation. In Mr. Kelly's own words, that novel is a "techno-thriller." It will make a lot of money for Mr. Crichton, and will eventually become a movie.

I will make a point of reading the novel, and will probably see the movie. But I will not use the novel as the sole scientific basis for my thoughts and concerns about global warming. Rather, I will reread the excellent article on that subject which appeared recently in National Geographic, and will seek out other information based on scientific research as opposed to a profit motive.

Mr. Kelly accuses environmentalists of omitting important details when they tell the truth. His example was that the glacier on Mr. Kilimanjaro has been melting for 6,000 years. However, he omits any information about the rate of melting in recent years.

It's easy to ignore or make little of a potential threat to our planet and its inhabitants, which might have little or no effect on our generation or on many future generations. But that is no reason to pass global warming off as a myth.

Richard Friedmar

Brittany Road

It is true that some good comes out of a bad situation. If the band, Pawn, had played as scheduled, the students at Rossford High School would have been the only ones to experience the performance. But now the whole community, the nation, and possibly parts of the world, are hearing and reading about the true meaning of Christmas. God works in mysterious ways.

I also wish to thank The Blade for the commitment to print the Christmas story. I look forward to it every year. Hopefully this tradition will continue.

Rosemarie Hollerbach

Rossford

President Bush should finish one project before starting another. Afghanistan has not seen closure. Iraq is far from being a completed project. The Social Security fund should be safe for at least 12-24 months.

It was mentioned that "many citizens may have trouble investing their money in a fund other than Social Security, so the government may assist citizens with investing."

That's scary.

The system works now. Shut off the waste and it will operate for many years.

Jerry Matheny

Wauseon

Well done, City Council and Mayor Ford! Once again, our elected officials come through and find the funds to keep Toledo's firefighters and police on the job. It was really creative when our local government decided to bless us with a new tax for a service we were already paying taxes to receive. Imagine my delight at being held hostage by City Council and the mayor's office while they threatened to cut city services. The local fire and police unions jumped into the fun, telling me that while my house was being besieged by criminals of all sorts and was burning to the ground, I could count on little help from them.

So thanks, one and all, for playing politics and games with the safety of the community. Don't worry about being held accountable for it. When elections come around again, you'll all be sent back to your jobs by the very people you abuse and frighten with these tactics. No new ideas, no new jobs, no competition for City Council or the mayor's office.

Congratulations, Toledo, we've got exactly the kind of government we wanted!

Tim Lester

Eastbrook Drive

On Champlain Street near Elm sits a monument to the struggles of working people to attain a better standard of living. I am talking about Union Memorial Park, erected from the bricks of the Electric AutoLite factory, where in 1934 striking workers were fired upon by the National Guard, killing two. This event was singularly influential in the formation of the United Auto Workers, one of the most powerful unions in America today.

However, this park is kept in the worst state of disrepair. The pathway lights are broken. Litter is spread across the weeds that pass for a lawn. One of the statues signifying killed strikers is even missing its strike sign.

In a city whose very economy depends upon the standard of living of our factory workers, it is unconscionable that this monument to the hard-fought battles that have allowed literally thousands of families to rise up out of destitution should be given no more thought than the empty lot next door.

Erik Sorensen

Middlesex Drive

I would like to salute a group of talented kids, and the individuals who work with them, for inviting my colleague and me to their annual talent show. This is the fourth year I have attended the talent show sponsored by the residents and staff of the Lucas County Youth Treatment Center, and it was by far one of the most awesome talents shows I have ever been to.

The kids put so much into their presentations, and the fact that they perform in front of not only their peers but also the adults who are involved in their treatment programs is something they should be very proud of.

One of the students recited the poem The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe, from memory, and with such passion and emotion that it was truly incredible to hear.

I commend their music teachers and choir instructor from the Toledo Symphony, the teachers and staff who work with the students, and everyone else who is trying to bring out the best in teens who are trying so very hard to get through a life filled with many obstacles and challenges. I applaud all of them for their hard work and dedication and hope that the New Year will be a better one for each and every one of them.

PEGGY COUTCHER

Thornapple Drive

I wonder how much military equipment President Bush could have bought for our soldiers with the money being spent on his inaugural ceremonies, parties, and galas. Enough to save one life? Two? Three? I guess we will never know.

Robin Tanner

Maumee



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