Act now to reverse the warming trend I hope that the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 07, 2007

Act now to reverse the warming trend

I hope that the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will bring home to more Marylanders how imminent is the threat from global warming ("Turning up the heat," Feb. 2).

Despite Hurricane Katrina and the daffodils that bloomed in Baltimore in January, climate change still seems somehow abstract and far in the future.

The truth is, if we don't take urgent action now, we will soon reach a tipping point beyond which the continued warming of the planet will cause unimaginable devastation, including a rise in sea levels that will threaten all coastal areas, including our home state's.

The panel's report predicts a rise of up to 2 feet by the end of the century. Other scientists foresee even greater rises.

Maryland is just one state in one nation among many that must confront global warming. But as a wealthy state in a wealthy country, we contribute far more than our share of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

We have a moral obligation to our children and grandchildren to do better. The clean cars law is an important way to address that challenge ("`Clean car' law gathers steam," Jan. 26).

Because Marylanders are driving greater distances in larger, less efficient vehicles, and because fuel-efficiency standards have not kept up with these changes, emissions continue to increase every year.

Environment Maryland projects that the clean cars law would lead to reductions of carbon dioxide emissions of 14 percent by 2020, while saving Marylanders money on gas and bringing a net financial gain to the state.

This is just a start. But it is an important start.

Julie Burris

Baltimore

Natural cycles alter Earth's temperature

Here we go again. A new warning has been incorporated into reports of global warming: The residual effects of this warming may take hundreds of years to correct ("Turning up the heat," Feb. 2).

But as anyone who has the intelligence to open a book and read it can tell you, the natural cycles of the Earth's climate can last for centuries, or even for thousands and maybe millions of years. But there is definitely a natural cycle to these changes.

Some of the very same scientists who not all that long ago warned us of the coming "ice age" now warn us of a coming "hot spell."

Not all the scientists in the world agree that the warming is man-made. But for some reason the media do not seem to report the opinions or findings of the skeptical scientists.

Before mankind throws hundreds of billions of dollars at a problem that is just as likely not to exist, the government and the media are obligated to see that all sides of the argument are fully reported and published for the public to see.

We have a right to know.

Robert L. Di Stefano

Abingdon

Bush offers more of the same on Iraq

Sending more troops to Iraq is not the solution ("Symbolic measure spurs war debate," Feb. 5).

The United States had no business invading, occupying and destroying this country.

Now that it is obvious that President Bush's war is a complete failure, adding more soldiers seems dangerous and foolish. This strategy seems to be more of the same.

Repeating your mistakes and expecting a different result is insanity.

Our troops deserve better. Bring them home now.

Pamela Dehmer

Bel Air

Defiant Army officer deserves discipline

When you join the armed forces, you give up certain rights you had as a civilian.

1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada knew from his first day in the Army that he served under the leadership of his superiors ("Truth has consequences for soldier of conscience," Opinion * Commentary, Feb. 1).

He also knew that the president is the commander in chief of our armed forces.

I am sure that as a first lieutenant, he expected those under him to obey his orders.

He could have served his time and then joined the civilian ranks and expressed his own ideas about the war.

Lieutenant Watada has failed in his duty to his country and should be court-martialed.

Philip Einhorn

Bel Air

Officer stands up for his convictions

I admire Army 1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada, a man who is willing to give up his freedom for something he believes is right.

He is absolutely right when he calls the war in Iraq illegal.

He has offered to serve in Afghanistan but been denied an opportunity to lead troops there.

But this is a man I would want in a leadership position: a man who believes in his convictions and is willing to say no when he knows something is wrong.

If this man had been at My Lai, Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay, things might have gone differently in those places.

If Congress had shown Lieutenant Watada's strength, we wouldn't be in this war now.

Don Selig

Baltimore

Ousting radio host won't hide the truth

Over the years, I have been an avid listener of The Powers Report and have often agreed with and supported the views expressed on many of the hot-button issues discussed on the show ("Defense of ousted radio host heats up," Jan. 31).

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