Letters

LETTERS

January 19, 2009

No compromise found for Keswick proposal

The letter from the CEO of the Keswick Multi-Care Center misses the mark about preserving green space in Roland Park ("Care center will save open space, create jobs," Jan. 2).

Keswick is trying to clear the zoning obstacles so that it can construct a massive independent-living and nursing facility on 17 acres of land now owned by the Baltimore Country Club. But the proposed development is so large and out of scale for the location that it would require either a fundamental rezoning or a planned unit development (PUD) authorized by the Baltimore City Council.

The economic argument presented by Keswick for the project is specious and self-serving. And it cannot outweigh the impact on the city of hurting a vibrant, residential neighborhood - one that currently pays high property taxes.

Given the other commercial entities that are closing or moving out of the city, why is it necessary to bulldoze and pave over historic green space?

And what would the financial impact be if the neighborhood gives in to excessive commercial development, loses its residential character and loses its current tax base?

Members of the Roland Park community have met with representatives from Keswick several times. Community meetings, with hundreds of residents opposing this plan, have been held over the past six months.

Roland Park has spoken: It wants no PUD and no rezoning.

On this issue, there is no room for further discussion.

Jesse Halvorsen, Baltimore

The writer is the treasurer of the Roland Park Civic League.

Phony consensus claim distorts the debate

The comments by the writer of the letter "No proof man is causing Earth's warming trend" on The Baltimore Sun's editorial "A New Year's resolution" (Jan. 2) were right on.

Having been involved in atmospheric science since my graduation from MIT in 1961, I guess I don't know the field as well as Al Gore and you folks in the media do.

But the media keep insisting that an overwhelming consensus exists that carbon dioxide emissions are the main driver of climate change in the last century.

In my decades of professional association with a wide range of scientists in graduate school and in NOAA, the Department of Defense and the American Meteorological Society, I have yet to detect this overwhelming consensus the media keep writing about.

So where is it?

Charles Clough, Bel Air

Consensus is critical to ongoing science

In an attempt to refute the growing scientific consensus about the cause of global warming, a recent letter writer makes the astounding statement that "consensus in science is an oxymoron" ("No proof man is causing Earth's warming trend," Jan. 13).

This is simply not true. Consensus among scientists is not only important to their work, it is essential.

For example, if there had been no consensus among astrophysicists in the 1960s that Newton's laws of motion and gravity apply on the moon just as they do here on Earth, there would have been no missions to the moon.

Most scientists today work in teams: for corporations, at universities and in government organizations such as the National Institutes of Health. Unless they had agreement on working hypotheses, they would get nothing done.

Such an agreement is called a consensus.

Without such consensus, vaccines would not be produced, satellites would not be launched, new sources of energy would not be found and many other scientific endeavors would come to a halt.

Gene Baldwin, Baltimore

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