Letters to the editor

Feb. 05, 2013 @ 05:09 PM

The last straw

A few comments on Harry Phipps' letter a few days ago claiming manmade global warming is a hoax.

Briefly, I think he is dangerously wrong. At the least, man is contributing to global warming and the deterioration of the environment in a big way. How does he account for the disappearance of ice at the poles and glaciers worldwide? How does he explain the increasing acidity of the oceans? Etc. etc.

I say “dangerously” because the theory is that the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (also well documented) will not be easily reversed if we stopped all fossil fuel consumption today. In fact, scientists predict that if fossil fuel consumption did somehow cease today, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would take about 10 years to level off.

In the meantime as global warming continues, it continues to reduce the vast reflective surfaces of ice in the world. This results in exposing darker surfaces which absorb more energy (in the form of heat) from the sun. Contrarywise, these darker surfaces are able to radiate energy to the night sky, but this is moderated by increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It gets complicated.

Another factor, generally not mentioned, is the moderating effect of all those ice fields on the planet, somewhat explaining the relatively stable world wide temperatures, similar to those ice cubes in one’s refreshing evening drink. But when the cubes are gone, then what?

Russell L. Seaman

Rougemont

Lousy price signals

While I agree that charter schools add valuable flexibility, I also think that you can't call it a "market choice" when we give such lousy price signals.

How can we distribute the same amount for every student when the accommodations of the Americans with Disabilities Act require that some kids have an adult paid full-time to work just with them?  We should cut the amount paid per student by 20 percent and use the rest to pay for transportation, cafeterias, educating kids with special needs and giving a premium for teaching kids behind grade level or with parents who can't seem to get to teacher meetings.

Patricia Carstensen

Durham