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March 4, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Full of hot air

Sherman L. Currie’s letter to the editor, “New Ice Age” (BDN, Feb. 18), is absolutely incorrect. His quote of the University of Illinois Arctic Climate Research Center that the sea ice is at the same level as it was in 1979 is wrong.

Today, I called the center, spoke with Dr. John Walsh, who said that many people had misread the data; that “the sea ice is actually one million square kilometers less than in 1979.” It is not only less in area, but getting thinner, so the volume of ice is reducing dramatically.

Currie also states that 2008 was the “coldest in a decade.” Even if that is true, the past decade has been the hottest on record, according to NOAA, so if 2008 is the least hot of the decade, it is still among the warmest on record.

I won’t even argue the polar bear count. Obviously Mr. Currie is misquoting and twisting data to suit his need to believe what he wants to believe: that climate change is a hoax.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (thousands of scientists from more than 150 nations) and all responsible researchers around the globe have concluded that global climate change is very real and happening 1,000 times faster than natural climate changes, is a serious threat and is caused by human activity. And if dramatic changes are not made quickly in the way we live and generate power, the consequences, already being seen and documented, will be grave.

J. Ed Robeau


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Vengeance, economics

I offer a comment on Bob Rackkmales’ OpEd (BDN, Feb. 21). He writes that “the link between the Great Depression and the rise of violence and instability leading to World War II has been drawn by many historians.”

In my opinion, that statement is only partially true. World War I was the primary cause of World War II. In his book, “The First World War,” John Keegan wrote that the “Second World War, five times more destructive of human life and incalculably more costly in material terms, was the direct outcome of the First.”

On Sept. 18, 1922, Adolf Hitler, the demobilized front fighter, threw down a challenge to defeated Germany that he would realize 17 years later: “It cannot be that 2 million Germans should have fallen in vain. No, we do not pardon, we demand vengeance.”

Richard W. Sykes


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Credit Obama

Bangor Police Chief, Ron Gastia and Penobscot County Sheriff Glen Ross pointed to the far-reaching effects that the newly enacted State children’s Health Insurance Program would have on many of our young people (BDN, Feb. 13.

Their appreciation was directed to our congressional contingent for their concern and full support.

Sadly, Chief Gastia and Sheriff Ross neglected to explain that the SCHIP’s expansion became law with the signature of President Obama weeks into his presidency. The measure had remained in limbo for some time as a result of at least three vetoes by former President Bush.

Anna Guesman


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Logging profitability

Jonathan Carter and other advocates for the so-called protection of the northern forestlands of Maine have missed the obvious solution. We don’t need federal money, we don’t need state money, we don’t need the out-of-state environmental groups.

The plan is simple — direct the Legislature to pass laws that make growing and harvesting trees a profitable business again and make it illegal to sell to those who would lock us out and hope we leave the area.

I personally know of many thousands of acres that have been overcut and clear-cut in anticipation of a lucrative sale to one of these organizations. It seems that the enviros are responsible for the very deforestation that they supposedly are protecting us from.

As for global warming, I could use a little after a winter like this.

Steve Crouse


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‘Complex allegories’

Opponents of gay marriage often cherry-pick biblical verses to defend their position, as Edward Courtenay does in his letter (“Obey God,” BDN, Feb. 27) which exploits a selected section of the story of Lot and the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah for this purpose.

Courtenay correctly quotes some of Lot’s response to the men who wish to sodomize the male angels he has offered sanctuary to in his home, but fails to include: “Behold I have two daughters who have not known man: let me bring them out to you, and you do to them what you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” (Genesis 19, v. 8)

This story is not about homosexuality, nor is Genesis 19 verse 32, where Lot’s first-born daughter says, “Come let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring through our father,” one that condones incest. They are both complex allegories. To assert anything else is ridiculous.

To further understand the effect this story has had on Western thought and tradition, one would do well to read “Lot’s Daughters” by Robert Polhemus, an outstanding book.

Bruce Pratt


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