Debunking Science
First off, it is very important to address the fact that Earth is not the only planet to be experiencing climate change [Cover story, Aug. 27: “Feel the Heat”]. National Geographic News reports Mars is also warming, and astronomers and NASA report storms on Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune due to warming. Why is this? (Hint: Why is it hotter in the summer than in the winter?) Because of the sun!

Al Gore likes to show data that high levels of carbon dioxide cause global warming. He’s got it backwards. The rise in carbon dioxide comes after global warming. The ocean is a huge reservoir of carbon. As the earth is warmed, carbon dioxide is released from the ocean like fizz from a can of soda pop.

The scientist James Hansen is made out to be like a whistle-blower standing up to mighty gas and oil companies. How credible is he? If you do the math, he has received over $1 million from the Heinz Foundation and Open Society Institute, in addition to his government salary, for promoting the idea that carbon emissions are responsible for global warming.
Speaking of a can of soda pop, another big myth is if the polar ice caps melt, coastal cities will be flooded. To see why this can’t happen, do a simple experiment at home: Fill a glass with ice. Add water until it’s full to the rim. Now watch the ice melt. Will water overflow the glass? No. And why is this? (Hint: What happens if you put a can of soda pop in the freezer? It explodes). Water takes up more space frozen than it does as a liquid. If anything, sea levels will go down.

Who has the most to benefit from the myth that carbon dioxide is causing global warming? Follow the money. It’s all about taxes, fear to make you feel guilty so you are OK paying the taxes and bringing nuclear power back. Nuclear doesn’t produce carbon dioxide.

It is a good idea to help the environment. But if global warming is caused by the sun, how will a tax on carbon emissions stop it? And how are nuclear power and mercury-containing light bulbs good for our health or the environment?
Dan Stih
Santa Fe

A better idea
Great article [Cover story, Sept. 3: “Taking Care of Bidness”] but, having worked 15 years in construction and related industries in Texas, I offer the following comments to your article.
The construction jobs are generally properly bid according to the plans. That being said, the contractors do look for flaws in the design they know will bring up the change order factor. This is not inherently the fault of the contractors; they are simply capitalizing on a poor design.

If you want fewer change orders and more accountability in construction, put in a provision where the contractors are duty-bound to inform the architect of any/all design flaws no fewer than five days before the bids are due. Extensive errors could and should delay the bidding process so design remediation can take place. Or put in a review process, well before the bidding process, so any major flaws can be identified.

Members of the Associated General Contractors in Texas decide which member will get the larger project and they will work their bids to steer the job in that direction.
If less than three companies bid on a project, scrap the bid process and enter into a negotiated contract and, in this instance, hire a third-party project management team to oversee the project while under construction and throw in a penalty for failure to notify architects/engineers of any known design flaw.
Lydia Garcia

The Right Choice
The “Wrong Choice” [First Person, Sept. 10] by Ted Ralls is one of the most morally repulsive articles I have ever read. It begins, predictably enough, by contemptuously imagining the “real” encounter between the Palin and Johnson families as they discuss the future of Bristol, Levi and their unborn child. Mr. Ralls displays the curious, delusional conceit common to most authoritarian busybodies, namely, an unshakable belief in their special ability to know the thoughts, feelings, future outcomes and needs of others. Because of this conceit, people like Mr. Ralls feel perfectly justified in asserting that, because they know what is “best” for others, they should be empowered, through the force of law, to impose their beliefs on others.

In this case, Mr. Ralls really doesn’t like the fact that some teenage girls who get pregnant choose to keep their babies and that some of these girls even decide to get married. He trots out a few statistics that supposedly prove teen pregnancy and marriage are the worst things that could possibly happen to a young couple. Because teen pregnancy can lead to “bad” outcomes, he believes the state should be empowered to force every pregnant teenage girl to kill her unborn child. Yes, you read that correctly, he advocates state-mandated abortions for all teenage girls. He justifies this tyranny by claiming that every pregnant teenage girl who decides to keep her child is harming society by sending the “wrong” message.

Mr. Ralls has made a career for himself lambasting (correctly, in my opinion) the immoral authoritarian lawlessness of our government. Yet, those who advocates the use of torture, aggressive war, illegal spying, etc., all claim that these actions are necessary to “protect” society. Mr. Ralls, along with the “war on terror” fanatics he criticizes, advocates the utilitarian belief that the “interests” of society supersede the rights of the individual. Such a belief must always lead to tyranny.
Jeremy Parfitt
Santa Fe

Work it out
One of the best fitness and yoga studios in the Santa Fe area was inexplicably overlooked in your otherwise excellent Health and Fitness issue [Cover story, Sept. 10: “Sweat”]—Sante Fitness Studio in Eldorado.

I’ve been a Sante member for several years and can truly say that its eclectic mix of cardio workouts, various types of dance, strength training, Pilates, yoga, NIA and other offerings has been not only life-enhancing, but life-changing. Owner Jackie Camborde is unflaggingly enthusiastic and encouraging to every student, and has assembled a dedicated group of instructors who match her own knowledge, skill and dynamism.

Especially for those of us who find machine workouts dreadfully boring, Sante offers the alternative of a fun family-like atmosphere where the workouts are always stimulating, varied, and interesting enough to keep me motivated and disciplined to show up several times a week.

Sante is a great place for people in Eldorado and the 285 corridor, but also worth the drive from Santa Fe for some of the best yoga and fitness teachers I’ve ever had.
Debra Denker
Santa Fe

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