Solving global warming
Rob Zaleski's "Hope for the Planet" (4/17/09) was thoughtful, as his work always is. He makes some great suggestions with a touch of optimism.
However, he leaves out the one cause of warming that no one wants to talk about: overpopulation. If we keep adding bodies to this poor old planet, all the wind power and alternate fuels will be a moot point. How can we keep up if more and more people use more and more energy, even if they use it more wisely?
We would surely love to believe the fairy tale that climate change is simply a matter of not trying hard enough. There are lots of measures we can take to fight this monster, it seems, so let's get to it! The sky is not really falling.
But all these arguments have one major flaw. We (most Americans and plenty of others) are selfish; we want what we want when we want it, and we aren't willing to sacrifice much for the sake of something beyond ourselves.
Personal inconvenience is anathema and not worth serious consideration. So let's ignore the naysayers and have fun! And the last one out needn't bother to shut off the lights.
John and Jacqueline Kelley
The most important thing we can do to conquer the beast of global warming is take individual initiative.
I'm not advocating we consume more, but that we consume more wisely. There are now thousands of products made from renewable energy, and when fossil-fuel-using businesses see their competitors using renewable energy and doing well, they too will abandon fossil fuels.
I use a number of products made from renewable energy. I've also had 5,000 bumper stickers printed that read "Buy Products Made From RENEWABLE ENERGY," and have given serious thought to starting a website to inform the public about such products.
Here is a different twist on the issue of global warming.
The presence of more CO2 in our tissue allows for better cellular oxygenation/ energy, and also helps suppress the production of excess lactic acid. This "respiratory error" (as described in the work of Otto Warburg, etc.) is central to the development of all human "disease."
Many centuries ago, CO2 levels probably were much higher than they are now because of volcanoes spewing out lots of CO2, and there was less oxygen in the atmosphere.
Edward Reich, Janesville
Tracey Holloway's policy suggestions on climate change make me want to jumpstart her gubernatorial campaign, if only she would reconsider her support for agriculture-based biofuels, also known as agrofuels.
Researchers have concluded that even if all cropland in the U.S. were used to grow corn and all the corn were used to make ethanol, we would not offset our overconsumption of gasoline.
Instead of growing crops to feed that overconsumption, we could address the climate crisis by supporting those enthusiastic young people who want to make careers out of growing food for their communities.
Michael Wilmington is one of my favorite movie reviewers, but I was disturbed by his use of the word "loonies" to describe seriously mentally ill people in his review of The Soloist ("Transported by Music," 4/24/09). That insensitive and inaccurate word and demeaning words like it not only prolong stigma and hinder recovery, but are hurtful to people with no-fault mental illness and their families.
Frank Ryan, former president, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Middleton