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Letters to the Editor

July 09, 2009

Carbon dioxide also has negative impact



To the editor:

James Martin's letter, published July 5 ("Low-cost energy makes U.S. power possible), is an excellent example of how to distort the facts by omission.

True, the total carbon on the Earth is about the same today as in the past. And true, ancient atmospheric carbon was higher at times than today.

But what Martin doesn't discuss is the effect increased atmospheric carbon (carbon dioxide) had on the planet.

Back then, when carbon dioxide was higher, a shallow sea flooded most of what is now the Great Plains. Higher carbon dioxide could cause a similar situation to return today with interesting consequences for New York and Baltimore.

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Also, ocean acidity was greater due to additional carbon dioxide dissolving in the water, forming carbonic acid. This caused a die-off of shell-forming animals at lower and mid-latitudes because higher acidity causes calcium carbonate (needed to form shells and exoskeletons) to be unavailable, damaging the planetary food chain.

Additionally, fish suffocate when water acidity increases, causing fish kills (what now happens in some lakes and streams in Western Maryland due to acid rain). Ocean acidity is presently increasing due to increasing carbon dioxide.

In the last 100 years, humans have released carbon that took natural processes millions of years to store as fossil fuel, almost doubling the amount in the atmosphere. Natural processes have not controlled this increase. The total carbon for the planet is the same, but its location and impact are different.

Larry Zaleski
Hagerstown




Old office building would be ideal senior center



To the editor:

I've sent e-mails to the Washington County Commissioners, but have not heard from any of them concerning my idea, so I'm writing you to get input from the public.

The county owns the property on the corner of South Prospect and West Franklin streets across from the Aspiring to Serve building, with plans to build offices. The county also owns the old H.L. Mills grocery store building on Hood Street near Potomac Towers, which currently houses offices.

Why can't the county commissioners build a big office complex and let the seniors have the old office building for a senior center?

It would be an ideal location, centrally located for the three senior complexes downtown. It would be all one level with plenty of parking and a safe environment, with the Hagerstown Police Department not too far away and fire departments nearby.

It would also be to the advantage of the county to have all of its offices located in one area instead of being scattered.

Vicky Smith
Hagerstown

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