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Letters to the Editor

April 27, 2010

Two reasons for developing new energy sources



To the editor:

In Robert P. Molten's letter to the editor on April 17 ("The matter of climate change must be studied," page A4), he proposes a review of the proposition that man-made greenhouse gases are causing global warming. He feels that too much money is being spent on reducing greenhouse gas emissions based on dubious science. Let's assume he is correct and that carbon emission does not cause global warming.

Even if so, we should still develop alternate energy and reduce carbon emissions for two reasons - economics and food.

First, our economy is based on cheap, plentiful oil. But according to a study conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2004, world oil production will likely peak around 2037, then decline by 2 percent per year. That's just 27 years from now. Imagine what would happen to our economy if oil production peaked, then declined today.

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And if you think opening the Atlantic to drilling will help, guess again. Current estimates put the Atlantic's oil reserve at 2 billion to 10 billion barrels of oil, only a 100- to 500-day supply at our current consumption rate.

We don't have a minute to lose. It will take everything we have to convert to sustainable energy in time. And most estimates show us in trouble much sooner.

For example, the U.S. Defense Department's "Joint Operating Environment 2010" report argues, "By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and by 2015 the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD (million barrels per day)."

Second, oceanic food production will likely fall. Atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves into the ocean, producing carbonic acid. The oceans have absorbed 50 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, resulting in a 30 percent increase in acidity.

Studies have demonstrated adverse effects on marine organisms including the rate at which reef-building corals produce skeletons, reduced ability of zooplankton to maintain their shells and the reduced survival of larval marine organisms, including commercial fish and shellfish.

Both the world and U.S. populations are growing. It seems a bad time to damage a critical food source.

Forget global warming. We have other carbon-fueled fires to fight.

Larry Zaleski
Hagerstown




Thanks for supporting Children's Village event



To the editor:

Children's Village of Washington County Inc. thanks the community for generously supporting its recent VIP Server Breakfast. More than 175 invited guests joined their VIP servers for breakfast to raise funds for child safety in Washington County.

Generous "tips" from breakfast patrons, along with support from event and table sponsors, helped generate more than $9,000 to support the free life-safety education program that Children's Village provides each year to more than 2,000 county youngsters from public, private and home schools.

For 20 years, Children's Village of Washington County, a nonprofit organization, has provided free life-safety education to all second-grade students in the county. During that time, more than 40,000 children have come to the Children's Village campus on Mount Aetna Road to learn safe living skills. Instructors, including professional firefighters and police officers, ensure students leave the injury-prevention campus with the knowledge and skills training to help keep them safe. Children learn that making proper safety choices can save lives.

Through an extensive two-day safety curriculum, Children's Village reaches not only its elementary-age students, but also adult members of the community. Interactive homework assignments ask students and their families to prepare fire escape routes, check and/or install smoke detectors in the home and ensure detectors are operational. Students also share information on stranger danger, seat belt safety, railroad and water safety, and the importance of using properly fitted bicycle helmets.

These are just a few examples of safety information that Children's Village students spread throughout the community. In fact, a study by the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health Injury Prevention Center concluded that positive behavioral lifestyle changes occurred in more than 50 percent of all households where a child attended Children's Village.

Our community is fortunate to have such an innovative safety education program available to all county youngsters. Children's Village thanks all who supported the recent breakfast and its many other partners who are helping to create a safer community, one child at a time.

Rochelle Morrell
executive director
Children's Village of Washington County Inc.




Obama is doing his best with mess he inherited



To the editor:

Thanks are in order to Jeff Driscoll for his letter reminding people to stop blaming Democrats for all of the ills of this country ("Don't blame all of our problems on Democrats," Monday, April 12, page A4).

Any of President Obama's critics should try to walk in his shoes for six months. They probably would give up after a month.

Obama stepped into a horrible situation left by the Bush administration. I agree with Sandra Clark that Dick Chaney and Karl Rove were running the country ("It's about time someone stood up for Democrats," Monday, April 19, page A4).

As far as tea parties, they are nothing but hype. Let one person start a chant in public and here comes a group joining them. Probably half of them don't know what they're supposed to be responding to.

People are so fickle. So stop whining, Americans (which is what you do best), and give support and credit and understanding where it's due.

The president is doing what he deems best with the mess he inherited.

Rosa Lee Meyers
Hagerstown

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