Letters for November 3, 2011

Has a point

Re “7,000,000,000” (Feature story, Oct. 27):

Thank you for a well-researched and accurate article about the overarching environmental challenge we face—an unparalleled and rapidly growing (at 200,000 a day) global population. Your perspective goes well beyond the “We could all fit on Malta” mentality. If there is salvation, it lies in empowering women worldwide to make their own choices in procreation.

The one minor glitch is that 7 billion pennies weighs in at about 19,250 tons [not 192,500] … still a big number!

Evan Jones
via email

Editor’s note: Damned decimal points! Thank you for the correction.

Fun for everyone

Re “7,000,000,000” (Feature story, Oct. 27):

Good article, very informative. Thanks for ruining my day.

David Williams
via email

Noah’s flood returns

Re “7,000,000,000” (Feature story, Oct. 27):

I enjoyed your article on world population. I was raised by a Bible-believing mother and an agnostic or atheist dad. The minor indoctrination I got in Earth science and other classes on the “old Earth,” evolution, etc., in contradiction to the Bible made sense to a certain extent, but as the years have gone by, I have studied and come to the conclusion that the Bible is actually true and dependable.

You are right that everyone on earth would fit in the city of Los Angeles. I have also heard that everyone on earth could fit in Texas

and have a few acres for each. Is overpopulation something to worry about? Well, not really. Many Earth science students believe there was a major cataclysm about 4,000 or 4,500 years ago that almost wiped out the human race. They are correct, and it was Noah’s flood. If you figure population mathematically from that point we should have about a billion around 1800, about 6 billion in the year 2000, 10 billion in 2100 and that is about how it is working out. I must respectfully disagree where you say it took homo sapiens about 150,000 years to hit the first billion.

Carl Sagan, the famous atheist who stated that there are billions and billions of stars was guessing on the low side. According to more up-to-date estimates, based on Hubble research, it is more like trillions, at least. According to his wife, at the time of his death in 1996, he was not a believer. However, I believe that the Bible teaches that at his death, he discovered his great error. It says every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and the unbelievers are then sent to their eternal death. Isn’t it ironic that such an intelligent, well educated man could be so stupid on the most important question of his life?

Can we accept as a given that the planet is warming, and human beings are causing it? Well, not really. It is just old fashioned human arrogance to think that people could have major effects on the Earth’s climate. It reminds me of the elephant that was trotting through the jungle with a flea on his ass. The elephant rumbled across an old suspension bridge and really made it rock and roll. When they reached the other side, the flea remarked “Wow, we really made that bridge shake.” Yeah, right. The flea’s contribution was like almost nothing. It is the same with global warming. Honest scientists have calculated that human carbon contribution to global warming is extremely small, far below 1 percent. It does appear

that the Earth is in a gradual warming trend that could last a few hundred or maybe a thousand years or so. Reducing our carbon footprint is about the same as the flea in the above illustration jumping off the elephant’s back. Follow the money, and you will see that many of the proponents of global warming, like Al Gore, are making good money out of an issue that is almost totally beyond their control. It is more likely the sun is responsible for global warming, even though from 2000 to 2010 the temperature of earth actually cooled a small amount.

In summation, we do not have to worry about overpopulation or global warming. We can’t do much about it anyway, and it will work itself out. There is something that governments could have an impact on and that is pollution. The toxicity of our environment, in my opinion, is partly responsible for the cancer epidemic we are seeing. Diet and lifestyle are bigger factors, but pollution doesn’t help.

I thoroughly enjoyed your article, and I will be looking for more of your articles in the future.

Al McKnight
via email

Occupation destination

Re “Inductive thought” (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 27):

I appreciate your comments on Occupy Reno’s leadership cadre. I’ve had a long interest in participatory forms of democracy and in co-operative organizations so I am very interested to see an approximation of a direct democracy spring up in our town. I’ve been watching and participating on their Facebook page and went to the fifth general assembly. I hope to see more meetings so that I can get a better idea of how they are structuring their organization to get a sense for how good a job they are doing in approximating a truly democratic organization.

Brian E. Hancock

Every sperm is sacred

Re “7,000,000,000” (Feature story, Oct. 27):

How wonderful we will have 7 billion people. I’m looking forward to 8 billion. God doesn’t make mistakes, and He says in His word that He created each one of us.

Happy birthday, everyday!

Suzanne Jones
San Diego, Calif.

Crowd control

Re “Slow start” (News, Oct. 13):

Noam Chomsky is a critic’s critic. No intellectual has been able to deconstruct the way we think better than this linguist-philosopher. Even those who disagree with his politics understand that he is a rare intellect.

Chomsky in Necessary Illusions: “Putting it in plain terms, the general public must be reduced to its traditional apathy and obedience, and driven from the arena of political debate and action, if democracy is to survive.”

For those unfamiliar with Chomsky, he is not advocating the position of the quote, merely expressing his insight into how Western democracies maintain their power.

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum—even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” —Noam Chomsky

Enter the militant and violent police and distorting media to control what could have been a non-violent movement by the people to express their well-founded complaints about how this country is being governed. Are they listening?

Rhonda L. Whiteside
Sun Valley