- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 19, 2004

Yucca, cont.

Wenonah Hauter (“Nuclear waste at Yucca,” Letters, Friday) is only partly right. Spent reactor fuel, often mislabeled as nuclear “waste,” can be stored safely at the reactor site — not just for five years, but much longer — until the economics are right for recycling into new reactor fuel. Isn’t that what conservation is all about?

The problem is that she and her Public Citizen group have been campaigning against Yucca while claiming at the same time that there is no safe way to deal with spent fuel. Of course, Yucca is safe, but it may not be needed. Their motive is clear: They want to do away with nuclear power altogether.

S. FRED SINGER

Science & Environmental

Policy Project

Arlington

An interesting story

Diana West’s column “Dan’s world” (Op-Ed, Friday), which stated, “This is CBS News: Fake but accurate,” reminded me that I questioned a Third World journalist many years ago about the veracity of a quotation he had attributed to a prominent U.S. official.

“Not all our readers are as intelligent as you,” he replied, “so we have to make our stories more interesting. And this is something that [the official] might have said.”

Apparently, CBS doesn’t think the American people are very bright, either.

LORNA HAHN

Executive director

Association on Third World Affairs

Washington

A family affair

Some critics of U.S. policy toward Iraq and the Middle East tend to avoid rational debate about the issues by directing personal attacks against Bush administration officials.

A particularly distasteful example of this appeared in your paper on Sept. 13 (Commentary, “All in the family”). Rather than argue the merits of the issue, Arnaud de Borchgrave condemns — without the slightest evidence or argument — what he describes as the disloyalty of current and past officials who happen to belong to a group he disfavors. His hint of irony does not excuse the smear.

BRYAN WHITMAN

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations

The Pentagon

Washington

Kerry’s military records

If we must hear constantly about Sen. John Kerry’s few months in Vietnam and President Bush’s National Guard service (“Whodunit?,” Editorial, Wednesday), then why doesn’t the media demand that Mr. Kerry sign forms to release all of his military records? Mr. Bush did.

The media should be demanding this from Mr. Kerry. They would have undoubtedly called for them from Mr. Bush if he had not already released them.

I would love to hear an explanation of the media’s silence on Mr. Kerry’s refusal to authorize release of all his military records.

ROBERT A. BONELLI

New York

Kerry’s wars

Regarding the war in Iraq, Sen. John Kerry says, “We go to war not because we want to, but because we have to,” and then says he’d vote for the war again. This suggests to the public that Mr. Kerry thought it was, in fact, a war that had to be fought. Some may feel Mr. Kerry’s views on the war expressed during the campaign are contradictory (“What Kerry course in Iraq?” Commentary, Thursday). They are quite easy to reconcile. There are two different wars here. When Mr. Kerry says he would vote for a war again, he means through the United Nations, as he did before in accordance with what Congress’ war resolution demanded. In reality we never had to carry the burden of the war in Iraq, and Mr. Kerry did not support a unilateral war in Iraq.

More than 1,000 lives have been lost, not necessarily because it is a war we shouldn’t have fought — though I would argue that is the case — but rather because it was a war that was fought in a way destined to fail from the beginning.

The media have virtually ignored the fact that we have conceded several Iraqi cities to rebel control. Without these cities, it is impossible to win the war.

These are not principle mistakes of the Bush administration. They are principle failures. Failures do not go without consequence.

TROY BOCK

Brainerd, Minn.

Global warming disputed

In his rebuttal letter Friday, William L. Allen, editor in chief of National Geographic, argues that global warming is real and that Patrick Michaels’ commentary piece, “National Geographic melting down?” (Commentary, Sept. 7) should have mentioned Mr. Michaels’ association with the fuel industry . Mr. Allen goes on to cite various scientific sources that he claims have demonstrated the scientific reality of global warming.

First of all, global warming is a theory, not a scientific reality. Studies supposedly proving the validity of the global-warming theory have been shown to have had serious flaws in scientific method and the conclusions reached. Computer models were used to predict climate change and historical data not helpful to reaching the global warming conclusion were disregarded. That’s not scientific; that’s cooking the books. Temperature readings were taken in urban areas where concrete and asphalt retain heat from the sun, thus giving researchers a false positive on global warming. It’s like measuring air pollution by putting collection devices next to your chimney with a roaring fire in the fireplace and then scaring people with your “scientific” findings.

The biggest problem with the global warming theory, however, is that Mother Nature just isn’t cooperating. This summer’s unusually cool temperatures have the global warming crowd scrambling for explanations. Steven Milloy, who is not associated with the fuel industry, wrote an excellent article, “Cool summer gives global warmers the freeze,” wherein he reported that Aberdeen, S.D. experienced its coolest August in 115 years, with an average temperature 7 degrees below normal. All across America, cool summer temperatures kept people out of their pools, and in Michigan, state parks noted a decline in visits due to cooler temperatures, according to Mr. Milloy.

As for me, I refuse to be stampeded into believing that climate change is either potentially catastrophic or caused by human activity when honest scientific evidence simply doesn’t exist. The Earth may be cooling, not warming, based on this summer’s temperature data. So why isn’t National Geographic looking into the possibility of a coming ice age? Wouldn’t that be an appropriate use of the “scientific approach”?

RICHARD W. RESSLER

North Olmsted, Ohio

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