- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Gore's 'apocalypse' based on flawed data

Fears of apocalyptic global warming center on an increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. Because the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (the Rio treaty) seeks to prevent "dangerous human interference" with climate, what really is at issue in the global warming debate is human reliance on carbon fuels as our primary source of energy.

Flawed computer models project carbon dioxide-induced catastrophic global warming 50-100 years from now. Vice President Al Gore puts his faith in these imperfect instruments instead of trusting what Earth itself is telling us. In his book "Earth in the Balance," Mr. Gore characterizes American society as "dysfunctional" because of our heavy reliance on fossil fuels and calls for "wrenching" changes in the way we live and work. The scientific criticism of the vice president's vision has been that the science is uncertain.

Greening Earth Society (www.greeningearthsociety.org) believes such criticism is misplaced: The science of apocalyptic global warming is not uncertain; it's simply wrong. An informed citizenry will strongly resist efforts by the administration, international environmental regulators and EPA to cap, limit or in any way restrict U.S. reliance on abundant, cheap domestic fossil energy resources, including coal-fired electricity: the lifeblood of the U.S. economy.



The writer is executive director of Greening Earth Society

U.S. technology can't guarantee effective missile defense

In their commentary "The countermeasures debate" (Aug. 9), James Hackett and Stanley Orman make a number of important errors. For example, since building countermeasures requires significantly simpler technology than building missile defenses, it is unfortunately not true that U.S. technical prowess guarantees that it can build an effective defense against a developing country like North Korea.

Moreover, the fact that the planned defense system would have several types of sensors does not necessarily mean it will work. To distinguish the warhead from other objects, those sensors must know what distinguishing characteristics to look for. But if an attacker, for example, disguises the warhead and releases it with decoys having a range of characteristics, the sensors simply may not know what to look for.

Mr. Hackett may not like the conclusions of the technical report on countermeasures organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of which I was an author, but it is hardly "voodoo science." We included very extensive technical details underlying our results precisely so that anyone who was interested could verify our results.

Much of the debate now seems to be whether or not the kinds of countermeasures we analyzed in that report could be implemented by North Korea and how effective they would be in practice. But there is a straightforward way to address those issues. The Pentagon should establish a "red team" to devise and build countermeasures using North Korean-level technology, much as the Countermeasures Hands-On Program does for theater defenses. The Pentagon then should test the defense against the countermeasures that the team comes up with.


Senior staff scientist

Union of Concerned Scientists

Cambridge, Mass.

Artificial political barriers are always a problem

Your editorial of Aug. 4 ("Cyprus crisis") dramatically illustrates the frustration felt by the Turkish Cypriot community as a result of the political and economic deprivations its people have suffered for a generation under Turkish military occupation and the leadership of Mr. Rafu Denktash. Last month's protests were a logical result of 26 years of military occupation and dominance by Turkey, during which time the Turkish Cypriots in the occupied northern part of Cyprus have seen their per capita income plummet to less than a quarter of what now prevails in the free areas of our country.

While you criticized Mr. Denktash for the plight of the Turkish Cypriots, you also expressed support for a separate Turkish Cypriot state. Apparently, you did not realize that the efforts by Mr. Denktash and Ankara to partition Cyprus have brought immense suffering to Turkish and Greek Cypriots alike. Partitioning Cyprus and keeping its people apart will not work. Artificial barriers of division are always the problem, never the solution.

That is exactly why the international community, in numerous U.N. resolutions, has called consistently for a resolution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of Cyprus, through the establishment of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single sovereignty and international personality. Mr. Denktash himself endorsed a federal outcome in agreements signed between the two communities in 1977 and 1979. Indeed, this framework was a major concession on the part of the Greek Cypriot side in order to facilitate the end of the divisions of Cyprus imposed by Turkey. But as negotiations over the years proceeded to flesh out the details of a federal state, Mr. Denktash reneged on those agreements, which he signed on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot community.

Mr. Denktash's 1983 "unilateral declaration of independence" in the occupied areas, prompted by Ankara, violated those resolutions and agreements as well as the U.N. Charter and international law. Not surprisingly, the international community categorically rejected this new act of aggression to dismember the sovereign Republic of Cyprus. The U.N. Security Council promptly declared the attempted secession as "legally invalid." As a result, no state except Turkey recognizes the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus.

It is therefore shocking that your editorial purports to support the results of Turkey's military aggression against Cyprus, which violates international legality and the rules of conduct among civilized nations.

We certainly share your concern for the welfare of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, but we strongly believe that it can only be enhanced and secured in a reunited, demilitarized Cyprus, within the European Union, where our country is steadily moving. It is becoming increasingly clear that Turkish Cypriots also want to reunite Cyprus under a federation and to look to a common future in conditions of peace, security and prosperity with their Greek Cypriot compatriots within the European family of nations.

The protesters in occupied Cyprus externalized the growing frustration and despondency of the Turkish Cypriot community with Mr. Denktash's stonewalling of efforts for a solution and his own obvious comfort with the status quo of a divided Cyprus. It is this illegal status quo the perpetuation of the rump regime sustained by Turkey's troops and settlers that has impoverished Turkish Cypriots and needs to be reversed.

The federal framework for a Cyprus solution provided by the U.N. Security Council resolutions and steadfastly endorsed by the international community is the only way toward peace, security and prosperity for all the people of Cyprus.



Embassy of Cyprus


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