- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Energy security illusions

When I read Patrick J. Michaels' scurrilous attack on the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and me, I immediately thought of that famous line by Ronald Reagan, "There he goes again" ("Energy supply illogic," Commentary, Dec. 6).
Mr. Michaels is one of a handful of industry-funded people who believe global warming is a good thing. Now Mr. Michaels is trying to pass himself off as an expert on the potential for oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other parts of Alaska. He believes Alaskan oil, "coupled with coal and nuclear" energy, would "dramatically" reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Hardly.
Americans consume 25 percent of the world's produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. The amount of economically recoverable oil in the Arctic refuge, according to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, would increase world reserves by just 0.3 percent not nearly enough to make a significant dent in our imports and too little to influence petroleum prices. Over the Arctic refuge field's 50-year life, it likely would produce just 3.2 billion barrels less than what our country consumes in six months and less than 1 percent of the oil we are projected to consume over those 50 years.
Meanwhile, getting more energy from coal and nuclear power, which present their own environmental problems, would not reduce our oil consumption. They both generate electricity, and oil-fired power plants generate less than 3 percent of the nation's electricity.
Notwithstanding Mr. Michaels' glib use of the oxymoron "clean extraction," drilling is not an environmentally benign activity. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that the state-of-the-art oil-rig technology in use in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, (which also would be used in the Arctic Refuge) is "leak-prone and vulnerable to explosions." Each year, more than 400 spills occur in the Prudhoe Bay fields, involving tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil and other hazardous materials, which damage sensitive tundra for decades.
NRDC is not opposed to drilling in areas that already are producing oil, but we do not support new drilling in wildlife refuges or other environmentally sensitive areas. Fortunately, we have the technology to dramatically reduce our oil use. Over the next decade, we could increase average fuel efficiency to 40 miles per gallon, which would save more than 50 billion barrels of oil over the next 50 years more than 15 times what could be extracted economically from the Arctic refuge. For more information about how we can best ensure our nation's energy security, I urge your readers to go to www.nrdc.org/air/energy/fensec.asp.
Finally, Mr. Michaels attacked me personally, claiming I said the heinous events of September 11 were triggered by our dependence on foreign oil. On the face of it, that statement is ludicrous, and I never said it. Mr. Michaels twisted my words for his own ends, choosing to ignore my clear messages in support of our president and our war on terrorism. It is sad that he felt the need to set up a straw man to advance his misinformed opinions.

Communications director
Natural Resources Defense Council
New York

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus responds to Bob Dole

Contrary to the letter to the editor quilled by Nestor-like Bob Dole, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is no more "fictitious" than the former esteemed senator and presidential nominee himself ("Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is 'fictitious'," Dec. 4). The TRNC satisfies all the requirements for a state under international law: Namely, it governs a defined territory and population under a democratic dispensation. That has been conceded by Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides to no less an American deity than Richard Holbrooke as well as to TRNC President Rauf Denktash. Unbroken U.N. Security Council resolutions, moreover, characterize Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island as political equals, not the former as lords and the latter as vassals. Finally, the Athens Court of Appeal in 1979 expressly endorsed the legality of Turkey's 1974 military mission to Cyprus to rescue Turkish Cypriots from extinction. As Greek terrorist Nicos Sampson boasted in a Feb. 26, 1981, interview with an Athens newspaper, "Had Turkey not intervened, I would not only have proclaimed ENOSIS [union with Greece] I would have annihilated the Turks in Cyprus."
The TRNC will not disappear, regardless of the incantations of the sage Mr. Dole. That is why Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash agreed on Dec. 4 to direct talks and then dined together the next day, a diplomatic marvel rivaling Anwar Sadat's joking with Golda Meir in the Israeli Knesset.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Membership in association for study of dreams open to all

I was happy to see the helpful articles on nightmares in the Dec. 9 Family Times section ("When monsters, fears rule sleep," "How to help child with nightmare," "Living nightmare"). However, the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD), found under the heading "More Information," is listed as a "professional organization, a collaboration of mental health professionals who specialize in studying dreams."
Actually, the Association for the Study of Dreams, established in 1984 as an international educational association, has a far broader membership of both professional and personal dream appreciators who enrich our conferences and publications with a variety of perspectives on dreams. We have many members who are mental health professionals, but we have others who work in different fields, such as anthropology, creative and performing arts, history, medicine, education, literature, sociology, religion and spirituality, to name some. I, for instance, am a former aerospace chemist who works with dreams from a personal perspective, as do other members.
Membership is open to anyone interested in dreams. Our Web site (www.asdreams.org) contains a wealth of dream-related material and artwork, articles, links and membership information.


Rita Dwyer is a founding member and past president of the Association for the Study of Dreams.

USSRaleigh was cruiser, not battleship

Your Dec. 7 caption "The torpedoed battleship USS Raleigh lists after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor" is inaccurate ("Day of Infamy, plus 60," Commentary, Dec. 7). The Raleigh was a cruiser, not a battleship, as it is called in the picture accompanying Stroube Smith's piece. During World War II, battleships were named for states, cruisers for cities, destroyers for deceased naval personnel, aircraft carriers for historical battles and submarines for fish. Incidentally, the Raleigh was a light cruiser, which differed from heavy cruisers in the size of its main battery armament. It had 6-inch (in diameter) projectiles as opposed to the 8-inch shells of the heavies.


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