- The Washington Times - Friday, July 26, 2002

Greenpeace goes on the attack

Like the 15th-century believers that the Earth is flat, Nick Schulz and his industry-backed allies are running against the tide of history ("Bush's climate echo," Op-Ed, July 19). But that doesn't seem to stop them from spewing one or two last-gasp lies or misleading arguments about global warming.

Like their historical soul mates, Mr. Schulz, et al, have only fear and doubt to peddle. Their brand of fear goes something like, "If we fight global warming, the economy will collapse." Their doubt-line is based on the rationale: "999 scientists out of 1,000 say global warming is real, but let's focus on the one scientist who differs."

The bottom line is that it is irresponsible for Mr. Schulz or President Bush or any opinion leaders to delay action on this immense problem and leave it for our children to clean up. The United States can generate new wealth, jobs and industry by investing in clean energy to fuel our power needs while fighting global warming. A positive vision of the future, unlike Mr. Schulz's gloom-and-doom, sees the nation as the leading producer of solar and wind energy products (already fast-growing industries), exporting goods around the world, creating new jobs at home and, best of all, keeping the lights on without fouling our air.

One would think this vision is so appealing, it would be a no-brainer for Washington to act on. Unfortunately, thanks to one of the world's largest polluters, ExxonMobil, and the politicians, scientists and think tanks that it funds, Washington seems to be in a state of paralysis.

With its well-paid minions and the Nick Schulzes of the world echoing its arguments in the media, ExxonMobil is able to spread its message of fear and doubt far and wide. We applaud politicians such as Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, for standing up to ExxonMobil's scientists and political hacks. In this new era of corporate accountability, political leaders have a chance to hold corporations like ExxonMobil accountable for their dubious policies and practices, which are speeding up global warming.

ExxonMobil and other such companies are building a house of cards by preventing action on global warming. When it collapses, they assuredly will be the first in line to get a taxpayer-financed bailout. I wonder what Mr. Schulz will say then.


GARY SKULNIK

Media Officer

Greenpeace

Washington

Star date minus two years

I agree with the sentiment expressed by the Monday Commentary column "Apollo 11: The gift of America's spirit," by Buzz Aldrin and Robert Charles. However, it contains a factual error when it states, "Already, in 1959, they [the Soviet Union] had struck into space with the first satellite. A mere two years later, they put the first man in orbit."

A quick trip to the historical record, however, will show that the first satellite was the Soviet Sputnik 1, launched Oct. 4, 1957. The first man to orbit to the Earth was Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, nearly four years later.


LANCE H. CARTER

Arlington, Va.

North Africa's birthday boy

;I enjoyed both the humor and the substance of R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s "Algerian fete a decisive move" (Commentary, July 19). Yet I must point out a factual error regarding Algeria's oil and gas exports to the United States.

The figures cited in the article 4 million barrels per day, increasing to 5 million are not Algeria's exports to the United States but its overall production. Our current exports to the United States do not exceed 220,000 barrels per day but may well increase threefold or more if prospects for major Algerian LNG exports to the United States materialize.

Also, the suicide-bomber-cum-dove cartoon accompanying the article is misleading. In Algeria, the dove clearly is on one side that of the people since Sept. 16, 1999, the date they overwhelmingly adopted a referendum on Civil Concord. The bomber is not on the side of the vast majority of Algerians; rather, it represents some outcasts out to harm their own people as well as those of the United States.


IDRISS JAZAIRY

Ambassador

The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

Washington•


R. Emmett Tyrell Jr. should have excused the French for not celebrating the 40th birthday of the state that embodies proto-intifada nihilism.

Algeria's 1962 independence from France followed a murderous campaign of civilian bombings later glorified in Frantz Fanon's paean to revolutionary violence, "The Wretched of the Earth." At that time, voices of moderation, such as Albert Camus', were drowned out by a global chorus against French "occupation." Now Algeria's current Islamist rulers strike an anti-terrorist pose vis-a-vis their schismatic opponents.

Mr. Tyrell noted that "a considerable portion of the population is keenly aware of the grisly fate that awaits it if the [Islamic] radicals win."

Indeed they should be. In the words of the biblical prophet Hosea, "They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."


GREGORY L. LEWIS

Baltimore

Reprimand Hyde, don't heckle Jekyll

I believe Gary Imhoff, co-founder of the political watchdog group D.C. Watch, got his characters reversed. In Adrienne T. Washington's July 19 Metropolitan Life column, Mr. Imhoff is quoted as charging that D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams "campaigned as Hyde, but he governs as Jekyll."

Because his remarks evidently were meant to disparage the mayor, Mr. Imhoff should have used the names in reverse order. In the Robert Louis Stevenson novel "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Mr. Hyde was the monster that the respectable Dr. Jekyll turned into after consuming an experimental potion. This reversal is a common mistake. Perhaps it is because Jekyll has a negative connotation: It sounds like "jackal," the carnivorous African mammal.

On another note, Mr. Williams and his campaign spokeswoman, Ann Walker Marchant, argue that despite the many forged signatures on his re-election petition, there are enough genuine signatures to constitute "the necessary 2,000." Isn't that tantamount to a counterfeiter arguing that despite the many bogus $20 bills he circulated, he spent enough bona fide bills to be considered trustworthy?


VANCE GARNETT

Washington

Senator Biden defends corporate reform bill

In the event editorial writers at The Washington Times have failed to notice, the recent string of corporate debacles has led to a decline in the public's confidence in the stock market and increasing distrust of corporate executives ("The Biden-Hatch amendment," Editorial, Wednesday).

Though no one expects the bipartisan reform legislation currently under discussion to rectify every problem on Wall Street or the economy, one thing is clear: The American public will judge Congress to have failed the test of leadership if we do not hold corporate leaders accountable.

My bill, co-authored with my Republican colleague Orrin Hatch of Utah, passed the Senate 96-0. It would create a simple standard that every American can understand. If a firm's chief executive officer, chief financial officer or the chairman of the board "willfully and knowingly" lies to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the guilty party will be held criminally liable for such action. If the buck stops with the chairman the executive with power to hire and fire the CEO and CFO it's hard to understand why that individual should be made exempt from having to exercise the highest degree of fiduciary responsibility.

As Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan testified before the Senate Banking Committee last week, new incentives must be applied to corporate executives, including criminal penalties, to assure the public that cooking the books and then lying about it no longer will be tolerated. Adopting Biden-Hatch and creating an unequivocal ethical standard for top corporate leaders is the least we can do.


JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

U.S. senator from Delaware

Chairman

Judiciary subcommittee on crime and drugs

Washington


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide