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Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM


Letters to the editor

Earth to inhabitants

If the environment concerns you, take it to your leaders

Editor, The Times:

The shrinking glaciers at Mount Rainier and North Cascades underscore why we need a holistic plan to protect our national parks from the multiple threats they face ["State's shrinking glaciers: Going ... going ... gone?" Times page one, Nov. 1].

Chronic funding shortfalls, encroaching development and air pollution will only compound the damage wrought by climate change.

We've got only 10 years before the National Park system turns 100 years old — a prime opportunity to see that these places are restored, protected and thriving once again. As a first step, we can all help by signing the Fix Our Parks Pledge at and committing to take personal action.

Congress and the White House can also do their parts by supporting such measures as the Clean Air Planning Act, a bill that would cut all major pollutants that threaten the parks, including greenhouse gases. Our elected leaders must also increase funding for parks to help them cope with climate change and other external threats.

It is up to all of us to restore the faded glory of our national parklands.

— Sean Smith, regional director, National Parks Conservation Association, Protecting Our National Parks for Future Generations, Seattle

Grandiose encounters

What is the point of illustrating an article relating Washington's shrinking glaciers to global warming with a tale of a 41-foot pole buried in snow in April, but exposed in October?

Seasonal melting of snow and ice is not evidence for climate change.

When the North Cascades Highway closes this winter and becomes covered with 40 feet of snow, I doubt we will see a front-page article predicting the dawn of a new ice age.

The accompanying map showing approximately equal shrinkage of the Nisqually glacier in the past three half centuries contradicts the hypothesis of human-caused climate change.

— Steven Adler, Seattle

Dawn of the dread

As a Seattle native, I have to express my delight that Boris Worm gave the game away when he submitted his report that "Global fishing trends point to a collapse of most wild seafood harvests by mid-century" ["Will seafood nets be empty? Grim outlook draws skeptics," page one, Nov. 3].

In the e-mail [to a colleague] Worm mistakenly sent to The Times, calling the claim a "news hook to get people's attention" because they weren't taking marine biodiversity seriously enough, he was imitating fiction.

Michael Crichton's novel, "State of Fear," features global-warming alarmists creating crises to marshal public support in the same way. It's worth noting that Crichton agrees that there is a rise in temperature. At the same time, he laments the fact that political groups, environmentalists especially, announce crisis after crisis to maintain a state of fear as a way to raise the funds they need to support themselves.

When one lacks faith in one's message or cause, "any means necessary" is justifiable. If everyone takes that approach, we will all be mortal threats to one another.

We are indeed fortunate that Worm let us see behind the curtain for once.

— Richard L. Centner Jr., Arlington, Texas

Not the abyss

The report in the journal Science referenced in "Will seafood nets be empty? Grim outlook draws skeptics" would have us believe all the world's ocean fisheries are tilting over the abyss.

This is not the case in the North Pacific, where there are no overfished stocks of fish, and overfishing is not occurring. Fisheries managers and fishermen listen to their local scientists and stay within catch limits. Bycatch is closely monitored and reported, and, in fact, bycatch has been reduced by half in North Pacific groundfish fisheries.

It is important to raise awareness about protecting the ocean's resources. Perhaps a report such as this can persuade Congress to reauthorize a strengthened Magnuson-Stevens Act.

However, it is equally important to refrain from broad-brush approaches to oceans conservation.

We must address each issue with specific and practical solutions. I think we can look at the Alaska Model as a guide to balancing commercial fishing interests with conservation interests. The North Pacific represents more than half of U.S. fisheries landings and yet there is no overfishing occurring in this region.

In Alaska, we are guided by our scientists, and the seafood industry works to ensure that ecosystem considerations are being addressed and the habitat is protected now and well into the future.

— David Benton, executive director, Marine Conservation Alliance, Juneau, Alaska

Conversion assured

Healing will go on

As a Christian Scientist and past member of First Church of Christ, Scientist on Capitol Hill, I have to admit to being a little saddened when reading of its conversion to condominiums ["One church gets condos; will another get bulldozers?" page one, Oct. 21]. Yet, I admit it takes considerable effort to preserve historically significant buildings, as many urban churches have realized.

I applaud the current congregation's desire to let the maintenance of this edifice be left to others so the congregation can more fervently focus its attention on the healing mission of Christian Science.

Although the article noted that the congregation began on Capitol Hill in 1911, the group actually became a church in 1898, with church services at Third and Cherry. This began a rich history of countless physical healings in the Seattle community.

When the congregation did move to the Capitol Hill location, the dedication ceremony in 1920 was attended by nearly 4,000 grateful individuals.

As the church begins a new chapter at its Fourth and Cedar location, I'm sure it will continue the healing legacy that it brings with it.

In the words of the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings."

— William E. Scott, Christian Science Committee on Publication for the State of Washington, Kirkland

Early reaction

Throw the bumf out

Regarding "Listening to the rumble from a swing district" [Local News, Nov. 3] [and its] association of trashed political ads reflecting the "discontent and even outright disgust many voters feel about the choices they face Tuesday":

How reporter Jonathan Martin associates discarded political literature with the voters' disgust is beyond reason. Did he ever consider that perhaps the majority of people who have post-office boxes are absentee voters, and well after they have voted, the political flyers arrive in their mail boxes; and that they have no desire to carry the now-worthless paper home to have to (pay to) dispose of it?

I'm surprised he didn't relate to the stacks of Voters Pamphlets left behind in the Post Office as an act of treason.

— Frank McJunkins, Seattle

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