Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

  • Friday, May 30, 2008 12:42pm
  • Opinion

Where does new development end?

Dear Editor,

After reading several letters sent to you regarding the proposed Parkplace remodel, most notably one from Dave Garland, I feel compelled to add my voice to the citizens of Kirkland opposed to the project.

My husband and I have been homeowners in the Kirkland area since 1989, and we have always enjoyed the fact that downtown Kirkland didn’t “sell out” to the mega-developers and become a clone of downtown Bellevue, where we used to live. Then, we started seeing more and more multi-story condo projects, then a major hotel, plans to change Marina Park, and now there are huge structures going up everywhere we turn. If all that weren’t enough, there’s the Parkplace grand scheme with eight (!) stories filled with more people, less parking and definitely more traffic.

Soon, if the trend continues, downtown Kirkland will no longer be the oasis it used to be with that local neighborhood comfortable ambiance. Where does it end?

Who’s going to be brave enough to draw a line in the sand and put a stop to all this mega-construction? It seems to me that these new projects are designed to draw in people from everywhere but Kirkland to enjoy our downtown and keep the actual residents away with the increased traffic congestion, crowds of people, lack of parking, and more noise and pollution. As Dave Garland so eloquently stated in his letter to you, we need to “preserve the quality of life in the Kirkland we all cherish.” If we don’t take steps to do that now, we’ll never have another opportunity.

~Liz Slater, Kirkland

St. Clair’s logic fails on global warming

Dear Editor,

(Re: “Where’s Global Warming now?” April 9) Mr. St. Clair, there may be scientific reasons to question global warming, but your anecdotal evidence is without merit.

Based on your methodology, housing prices and stocks decline over time, the weather gets colder, and the U.S. wages more wars. To confuse long term trends with today’s experience, and to confuse worldwide phenomenon with your local situation, is intellectually shameful.

It’s ironic that you attempt to debunk global warming by giving examples of colder than normal weather and near Biblical violent storms, both of which are predicted by a warming environment in which greater temperature fluctuations lead to nastier storms.

You then point to “The Population Bomb” that predicted hundreds of millions starving to death in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but again use your local mall as proof that starvation doesn’t exist. Yet in 2003, the U.N. reported “about 25,000 people die daily from hunger, with an estimated 815 million people suffering from malnutrition.”

Better evidence to doubt global warming and future predictions is a 2007 NASA document that documents global cooling between 1940 and 1970. In 1970 scientists suspected we were heading into the next ice age.

The future is hard to predict.

Regardless, the majority of climate scientists don’t doubt humans are causing temperature to rise faster than natural trends and predict that in another 100 years we may be 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than today, “a temperature Earth hasn’t experienced since the middle Pliocene Epoch about three million years ago.” You might consider real analysis over your gut feeling.

~David A. E. Wall, Kirkland

Warming opinion good newsmanship?

Dear Editor,

Scott St. Clair recommends, “…can’t argue the facts, disparage your opponent.” Helpfully, he provides an example for others to follow: “Al Gore…one of the dullest presidential candidates ever.” If ever there was someone who knows what to do when you can’t argue the facts, it’s St. Clair.

Actually, I appreciate that the Reporter prints St. Clair. It’s efficient to have one person provide the voice for those who can’t be bothered to learn the facts. Why print mistaken viewpoints from many different individuals when we can have one-stop-shopping in St. Clair?

On climate change, St. Clair makes the same mistake as other naysayers: he relies on local observations and bases his perception on that, rather than scientific research. Educated people understand that “global” is just as important as “warming.” Scientists explain repeatedly that even as the entire planet gradually warms, some local climates may in fact cool. His rant’s akin to saying that just because the milk in your refrigerator stays cool, the furnace in your house must be off.

There’s also great difference between an individual’s disputed assertions (i.e. Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb”) and broad consensus within the scientific community. From homeless encampments, to tree regulations, and now global warming, St. Clair gets it wrong. I understand the publisher’s desire to print evocative writers, but I don’t see how the long-term interests of the paper are well-served by allowing itself to be so closely associated with someone so eager to ignore reality.

Efficient, but is it really good newsmanship?

~Peter Duniho, Kirkland

Wants more evidence on global warming

Dear Editor,

In the recent columns on global warming by Scott St. Clair and Andy Wappler, I notice a lack of data presented on either side of argument. While I completely agree with St. Clair’s comments on our culture’s tendency to rush to judgment, I still would rather see some actual facts before I make up my mind. I know it’s more fun to blast away at our wasteful habits, capitalism, corporate greed, etc.

Soon I expect to see some deities brought into the argument for one side or the other, but wouldn’t this be a good time to use our left brains and use measurable scientific information before we decide a course of action?

1. The earth in it’s four billion year history has gone through many extreme warm/cold cycles — and did so long before the emergence of humans. Why is this warming phase any different?

2. If humans are hastening the warming cycle, where’s the quantitative data that shows the extent of it? Do we exacerbate the problem by .0005 percent or 50 percent? If we stopped driving and curtailed industry, what effect would that have on the calculation?

3. And once we know that, wouldn’t it be helpful to know the data country by country and industry by industry? For instance — what would happen to the numbers if every American stopped driving or spent thousands more for hybrid cars?

4. What is the net gain/loss to the environment of introducing widespread use of compact fluorescent light bulbs after factoring in the environmental pollution of their mercury content that ends up in the landfills?

Wouldn’t it seem reasonable to know these facts before we put a lot of energy and resources into making changes?

~Tom Devlin, Kirkland


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