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No global warming? Just ask the jellyfish

To the editor:

MIT professor Richard S. Lindzen’s Sunday commentary on global warming might have made a lasting impression on me, had it not been for the fact that, according to SourceWatch.org, he is a member of the Science, Health, and Economic Advisory Council of the Annapolis Center, a think tank that has been funded by corporations including ExxonMobil.

According to ExxonSecrets.org, the Annapolis Center received $943,500 from ExxonMobil between 1998 and 2007.

In a 1995 Harper’s magazine article, Ross Gelbspan reported that Mr. Lindzen charged oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services, and his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels.

A speech he wrote, titled “Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus,” was underwritten by OPEC.

Also, it may be of interest to Review-Journal columnist Vin Suprynowicz and his ilk that not all environmentalists seek to drag us into the Dark Ages. Stewart Brand, editor and publisher of The Whole Earth Catalog, which spearheaded the “back to the land” movement, and James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, are both proponents of nuclear energy.

Global warming deniers can juggle the facts and make accusations as much as they want, but these actions will not reduce the number of non-native tropical jellyfish that Japanese fishermen are catching in their nets in ever increasing numbers, nor will it do anything about the more than 100 icebergs that threaten New Zealand shipping lanes, newsworthy events that, to the best of my knowledge, were reported by this newspaper.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Review-Journal can report on the reality of anthropogenic climate change and yet deny its existence on its editorial pages.

Steven F. Scharff

HENDERSON

Health care

To the editor:

Kudos to the women interviewed in Monday’s article, “State feels birth pangs,” for making the decision to delay having a child in this economy. Although it is unfortunate that couples have to make a decision like that, it is good to see that some people are considering the high cost of raising children before getting pregnant.

I hope that families who are eligible for government assistance make those same considerations. In this age of entitlement, some people don’t think about how they will pay for things.

They just assume that the government will continue to take care of them.

For instance, if they receive Section 8 housing benefits and have another baby, Section 8 will pay their higher rent for a larger home with more bedrooms. They will be able to get more food stamps and other welfare benefits. Medicaid can pay for the prenatal care and birth costs, and pay the cost of medical care for the new baby. If the mother returns to work after the birth of the baby, perhaps she can receive fully subsidized or low-cost day care.

People who don’t receive government assistance have to think about how they will pay for all these expenses on their own.

I haven’t seen or heard anything in the new health care bill that will actually help people with their medical needs. People who are already receiving Medicaid will continue to receive benefits at no cost, and people who cannot afford health care will still not be able to afford the cost of insurance, which they will be required to have. When they talk about the high cost of this bill, what is the government actually going to be paying for?

This bill is very confusing, and no one has done a good job explaining what it is all about.

Sure, something needs to be done about health care, but passing the cost onto those who are making the right decisions, planning for their futures, and properly managing their money is not the answer.

Karen Sommer

LAS VEGAS

Money saver

To the editor:

I would like to make a suggestion that will help the state save $1 million in a very short period of time: Abolish the Nevada Transportation Authority and the Taxicab Authority and merge them into the Department of Public Safety.

These two agencies are rife with inefficiencies that waste precious resources. They both enforce violations of Nevada Revised Statute 706 (involving motor carriers). Their missions are similar and they often have areas where they cross paths. While they are regulatory, both agencies have sworn law enforcement staffs that would be better supported in DPS.

If the governor and Legislature concur, a merger could take place within 30 to 90 days. The savings would be significant. In addition, the enhanced enforcement capability that would result from the merger would make the industries that are presently monitored and regulated by the two agencies much safer. The combined “Commercial Passenger Transportation Division” of DPS would be competitive for federal grants as well as maintaining its “self-funded” status.

Without a merger, there will continue to be inefficient regulation and monitoring of the industries that are served by both the Nevada Transportation Authority and Taxicab Authority.

I know the inefficiencies are very true. The problems that exist in both agencies could be reduced or eliminated if they were merged into DPS.

John Platt

LAS VEGAS

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