Letters to the Editor

From the week of July 13, 2006

Jock and Jill

A most valuable player: In the June 29 Off Limits, Jill Russell is pictured as another Colfax landmark. Her alleged crime is prostitution -- providing a blow job to then-Rockies pitcher Denny Neagle for $40. Rather than being subject to a warrant for her arrest and public damnation, her public service ought to be more properly recognized. If, in fact, she did Denny for $40, then the act elevates the phrase "taking one for the team" to another level altogether. The consequences make Neagle's sacrifice the most expensive he laid down in his career.

On the other hand, the $40 "contribution" of volunteer labor to the financial benefit of the Rockies' balance sheet renders the whole sordid matter an outstanding "windfall" to the ball club. The actual terms of the cash settlement to Neagle in the buyout of his contract may not be known, exactly. However, the owners of the Rockies could dignify their loyal patrons at Coors Field by bestowing a "lifetime pass" to Ms. Russell, this in recognition of her "service to the team." Or, at least, one free beer to wash down Denny, for all.

L. Dean Clark
Lakewood


Global Warning

Blowing hot and cold: Regarding Alan Prendergast's "The Skeptic," in the June 29 issue:

With their publicity-generating claim that warnings against global warming are a giant hoax, Colorado State University's William Gray and the University of Colorado's Roger Pielke Jr. make their fellow academic, Ward Churchill, look good by comparison. Professor Churchill merely annoyed people like Governor Bill Owens; were we to take Pielke and Gray seriously, the danger to us and our fragile planet could be enormous.

Let the two hoax-sayers 1) continue to echo George W. Bush in his mindless rejection of all science, 2) keep getting their news from the Fox network, and 3) join the Flat Earth Society if they're not already members.

Just be careful not to get too near the edge.

Pat Bourgeron
Lakewood

Chill out:Loved the article on Bill Gray. I am neither a student nor a graduate of CSU, so I have no bias. I do appreciate Westword publishing this piece, and only wish your circulation was as big as that of the New York Times.

However, in your review of An Inconvenient Truth, it would have been nice if Westwordhad named Al Gore's expert adviser. Wasn't he the same person who in about 1975 warned of "global cooling," with a timeline of less than twenty years for reduced food production?

David Smith
Littleton

Warming trends: Alan Prendergast's "The Skeptic" makes reference to Time's "overheated" article on global warming as exemplary of the popular media's inclination toward "doomsday stories" on the subject. In actuality, Time's article is one of the only ones from a corporate media outlet that treats the issue with any discernable amount of the urgency it calls for.

The truth is that the media's typical "on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand" approach has led most Americans to believe that there is a great deal of disagreement among the scientific community as to the existence of global warming. There's not. The over-amplification of the voices of a tiny minority of "dissenting" scientists (many of whom aren't even climate experts) has clouded the reality of the situation and cooled public support for immediate action on what even the most modest forecasts predict will be the most far-reaching and cataclysmic disaster in the history of human civilization.

Way to make your contribution, Westword.

Weston Wilson
Denver

Hot topic:"The Skeptic" was a great article. I have been in the midst of heated discussions with some of my colleagues (climate scientists at the University of California-Santa Cruz) and family members (one of whom is a tropical-cyclone forecaster for the U.S. Navy) about this very subject and these very people, so I was well-prepared to appreciate how well-done the piece was. Great job!

Daniel Sampson
Santa Cruz, California

Fate in the balance:I picked up your issue with Colorado hurricane expert Bill Gray on the cover: a good article, and writer Alan Prendergast allows Gray to hang himself. Gray comes across like transistor co-inventor William Shockley, who became very disagreeable in pushing his non-expert views on race and genetics. Gray shows himself an idiot on global warming when he puts forth Michael Crichton as one of his "all-time heroes." It doesn't take a scientist to know that the plot of State of Fear is totally illogical: enviro-fanatics creating climate disasters when a basic premise of the global-warming naysayers is that humans can't influence the climate.

Yet Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News articles on global warming go to Gray to provide "balance" to the real climate scientists. And in the last five weeks, numerous columns have appeared saying that global warming is not that much of a problem, or is a hoax.

But there are numerous reasons for the U.S. to develop risk-assessment policies regarding the use of fossil fuels. The U.S. trade deficit is over $725 billion per year, or more than seven times the deficit of a decade ago, primarily due to oil imports. When China and the rest of the world stop feeding U.S. profligacy, watch the financial meltdown. Or watch China move into the Middle East as oil peaks and declines and war clouds proliferate (Syriana mirroring reality).

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