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Thursday, December 10,2009

'Illegal aliens' crush the U.S.

(Re: “No man’s land,” cover story, Dec. 3.) Your article on students who are illegal aliens (no, I’m not going to use the euphemism “undocumented immigrants”) was another example of one-sided, emotional coverage of this issue without an objective analysis of the current irrational policy. As you correctly pointed out, in ’86 Reagan signed the amnesty bill legalizing 3 million illegal aliens. So what happened? We had 12 million to 15 million more coming in over the next two decades!

This is obvious in retrospect, as it sent a signal that if you get into the U.S. illegally, ultimately you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Both parties are to blame for this mess, as Republicans have desired the cheap labor to fuel our consumerist economy, while the Democrats want migrants on the government dole to turn them into permanent left-leaning voters.

The long-term population trends due primarily to immigrants and their high birth rates (the U.S. citizen birth rate is holding steady) is another 50 or 60 million people in the next several decades, and well over 100 million more by the end of the century. Some estimates even suggest up to 500 million total population.

The negative effects of this situation are many: creating a polyglot society, increased drug trafficking and related crime, huge strains on already overburdened social services, and, of course, major environmental impacts. What will adding this many people to our country and trying to maintain our current high standard of living do to our food requirements, roads and traffic patterns, loss of open spaces, access to national parks and wildlife, and our energy and water consumption? Any talk of renewables solving our problems is pure fantasy, as it will fall far short of what our growth will be in these areas due to population increases — unless we want to go back to a Third World standard of living.

Hence, it is impossible to be an environmentalist and support a continued policy of unchecked immigration into this country. Yes, there will have to be some tough choices made in regards to deportation and border control (though once informed, most reasonable citizens would be willing to go along with these and pay more in goods and services as a result).

Does it really make sense to crush our own society in a na´ve and futile attempt to solve the world’s poverty and population problems?

Lee Burton/Boulder

Climategate conflict

(Re: “Climategate,” Danish Plan, Dec. 3.) As usual, Paul Danish offers us an entertaining read. Climate scientists in the U.S. have been skeptical about the Climate Research Unit for some time, largely because their data don’t include Arctic ocean temperatures. That means they’re always filling up holes in their models with weird datasets drawn from other programs. Not a recipe for credibility. Their problems shouldn’t affect the tions, like Boulder-based NCAR and NSIDC.

It’s not irrational of Paul to despair of “fixing” climate change, but I’d like to point out that many of the climateadaptive changes he advocates would go a long way to reducing carbon emissions. Depending on foreign oil is not a smart way to go in a coming era of resource wars and transport disruptions. It makes much more sense to generate energy right here at home. In Colorado, that means wind, sun, geothermal and microhydro.

Seth Masia/Managing Editor, Solar Today, Boulder Thank you, Paul, for having the intellectual honesty to do what the major news outlets in this country refuse to do: change your opinion based on evidence. I am glad that you are not willing to sacrifice your credibility for an agenda like the CRU “scientists” did.

Christopher Tew/Louisville

Nonsense on nukes

(“Why reduce nukes now?” Letters, Nov. 26.) In his letter of Nov. 26, Donald Moskowitz said what is usually said to defend nuclear “weapons.” More must be said.

Nuclear bombs cannot be used in defense or attack without destroying the place being fought over. The deadly effects of nuclear bombs cannot be limited to a target or to anything less than a hemisphere, or for any time less than forever.

A “counter force” attack of 50 bombs can put enough soot into the atmosphere to block the sunlight and devastate terrestrial life on this planet with a nuclear winter. That aside, China, with its billion people, Russia, with its 15 time zones, or any other country can be virtually annihilated by 200 H bombs. Excepting only the U.S. and Russia, the world’s nuclear powers have stockpiled only a few hundred bombs.

Our country’s continuing pursuit of “usable” bombs to threaten with has been the greatest threat to us since the 1950s. As I write this, eight Ohio Class submarines are at sea, with four of them “on station” to attack Russia and catch their missiles on the ground. Russia’s long-range missiles and ours are on permanent launch-on-warning alert. On Nov. 26, 1997, a satellite launch from an island off Norway almost caused the end of the world. It was the third time a snap decision by a Russian saved us.

Nuclear apartheid is not sustainable.

Fifty countries can acquire nukes in five to 15 years. If the U.S. considers the H Bomb an indispensable instrument of policy, so will others. The alternative is abolition.

Gary Erb/Boulder

While damning Iran for its suspect, yet still unproven, program to build nuclear weapons, Donald Moskowitz curiously fails to mention that Israel is the only Middle Eastern nation to possess operational nukes — as many as 500, according to the authoritative Jane’s Intelligence Review. Numerous other Western sources (including the CIA in 1976) accuse Israel of possessing WMDs. Israeli academic Avner Cohen has written a book about the topic, Israel and the Bomb, which was reviewed in the prestigious New York Review of Books. Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu indicated that Israel had between 100 and 200 nukes (including thermonuclear weapons) during revelations published in the London Sunday Times in 1986. Vanunu spent many years languishing in solitary confinement for his courageous action.

More to the point, Iran has not committed aggression against any nation for almost a century. Israel, however, has attacked Lebanon six times, Egypt at least twice, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Iraq and the USA (remember the USS Liberty incident?) — not to mention scores of cross-border “incursions” — during its 61-year existence.

Judging from the track record, which nation has proven itself more dangerous to Middle East stability — Iran or Israel? For those unfamiliar with the attack on the USS Liberty, go to the USS Liberty Veterans Association website.

Dave Morton/Longmont

Protect Union Reservoir

Buffalo once roamed the native grasslands east of the Rocky Mountains when this land was Indian country. Some found their way to an ancient buffalo wallow at a glacially carved-out depression, which later would become Union Reservoir. Today the reservoir is used for water storage, but it has also evolved into an ecologically sensitive area, supporting an impressive variety of migratory birds, including the bald eagle.

In the area between the reservoir and the St. Vrain River, there is an active bald eagle’s nest and a winter eagle roost that may be one of the largest roosts in Northern Colorado. During March of 2003 an exceptional number of eagles — more than 100 — were observed in one sighting at Union Reservoir. Clearly, the land east of Longmont is an important part of the bald eagle ecosystem.

As cities redefine their borders and make plans for extensive development in this area, I have serious concerns that the winter eagle population may be threatened as urban development encroaches upon habitat at Union Reservoir and nearby water bodies. I and other citizens would like the wildlife habitat and rural character of the area surrounding Union Reservoir to be preserved in perpetuity so that eagles will always return each winter. As a Native American, I consider the presence of eagles living close by our town to be a blessing.

There is a belief among many Native people that bald eagles are sacred; they are messengers of our prayers to the creator. I pray each day to protect the natural world and to prevent human-imposed destruction or degradation of extraordinary places where eagles congregate, such as at Union Reservoir. This area has a unique native history that is worthy of honoring and should be preserved. It is a cause our community should support.

Ruby Bowman/Longmont

The truth about Tillman

It’s past time to ask important questions about Gen. Stan McChrystal and his involvement with the tragic death and subsequent cover-up of Pat Tillman.

Americans also need to know about Gen. McChrystal’s “oversight” of Camp Nama and the torture that took place on his watch.

Americans are tired of being lied to, especially by those “leaders” we trust to make necessary decisions about the wellbeing of our troops.

Tommy Holeman/Longmont

Obama must lead the world

This December the whole world will be watching as global leaders meet in Copenhagen to build the framework for an international treaty to fight climate change. Boulder has been hosting some fantastic local events, like the flash mob in the University of Colorado’s UMC Fountain area last Friday, and the Hope March on Pearl Street this past Sunday, and I fully support them. As a student and member of the commonwealth deeply concerned about climate change, I hope that President Obama hears the growing number of voices from people across the country. We want President Obama be a strong and committed leader at these negotiations to move them forward.

He’s said that climate change is a top priority for the administration — this is his moment to prove that he knows just how dire the consequences of inaction will be. The rest of the world will follow what America does, and as a proud American, I want my country to lead us all down the right path. Right now is the best chance we have to show the world that we’re committed to being a part of the solution. President Obama, please be the leader the world needs. Please follow the Boulder events that support Copenhagen climate treaty negotiations and the conference in Copenhagen itself over the next few weeks.

Laila Amerman/Boulder

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