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More on Danish

(Re: “Is Nablus Boulder’s sister?” Danish Plan, Dec. 15.) I just posted a comment to an article by Mr. Danish that focused only on the radical element in Palestine as to why Boulder shouldn’t consider Nablus as a sister city. I do appreciate the Boulder Weekly for presenting his views, whether he resolves his hatred or not. Still, I trust the Boulder City Council and the people of Boulder will welcome Nablus as a sister city to help promote peace there, which is what makes Boulder very unique. I wish I still lived there and could be part of that peace-making process.

Stan Current/Winter Park

Every story has two sides, but unfortunately, Paul Danish chose to tell only one regarding a possible Boulder-Nablus sister city relationship. In 1948, when Palestine was divided into Israel and Trans-Jordan, many of thousands of Palestinian Arabs were urged/invited/coerced/forced to leave their homes in what had become the new Jewish State. Nablus alone has three refugee camps. Consider the contention the Occupy Movement aroused in the U.S. over just a couple of months. Any wonder there is frustration among peoples who have lived in camps for six decades?

Israel won the 1967 Six-Day War, began occupying West Bank and stayed for nearly 30 years. The 1991 Oslo Accords granted the Palestinians limited self-rule, but the Israelis are still in charge, and they are not benign occupiers. Whenever Palestinians have (inevitably) revolted, Israeli forces crush them.

The Israelis have built more than 120 “settlements” on the West Bank. Most “settlers” are ultra-right-wing religious zealots who willingly live behind high walls, protected by the army (sometimes more soldiers than settlers) and linked to Israel itself by fine highways. The second-class Palestinians are left with crumbling communities and crummy, second-rate roads to keep them in check.

The many Israeli checkpoints are often manned by bored teens with Uzis who entertain themselves by hassling Palestinians, and the army meets Palestinian demonstrations with overwhelming force, tear gas and arrests of “suspected” terrorists. Is there a Hebrew word for habeas corpus? There could be no prisoner exchanges involving thousands of Palestinians for an Israel soldier or two if Israeli were not incarcerating so many “suspects.”

When I visited Palestine not long ago, I was shocked at what Israel’s “security fence” and provocative settlements look like and feel like. I met representatives of KAIROS, a human rights organization that was a force in ending apartheid in South Africa and is active in the West Bank. I remarked to an American clergyman, “I can’t believe that a country founded for the reasons Israel was can treat other humans so badly.” He replied, “How often do you [think] does the abused become the abuser?”

I hope that Boulder and Nablus do become sister cities to help build bridges instead of endorsing walls. Israel is doing enough literal and figurative wall-building.

Claire Walter/Boulder

Other ways Danish is wrong

Regarding the Danish Plan’s anti-anti-GMO editorial (“Anti-GMO activism is evil,” Nov. 17) and the follow-on arguments, some scattered points which have been nearly missed:

1.  The cropland at issue is 960 acres. That is 1.5 square miles, less than 1 percent of Boulder County open space holdings. The question is limited to what may be planted on county-owned land. There is no attempt to tell farmers what they may grow on their own land.

2. In Europe and the U.K., foods may contain GMOs, but each GMO requires regulatory approval, and foods containing GMOs must be labeled as such. As a result, GMO-foods are essentially nonexistent over there. You might regard this as either the response of informed consumers or the result of fear-mongering against GMOs, but it does indicate what could happen if U.S. consumers were given information and a choice.

3.  One pro-GMO talking point is “helping feed a growing world.” This is refuted in various ways — for example, the problem is not a lack of food but a lack of distribution and an excess of corruption, etc. But most telling is the way that big agri-biz is monopolizing access to seeds, where in the Third World particularly, saving seed has been sound practice in the past. It’s so bad that there are genetic modifications used to ensure that farmers must buy new seed each year. Google “terminator gene” for one of the most egregious examples, and ask yourself how sterile seeds help feed the world.

4.  Genetic modification and testing is expensive, which means that the number of GMOs of a particular plant species is very small (possibly just one). This results in a drastic reduction in bio-diversity, which is a very bad thing for feeding the world. Google “Irish potato famine,” and don’t think it can’t happen again.

5.  If you think such controversy over control of our food supply is recent, try to find a copy of Food for People, Not for Profit, by Catherine Lerza and Michael Jacobson, 1975, by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Also see American farmer/writer Wendell Berry. Or look into the (misnamed) post-WWII “Green Revolution” and the well-reasoned opposition to it by Englishman Sir Albert Howard.

Dick Dunn/Hygiene

(Re: “Climate change: U.N. takes on wrong problem — again,” Danish Plan, Dec. 1.) Computer models confirm that global warming from manmade greenhouse gases will only result in a temperature increase of a fraction of a degree over hundreds of years.

However, the changes in ocean currents are melting the north polar ice cap at an alarming rate, resulting in a significant climate change now. Unfortunately we have no idea why the ocean currents have changed! But we do need to adapt to the climate change. Cloud formation over liquid water will be much greater than over the ice cap, and extreme cold arctic temperatures will moderate.

The politicians will continue to preach global warming as a means to slow down the development of world civilization. Studies about climate change will be limited.

You are correct that global warming caused by greenhouse gases is a very long-term effect. However, the melting of the north polar cap is happening now. The ocean currents are moving the warm water from the tropics underneath the ice. Less water is being moved south. We do not have a clue why the currents have changed! We can expect increased rainfall as more air passes over the liquid ocean as compared to the frozen ice cap. Our primary climate change is now global warming. Unfortunately, very little effort is being spent trying to understand climate change.

Tom Mueller/via Internet

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