It May be Natural
The articles on global warming were comprehensive and interesting. I would like to have the experts answer some pertinent questions: What volume of greenhouse gases (ghgs) is put into the atmosphere worldwide? What volume of ghgs is attributable to natural causes, i.e., hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, by animals, water vapor, solar activity, etc.? The balance then is that which is attributable to human activity.
I have seen estimates by some experts that this amount is a little less than 4 percent. This indicates that there is little that humans can do to reverse global warming. It certainly doesn't mean we shouldn't conserve as much as possible, but not institute draconian measures based on hysteria which would greatly alter our way of life.
We should be concentrating on how to cope with warming. There have been numerous cycles throughout the ages of warming and cooling. We can learn from those and act accordingly. And let's not forget that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a necesssity to sustain life.
Wayne Blankenship Jr.
Be a Watchdog
Thank you Matt Robinson and Gambit for exposing yet another way that FEMA has screwed up and put the lives of many people in danger with your article "Up In Flames" (News & Views, Dec. 11), exposing how improper setup and maintenance of FEMA trailers by contractors not trained in LP gas safety is the suspected cause of many fires in FEMA trailers.
This is another distressing example of no-bid contractors making out like bandits while the people who are supposed to be helped are placed in a hazardous situation. Because politically connected contractors got the no-bid contracts to set up these trailers and the contractor had no experience, the trailers were not set up properly, including not being caulked to prevent moisture intrusion.
Formaldehyde outgassing is made worse with excess humidity, so this is likely a factor that increased problems with formaldehyde in these trailers. The moisture problems also caused serious mold contamination in many of the trailers.
Sierra Club Gulf Coast Environmental Restoration Task Force
A Different Kind of 'Green'
Global Green and 'local" celebrity activist Brad Pitt are building a few eco-friendly homes down in the Lower Ninth Ward and developer Sean Cummings is planning the state's first LEED Gold-certified project down by the river. A friend of ours preordered a Smart Car, my wife and I are considering solar panels for our doublewide shotgun, and the bar across the street just installed compact fluorescent bulbs. Nonetheless, New Orleans and Louisiana cannot be labeled 'environmentally progressive." On Forbes magazine's recent list of 'America's Greenest States," we ranked an embarrassing 47th, ahead of only Alabama, Indiana and West Virginia. According to the study's author, we 'suffer from a mix of toxic waste, lots of pollution and consumption and no clear plans to do anything about it. Expect (states like ours) to remain that way."
Unless Bobby Jindal turns out to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger Republican, unless sportsmen shake down the feds to save their sinking paradise, unless politicians and business leaders start looking beyond the next election or deal, unless 'conservation" becomes a significant part of our cultural lexicon, unless ... Our state's only green label will continue to be 'envy."
Not a N.O. Booster
New Orleans should beware of new State Economic Development Director Stephen Moret based on his avowed views of this city and its importance to the state.
In an Aug. 28 interview on National Public Radio's 'Marketplace," Moret, then director of the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, said: 'If you look back 20, 40, 50 years ago, New Orleans, from a population and jobs perspective, has been in a continual decline, and the Baton Rouge area has been growing during that time. And that process essentially just got accelerated dramatically by Katrina."
Reporter Sam Eaton summed up Moret's comments: 'Moret says the Big Easy still has a future in the region's economy. It just won't be the economic engine."
Moret's Chamber heavily supported New Orleans media advertising on constitutional amendments affecting this city. Heady with success, Moret is out to revamp the state's economy and has little reason, or inclination, to help New Orleans.
Carolyn G. Kolb