Letters: Reader Feedback

Editor's note: Wisdom says never discuss religion or politics at a party. In the past two Viewpoints, I'm guilty of both, noting the Kyoto Protocol last month and the Boy Scout Oath in the previous issue. I don't bring politics into my editorials lightly, but only when I feel there is some timely event or issue the community needs its attention drawn to.

08/01/2004


Jim Crockett

Check the facts

Jim, please research the U.S. objections to the Kyoto agreement more thoroughly instead of jumping on the anti-U.S. bandwagon with the Europeans. You will see there are good reasons to reject it.

"...spirit of global unity." All countries act in their own best interest. Where it coincides with other countries, that is great and they can all say they are acting in unity, but to believe it is foolish.

"...granted, many other key players are also failing to comply." This is very true and not to be easily dismissed. Key developing countries were not required to meet the standards and they are some of the worst polluters. If you are serious about global warming, these countries should not be excluded. By excluding these countries, it gives the appearance that Kyoto is only a way for the socialists of the world to hamstring the U.S.

There is no debate that global warming is happening. The debate is about what is causing it. Global warming has occurred many times over the world's history. These cycles were the norm up until a few thousand years ago. The vast majority of these cycles were before humans had the industry they have now.

JIM MESPLAY

Keep crusading

I think we all recognize that the cultural and political environment of the U.S. is not conservation oriented. I drive and do basic maintenance on my seven-year-old peanut-sized junker, which gets 30%%MDASSML%%32 mpg. This makes me a laughingstock of sorts. One must expect to be if one has any principles at all. You are right to crusade.

In 1992, the World Scientists' Warning to Humanity was published, signed by about 1,500 scientists, of whom several hundred were Nobel winners. The data are already in, and all of the environmental issues they set forth are graver now than then. A possible exception might be the Montreal Protocol ozone issues, but even that is still not a total success. We are already seeing incipient failures—farmers growing peaches in the north Georgia hills haven't seen normal weather for a decade.

As [philosopher and mathematician] Bertrand Russell's grandmother told him, "Do not follow a multitude to do evil." We need to lead—and LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design]—and we need to still try to accomplish the best possible outcomes based on empirical, scientific reality. Humanity has been doing a good job of destroying the planet. We as engineers can just try to base our decisions on what we know to be empirical reality, and recognize that, in the current world, we will continue to be in the minority.

DAVE THOMAS, P.E., FIRE PROTECTION ENGINEERING, PH.D., ANTHROPOLOGY

Insulation on target

Regarding "Controlling Condensation with the Right Insulation," ( CSE 06/04 p. 58 )—good comments, but don't forget corrosion. You imply its presence but don't call it out specifically.

A good reference is the NACE International's recommended practice: The Control of Corrosion Under Thermal Insulation and Fireproofing Materials—A Systems Approach .

JAMES DIVINE, NACE INTERNATIONAL, HOUSTON





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