'Hack the Sky?' public debate

At 7 p.m. on May 9, at the Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way in Berkeley, corporate, billionaire- backed geoengineer, Ken Caldiera, will be laying out the scientists' plans to mitigate global warming by blocking sunlight from the earth with chemical jet aerosols, such as sulfur dioxide and aluminum oxide dust. Earth Island Institute, the sponsor of this debate, is calling the event, "Hack the Sky?"

An ethicist, not a scientist, was chosen to debate Caldiera. Is the Earth Island Institute telling us there are no scientific arguments against this scheme? Arguments like: These chemical dusts will fall to earth to be absorbed and breathed by humans and all living things. The sun gives the earth life. Sunlight is necessary for plants to perform photosynthesis, which takes carbon out of the atmosphere.

The sun is the source of vitamin D required for human health. I'd like to hear from some forestry scientists, soil scientists, ocean scientists, biologists, botanists, entomologists, and noncorporate atmospheric scientists.

It's time for those who truly care about the environment to question blind trust in scientists and established environmental organizations. Science at our universities is sponsored and directed by corporations now. Corporations have discovered the best way to control environmentalists is to fund them.

It seems the "neo" environmentalists are running the environmental wing of the global war on terror, scaring us into all sorts of banker, developer, corporation, scientist enriching schemes ala "disaster capitalism." I know there are plenty of well-meaning, caring people working with these groups, but has fear numbed their critical thinking?


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Geoengineering is massive pollution of the earth and its inhabitants; nothing less than the corporate scientific takeover of our greatest commons, our sky and atmosphere, natural weather and climate.

It needs to be noted that the description of geoengineering matches what many already regularly observe in our skies. Please show up for this discussion on a subject that's been mostly hidden from the public.

Vivian Warkentin

Berkeley

Bay Bridge debacle absurd

Years of delays, unbelievable cost overruns, lack of oversight during critical testing, and now the steel rods -- designed to protect us in the event of a major earthquake -- are snapping like crisp potato chips.

And yet, we are not only expected to celebrate this debacle, but as residents who already pay both taxes and bridge tolls, we are now expected to fund millions of dollars for portable toilets and buses so that people can walk across the new span at no cost before it opens to car traffic.

I fail to see why this ongoing nightmare and potential disaster is worthy of any celebration at all, let alone one that I am asked to pay for. My toll fees should be used only to maintain our bridges and roads, not for a party to celebrate incompetence and carelessness.

Susan Fenn

Pinole

No fear of my furniture

When I heard that I was threatened as much by my own furniture as by terrorism (http://bit.ly/KhypRC), I eyed my sofa with great suspicion.

However, mastering my fears, I resolved to not let my furniture defeat me, and now recline on it at my leisure, without the assistance of Homeland Security or the FBI.

I even sit on my beach chair in public without concern, so I'm not going to let the minuscule chance of public attacks slow me down.

Jim Mellander

El Sobrante

An epidemic of gun killings

Are Americans illogical or just apathetic to one of our worst problems?

There's an escalating epidemic of daily gun killings, yet the public seems to buy into the National Rifle Association's propaganda that the answer is more guns. More guns can lead to only one result -- more killings.

Most of the statements against gun regulation echo those who railed against smoking regulations, saying it would result in denial of rights; they wouldn't obey the rules; and it wouldn't work.

Well, guess what. Today smoking in public places is no longer tolerated, for which all of us are better off. Yet, those addicted to smoking can still indulge in their health-destroying bad habit, and the tobacco companies continue to make huge profits.

Let's get real and face the fact there are just too many, too powerful, and too easily accessed guns available and it's time to enact some laws to make us safer from the increasing killings by those using guns.

John Schank

San Pablo

Focus on prevention

Concerning a recent Times article, "Study: Cost of dementia expected to surge," the billions we have spent for the so-called "cost of dementia" has been primarily for cure or treatment, thus far benefiting our medical and pharmacological associations more than the patients.

One consistently overlooked answer to brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's, is prevention.

These many years of research in the United States have been a failure for families such as mine. To my knowledge, at my age of 86, our family has lost eight persons to AD, three in my generation.

Currently, I have sent my information to our legislators, to the National Alzheimer's Plan, to the Alzheimer's Association and to AARP.

Although they have all asked for personal AD stories, they have unaccountably ignored my message, despite it being published on the Alzheimer's Research Forum, on PreventDisease.com, on Celiac.com and other media.

Computerized statistics can now provide discovery of causes and prevention of dementia.

Pathologies, injuries, genetics, environment will all be comparable issues if we finally establish a national/international registry, to record the earliest possible statistics on the histories of these many millions of dementia patients, and of families like mine.

Gerta Farber

Berkeley

Lobby for the unborn

In order to keep another business from going belly up, it sounds more like President Barack Obama is fighting for the right of Planned Parenthood to exist.

I wish he'd lobby as hard for the right of the premature, yet unborn, to exist.

Is it convenient for a sitting president to involve himself in personal family matters other than his own?

Anna Koepke

El Sobrante