Global warming

Global warming is the greatest threat to our way of life - not terrorism. Who leads this threat? Not Osama bin Laden, but George W. Bush. He does not believe that this threat exists‚ that global warming is for real. It is here now and getting worse year by year.

Scientists calculate that, in 30 years time, climatic changes will alter the face of the earth, with the seas rising many feet due to the carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere which trap the heat at the earth's surface, thus warming the seas, melting the ice caps, producing droughts and torrential rains, and floods.

The time is already late to reverse this trend. Converting to solar, wind and hydrogen energy sources quickly and curbing the use of fossil fuels drastically would give humanity the possibility of reversing the trend; while failure to do so will make the trend irreversible.

But the U.S., as the world's greatest polluter, isn't listening. Preparation for war and war itself causes the most pollution. Fueling warships and warplanes with oil and gasoline will increase the cumulative carbon output by billions of tons. The resulting increase in global warming could be catastrophic.

Future generations will detest the present generation and our misguided president, as they cope with the world's devastated environment that a short-sighted uncaring generation had brought to ruin.

Minerva Massen

San Mateo CA

Real change for Afghanistan

As American and NATO bombers fly over the parched, war-torn deserts and mountains of Afghanistan, far away in European palaces and secret chambers, nation-building is in progress. Many elements in the federal and European governments actively support the Northern Alliance, others wish to bring back King Mohammad Zahir Shah.

However, do they really think that returning them to power will unite the Afghan people and end war? Do they really think that the Afghan people will support these old leaders? Since the mujahideen entered Kabul in 1992, overthrowing the communist government of Najibullah they have neither ended the war, hunger, and feudalism that has plagued Afghanistan for centuries. Despite having a place to work and learn, women were still treated as second-class citizens, under the complete cover of strict Islamic sharia.

Can you imagine the Northern alliance returning today? Will they end tribal feudalism? Gender discrimination? Hunger? Or will they simply watch from far palaces as the country they lead continues to languish in medieval times? The idea of bringing back a centuries-old royal dynasty might bring stability and western-style reform, but what is reform? Is it when an impoverished farm worker's life 'improves' when he works in a sweatshop instead of a farm?

The promise of better life and better pay will only be a lie as it was in any other government propped up by Western economic interests, as is seen in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Western Africa. Only the people's democratic government, protected by the Soviet Union, was daring enough to end the religious establishment's grip on the nation, the tribal feudalism, and the poor infrastructure. It lasted from 1978 to 1992. Now it is time for progressive forces around the world to help bring real changes that the Afghani people want, rather than the Pre-Taliban anarchy. The time to act is now!

S. Kadinsky,

Forest Hills NY

Prescription for disaster

After the trade center was destroyed, President Bush declared a war against terrorists. Bush's war can only result in a free-for-all of people getting revenge, and then revenge for revenge. It will have everybody against everybody and at worst, it could bring to reality the fiction writer's nightmare of a devastated world populated with marauding gangs and maybe the end of our civilization.

When punishing wrongdoers, one should try to set a good example. In 1933 Franklin Roosevelt became president. Many people of the world were angry at the United States and blamed us for the Depression. At the beginning of his administration, Roosevelt announced that he was introducing a 'good neighbor policy' to help and not injure other countries. He would refrain from doing things that damaged them. President Bush did not make this promise.

In WW2 I was in the Air Force and during that time our country dropped fire bombs on the people of Dresden and atomic bombs on two cities in Japan. We killed far more innocent people than did the terrorists who bombed the trade center. The other side did similar things to innocent people on our side and, as those who bombed the WTC, we hoped to make innocent people suffer enough that they would force their government to change. While punishing the people who bombed the WTC, let us also promise to be good neighbors to other people of the world.

Gordon Monroe

via e-mail