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Ball Bearings

To the Editor,

Regarding "Huddle Up" (May 18): Tom Danehy is letting his provincial prejudices show. He tries to put down the game he calls "soccer" while attempting to glorify the game he calls "football." Actually, the game he calls "football" is a North American oddity played with a pointy object that is not even a ball.

As a British friend of mine once explained to me, North American football is a series of boring outdoor committee meetings punctuated by occasional moments of violence. Everywhere else in the world, football (sometimes called soccer) is a civilized game played with a round ball.

--David L. Hetrick


Hot Topic

To the Editor,

I was interested in Michael Lindemann's article on global warming ("The Heat is On," May 18). For years the coal and oil industries have supported "the research" of a handful of scientists who have managed to muddy the water considerably. Something like eight of these "naysayers" have gotten enough publicity to divert the attention of the public from the thousands of scientists who have been sounding the alarm. Precious years were lost as the public did nothing, the greenhouse effect got worse, and the extractive industries made money.

By now the word is really out about global warming. Lindemann's article was great in looking at the direct weather effects. Of interest also are the effects on the animals. Disease-bearing mosquitoes are able to survive much further north than previously, bringing tropical diseases to places previously unaffected. Animals and plants are changing their habitat if possible, and going extinct otherwise. This was noticeable already 10 years ago.

Unfortunately, now that we do realize there is a problem, it is of such magnitude that people are fatalistic about it. Lindemann's article is no exception. It is absolutely true that life will get a lot worse before it gets better, but it may never get better if people don't begin to act, and soon. Precious time has already been lost. What can we do? Cutting down on greenhouse gases would be a good start.

No one wants to give up using their car or using power in their homes, although these are the huge carbon dioxide producers. Every gallon of gas used produces about 28 pounds of carbon dioxide. The good news is that we could cut carbon dioxide production and save money if we could get our senators and representatives to quit tying the hands of the Department of Transportation and let them study fuel economy.

Massive improvements in fuel economy were made in the 1970s in response to the OPEC crisis at the time. Nothing new has happened now for almost two decades. Due to the popularity of SUV's, which count as trucks with lower standards, overall U.S. fuel economy is at the lowest point in 20 years. Do we really believe that Detroit couldn't do better? Perhaps they are the ones encouraging our representatives to block improvements.

(Meanwhile, Japan is producing cars that go 65 and 70 miles to the gallon, available here in the U.S. They are even pretty spiffy looking. There may be more than one way to get the message to U.S. car producers.)

People believe that electric energy is clean energy. Kind of. It looks pretty clean by the time it gets to our homes. However, the U.S. is decades behind in producing electricity efficiently. What's worse is that the rest of the world wants to increase its own power usage. Clean energy technology needs to be available both for ourselves and the Third World.

The potential extreme effects of global warming are not inevitable. Although the climate and weather patterns will clearly get worse before they get better, we need to take the obvious steps that will help things slow down and eventually get better sooner.

--Elna L. Otter


In The Hot Seat

To the Editor,

I hereby accuse Dan Huff of plagiarizing himself.

Substantial portions of his screed proposing that Tucsonans wear desert costumes ("A Modest Fashion Proposal," May 18) were recycled from a column about heat that he wrote for the Scottsdale (High School) Beaver in 1974. Don't laugh, that was the actual name and mascot of the newspaper.

I find Huff's heat complaints repetitive and unwarranted. If he had grown up on the really hot part of North 60th Street in Phoenix, like I did, then he would have something real to complain about.

And I find it hypocritical for Huff, a son of the Valley of the Sun, to bitch about Phoenix in any form.

Instead of recycling stale hot weather jokes in the Tucson Weekly, Huff should print something usable, like recipes for jalapeño jelly to sell to tourists. If he cannot stand the heat, he should get out of Hell's Pueblo.

--Hans Laetz

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