To the Editor,
I have followed the letters and responses spawned by Michael Burn's article on global warming ("140 Degrees," Tucson Weekly, February 15) with interest. I was a consultant to the EPA on global warming in the early 1980s and co-authored "Can We Slow a Global Warming?" in 1983. I was tagged an alarmist by several other researchers, having concluded that some warming was inevitable; I believe the challenge to societies worldwide was, then and is now, to slow the rate so as to allow for mitigation and adaptation.
The letter by Head, Trilling, Pierazzo and Lemmon from the UA appropriately points out the inaccuracies in Mr. Burns' article and the flimsy evidence he used to support his call to arms. Moreover, overblown articles of this nature do grave damage to the credibility of those who continue to argue for feasible controls on greenhouse gases. No serious researcher claims that average global temperatures will reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit during the next century under any scenario. (Heck, why not suggest 200 degrees--that should really pull someone's chain!)
Most interesting was your response to their letter. Calling them members of the "ruling priesthood" of the global warming debate, you rip them for not screaming louder since by their admission we will not be able to demonstrate an unambiguous warming trend until after it has occurred. But you ignore the fact that they and many others continue to call for controls now, well before the trend can be demonstrated. By backing the article's extreme position in the face of reasoned rejoinders from informed writers, The Weekly runs the risk of becoming just another bloody rag--good for a few yuks but never to be confused with serious journalism. Judging by the "in-your-face" approach to most of the articles you print, maybe that is your goal. And I guess that's OK. The Skinny is always good for laughs and a few insights, the calendar of events is comprehensive and the copy is free. Maybe we shouldn't expect anything more. Let's just be editorially honest about it, folks.
Environmental Sciences, Inc.
Editor's note: In the interests of editorial honesty, we feel compelled to note that Mr. Burns referred to 140-160 degree temperature spikes in the summer in the desert as a possibility--not as average global temperature.
Old Glory Days
To the Editor,
Kudos for Margaret Regan's article "Snarls and Stripes" (Tucson Weekly, April 4). In a country where greed, corruption, and demoralization have become the norm, it is gratifying to see that there are still a few of us who believe that everyone should know what America truly stands for.
I was hardly surprised to find that the majority of the protests against the Phoenix Art Museum's Old Glory: The American Flag in Contemporary Art are coming from conservatives and politicians. The paradox lies in their bitching about the desecration of the flag. Desecration of the flag began with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, not with these works of art. Slavery, wars, oppression of minorities, oppression of women, violent groups (the KKK and Aryan Front to name a few), political scandals and numerous other blemishes (some still found in society) defile the flag every day. As much as we want to forget about these injustices, these are an irreversible part of our history that must not be shunned.
Perhaps what is most ironic about the protests is that the politicians are trying to prosecute those responsible for the show for defiling the flag. The only reason that they are able to attempt this is because of what the flag stands for: freedom. The same freedom that allows these artists to express their viewpoints through art. I personally find their efforts to prosecute those responsible to be yet another form of desecration. Perhaps it is true--the ultimate form of desecration of the flag is the government itself.
--Shannon L. Ulmer
To the Editor,
Regarding Margaret Regan's "Snarls and Stripes" (Tucson Weekly, April 4): Of the 24 state lawmakers who signed Rep. Scott Bungaard's letter to the Phoenix Prosecutor requesting he look into the Phoenix Art Museum American flag exhibit, 23 also object to teaching patriotic exercises in the public schools.
One year ago they voted to repeal Arizona Revised Statute 15-711 which was as follows:
"15-711. Patriotic exercises; observances of holidays; estimate of expenses. A. The superintendent of public instruction shall prepare for us in the schools programs providing for a salute to the flag and other patriotic exercises, as meet the requirements of different grades..."
It's hard to take seriously Rep. Bungaard and the 24 House members protesting the flag exhibit while eliminating honoring the flag in the public schools.
To the Editor,
I was amused by Margaret Regan's "Snarls and Stripes" (Tucson Weekly, April 4). We should not condemn the so-called artists. They just want attention! It's the so-called experts on art that are to blame. Also the most misused word today is "art." The dictionary states the word as "the best way of doing things." Our modern art does not show us very much that this is the best we can do. Besides, there is no such thing as "Modern Art."
There, I've said it, and I'm glad.
To the Editor,
In my opinion, your review missed the point about the Beatles Anthology 2 (Quick Scans, Tucson Weekly, April 4). In August of 1966 I photographed the Beatles in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland, and Anthology 2 showed what the Beatles were really like before they were "Martinized." They were human, awkward and made many mistakes. Electronics that today would fit into a briefcase then took rooms to hold. The Beatles simply could not sound live as they did on records, plus they simply got tired of being the Beatles and all the expectations that encompassed. Talk to McCartney.
Anthology 1, 2 and 3 are here to show that side of them.
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