Press-Republican

April 24, 2013

Letters to the Editor: April 24, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Statistics criticized

TO THE EDITOR: Raymond Johnson’s recent column “Climate change: A clear and present danger,” is so full of errors I am not sure where to begin.

His reliance on the theory that warming is caused by C02 is not borne out by fact or even his own references. Studies show C02 is a trailing effect of warming not the other way around.

For the last 17 years, global temperatures have remained level, with no increase noted by the IPCC as C02 has risen in the atmosphere. Since there has been an increase in C02 with no increase in global temperatures, the theory has failed.

But the most glaring mistake in this column is his use of the Marcott study on global temperatures for the last 12,000 years. The study was released approximately six weeks ago with great fanfare and media sensationalism that we are all doomed. But it was quickly discredited, and on Easter Sunday, this retraction came out: “20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.”

Mr. Johnson still used this as proof of our impending doom. The facts are not important, obviously, because he also threw in Michael Mann’s discredit hockey stick graph that Al Gore used to deceive the public. It was found that he changed the proxies that did not fit the global-warming religion to produce the warming results he wanted.

The Marcott graph for the last 12,000 years is scary for one reason. It shows temperatures were much warmer 10,000 years ago than today. It also shows a steady decline toward a new Ice Age that will be far worse for mankind than warming.

JIM McCULLEY

Lake Placid

+++++

Testing focus

TO THE EDITOR: Thank you for running articles on the intense focus on testing that is overwhelming our schools.

Here are a few points to consider:

There is no evidence or research to support this intense focus on testing, no research that says that these tests will better prepare students for the future, no research that says that this hyper focus on tests in ELA and math are better for the students than what they were experiencing before.

There are many students who do not test well, and so these paper-and-pencil tests are not an accurate assessment of who they are or what they know.

Students mature and develop at different rates, and to assume that everyone in third grade should be at a particular learning point at the same moment violates everything we know about learning and about child development.

New York state is paying tens of millions of dollars to Pearson, a private, for-profit company for this testing. That is money that could be going to school districts that are currently cutting staff and services because they don’t have the money to maintain current levels of service. Districts are losing money trying to meet the requirements of Race to the Top, a grant that was supposed to bring more money to the schools.

A great majority of teachers and administrators hate these tests but are afraid to say anything for fear of being punished or for having their schools punished. So, the system continues based on staff and administrating pretending that what they are doing is good for education.

These decisions have been made for economic and political reasons; it looks like politicians are doing something about education. They are; they’re ruining it.

This won’t change until we demand a change.

DOUG SELWYN

Plattsburgh

+++++

Health-care choices

TO THE EDITOR: In light of National Health-Care Decision Day, April 16, we wanted to stress the importance of talking about your health-care choices or wishes and putting them in writing, should you become unable to speak for yourself.

A health-care proxy is a New York state legal document in which you name a person who can make health-care choices if you are unable to express those wishes yourself.

A living will is a document in which you describe what those decisions may be (life-support measures, artificial nutrition and hydration at the end of life).

Talking about these decisions in advance, with your loved ones, can help ensure your wishes are respected and put your loved ones at ease knowing they are making the right choices for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.

For more information, visit www.nhdd.org.

JILL KANALY-DEMERS

TAMMY GRON


Palliative Care Services

CVPH Medical Center

+++++

Pollutant exposure

TO THE EDITOR: Cancer Action NY recently brought Congressman William Owens and Dr. David O. Carpenter, Director of the SUNY University at Albany Institute for Health and the Environment, together for a discussion of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) exposure health hazard, as described in the 2010 World Health Organization report “Persistent Organic Pollutants: Impact on Child Health.”

Dr. Carpenter told Congressman Owens that we all have “dangerous levels of these chemicals (POPs) in our bodies.” He stated that the public was very much in the dark about POPs exposure, which results from the presence of POPs in the animal fats of mainstream food supply foods, including meats, fish, dairy products and eggs.

Dr. Carpenter pointed to several strategies for minimizing POPs exposure: education of the general public on the subject of POPs exposure minimization; prohibiting the feeding of waste-animal fats to food animals; and establishing more strict standards for levels of POPs in foods.

Demonstrating strong leadership on this public-health protection issue, Congressman Owens has now written to Dr. Christopher Portier, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, requesting that Dr. Portier review the WHO report and advise him upon what action, if any, was being taken to address the matters raised therein.

Congressman Owens said in his letter, “If no action is being taken, what stands in the way of making the public aware of these concerns?

“I think the issue here is whether the information about POPs is made known to the public so individuals can make informed decisions they make about the food products they select to purchase and consume.”

Honor to Congressman William Owens for taking action to protect his fellow Americans from avoidable POPs exposures.

DONALD HASSIG

Cancer Action NY

+++++

Peru reunion

TO THE EDITOR: Peru Central High School’s Class of 1983 will be celebrating its 30th reunion the weekend of Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13.

Please contact Melody Powers Lemieux for reunion details or to provide contact information for classmates. Feel free to e-mail me at pchsclassof83@gmail.com, friend us on Facebook at perucentralclassofeightythree or call me at (518) 314-6444.

Any information that can be provided in contacting our classmates, as well as RSVPs, is very much appreciated.

MELODY POWERS LEMIEUX

Peru