Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

. . . .

2010

Robert Downes - March 3rd, 2008
Have you heard about the Mayan Prophecy? New Age types have been talking about it for months on the Internet and radio talk shows such as “Coast-to-Coast,” which explores paranormal topics.
Apparently, before their civilization collapsed in Central America 1,000 years ago, the Mayans predicted that the world would end in the year 2012.
This is the date which coincides with the “end” of the Mayan calendar -- and the end of the world as we know it.
So queue up that old R.E.M. song, because you’ve got four years left to party like it’s 1999. Then -- kaboom... if you believe in what a Mayan prophet had to say 1,300 years ago, that is.
Some New Agers speculate that the Mayans were wise to the magnetic field shift of the Earth in which the positive and negative poles of our planet “flip” on the average of every 200,000 years
The Earth, you see, is believed to have a core of solid iron, located some 4,000 miles beneath your feet. According to National Geographic, this core is surrounded by molten iron and nickel which whips around, generating a magnetic field that protects our planet from charged particles shooting from the sun.
In other words, you’re living on a giant magnet and its polarity could flip at any moment, possibly scrambling your brain or something, such as it is...
Geological evidence shows that the last time the Earth’s magnetic field flipped was 780,000 years ago. So, we’re long overdue.
Other possible end-of-the-world culprits include global warming, solar flares, a supervolcano under Yellowstone Park, and Jesus returning in a really bad mood.
Unfortunately, there are reasons to believe that those long-gone Mayans could be right. In the New York Times last year, Al Gore noted that we’re currently pumping 70 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every day by burning coal and oil.
He also pointed out that Venus and the Earth contain about the same amount of CO2; the difference is that the CO2 on Venus is in the atmosphere and our CO2 is mostly in the ground. So why are we feverishly trying to turn our planet into Venus?
Did you know the average temperature on Venus is 867 degrees?
But the thing is, people have been predicting the end of the world for eons, and we’re still here. If there‘s anything you can predict about prophets, it‘s that they tend to be dead wrong.
Writer Benjamin Anastas noted in the New York Times Magazine that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have predicted the end of the world for 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994. The Russians believed that Napolean was the Antichrist and that the world would end in the early 1800s. The Shakers said the world would end in 1792; and there was a so-called “Great Disappointment” among Baptists when the world failed to end on Oct. 22, 1844.
As has been noted elsewhere, the world is always ending for someone. For the Mayans, it ended around 900 A.D. when their civilization fell apart due to depleted soil and the social consequences of their bloodthirsty religion. The world ended for the Confederate South in 1865. It ended for the Jews of Europe in the early 1940s and for Native Americans in the period between 1492 and the 1870s.
But when the world ends, the survivors pick themselves up and move on.
So, stock up on pizza and beer. Lay in a supply of funny DVDs and run your credit cards up to the max. Give up dieting and exercise -- you won’t need ‘em where you’re going. The world is ending in 2012 -- the Mayans said so, so it must be true.

CORRECTION
Apologies to sculptor Edward Chesney, who is the creator of the Fireman‘s Monument in Roscommon, and not Marshall Fredericks as stated in this column last week. Chesney sculpted the 12-foot bronze for its installation in 1980, just off I-75 in Roscommon.
 
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