National Geographic : 2004 Jun
Forum February 2004 "The Case of the Missing Carbon" drew the largest response this month. Like most of our stories on the environ ment, the article provoked letters from readers with widely divergent points of view. Some were outraged at what they concluded were wasteful human activities that contribute to global warming; others were skeptical that human-induced global warming even exists. Case of the Missing Carbon Global warming is a reality, not a theory. People who continue to stick their heads in the sand and pretend it isn't a problem are a big part of the problem. The issue needs to be addressed at the highest levels immediately, but governments and corpora tions that are making the most of the status quo aren't willing to change. I pity our children and grandchildren: The world they inherit may be broken beyond repair. ROBERT SCHUTZNER Kent, Washington FROM OUR ONLINE FORUM nationalgeographic.com/magazine/0402 The world is getting warmer. We flatter ourselves to imagine we can be the cause or the cure. I think we are in the early stages of learning about this Earth of ours. I have a lot of questions FOR MORE INFORMATION To get NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC please call 1-800-NGS-LINE (1-800-647-5463). Hearing-impaired TDD users may call 1-800-548-9797. The magazine's website: nationalgeo graphic.com/magazine For an online index of all National Geographic publications, go to: nationalgeographic.com/publications that need answers before I am willing to change my lifestyle or handicap my country for a theory. C. J . CONDON Maquoketa, Iowa The view that "If nature with draws its helping hand ... we could be facing drastic [climate] changes even before 2050, a disaster too swift to avoid" is unnecessarily pessimistic. Of course, if we don't take action until too late, then disaster would be unavoidable. But not if we start now. We need to reduce our emission of carbon. The belief that such action is incon ceivable has to be eradicated. The sooner people overcome this notion, the sooner policy can start to deal with the problem. CALLUM JOHNSTON London, England Your recent issue with the article on the carbon cycle and global warming arrived in Janu ary. Considering this January has been one of the coldest on record in New England, you'd have a hard time convincing anyone here that there's a warming problem! BOB CLERE Bolton, Connecticut NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * JUNE 2004 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "Forthe increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C ., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 7,500 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., PresidentandCEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. ADAMSON LINDA BERKELEY, President,Enterprises TERRY D. GARCIA, Mission Programs JOHN Q. GRIFFIN, President,Magazine Group NINA D. HOFFMAN, President,Books and School PublishingGroup CHRISTOPHER A. LIEDEL, CFO BOARD OF TRUSTEES GILBERT M. GROSVENOR, Chairman REG MURPHY, Vice Chairman JOAN ABRAHAMSON, WILLIAM L. ALLEN, MICHAEL R. BONSIGNORE, MARTHA E. CHURCH, MICHAEL COLLINS, ROGER A. ENRICO, JOHN M. FAHEY,JR., DANIEL S. GOLDIN, JOHN JAYISELIN, JAMES C. KAUTZ, J. WILLARD MARRIOTT, JR., FLORETTA DUKES McKENZIE, GEORGE MUFOZ, PATRICK E NOONAN, NATHANIEL P.REED, WILLIAM K. REILLY, ROZANNE L. RIDGWAY, JAMES R. SASSER, B. FRANCIS SAUL II, GERD SCHULTE-HILLEN TRUSTEES EMERITUS Joe L Allbritton,Thomas E. Bolger,FrankBorman, LewisM. Bransconb, Robert L Breeden, LloydH. Elliott,George M. Elsey,WilliamGraves, Mrs.LyndonB. Johnson, Laurance S. Rockefeller,Robert C.Seamans, Jr.,Frederick G.Vosburgh COUNCIL OF ADVISORS RogerA.Enrico,Chairmn; MichaelR.Bonsignore, HowardG. Buffett, CraigD. Campbell, Juliet C.Folger,Robert B. Haas, Robert A. Hefner III,Samuel C. Johnson, Bruce L Ludwig, SallyEngelhardPingree, W.Russell Ramsey, Catherine B. Reynolds,EdwardP. Roski, Jr.,AliceRogoffRubensteln, B. Francis Saul II,Garry A.Weber RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H.Raven, Chairman;John M. Francis, ViceChairman; WilliamL. Allen,Martha E. Church, Steven M. Colman, Scott V. Edwards, WilliamL Graf,NancyKnowlton,Dan M. Martin,Scott E. Miller,Jan NIJman,Stuart L Pimm,Elsa M. Redmond, Bruce D. Smith, Hans-Dieter Sues, Patricia C. Wright,MellndaA.Zeder EXPLORERS-IN-RESIDENCE Robert Ballard,Wade Davis,SylviaEarle,ZahlHawass, Louise Leakey,MeaveLeakey,Johan Reinhard, Paul Sereno Conservat Fllw: J. MichaelFay CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS-IN RESIDENCE Sam Abell,AnnieGrffiths Belt, DavidDoubllet, Karen Kasmausk, EmoryKrsto, Frans Lanting MISSION PRORAMS Vice President: Barbara A. Chow,Education Foundation; John M. Francis, Research, Conservation, and Exploration; Jacqueline M.Holllster,Development; Sarah Laskin,Public Programs. Exhits: Susan S. Norton.ExpedeomnCouncH: Rebecca Martin.Geography Bee: MaryLee Elden.Lecture: P.Andrewvan Duym,GregoryA.McGruder School Publishing Ericka Markman, Sr. VicePresident. Intematlonl: Robert W.Hemandez, Sr. Vice President. Ha an Re rces: Thomas A.Sabla, Sr. Vce President Communlatons: BettyHudson, Sr.Vice President. Treasurer: H. GregoryPlatts, Sr. VicePresident NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES DENNIS R. PATRICK, Presidentand CEO Television: Timothy T. Kelly,President. National Geographio Channel: DavidHaslingden, President, International;Laureen Ong, President,U.S. nalonlgeographic.com: Chris McAndrews,Senior Vice Presidentand General Manager Contributions to the NationalGeographicSocietyaretax deductibleunderSection501(o)(3) of the U.S.tax code. Copyright O 2004 NationalGeographicSocety. Allrights reserved. NationalGeographicand Yellow Border:RegisteredTrademarks0 Marcas Reglstradas. NationalGeographicassumes no responsibilityfor unsolicitedmaterials. PrintedIn U.S.A.