National Geographic : 2004 Jun
Shame on you. How can you justify running that atrocious back cover ad for the Infiniti QX56 SUV in the same issue with "The Case of the Missing Carbon" (other than an insa tiable thirst for the almighty advertising dollar)? It is ironic and prophetic that the article warns that "like a finger on a balance, our steady contribu tions are throwing the natural [carbon] cycle out of whack" while the ad's tagline reads, "Accelerating the future." This is like running a cigarette ad in a WRITE TO FORUM National Geographic Magazine, PO Box 98199, Washington, DC 20090-8199, or by fax to 202-828-5460, or via the Internet to ngsforum@nationalgeo graphic.com. Include name, address, and daytime telephone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. health publication. But we're not talking about the dangers of sec ondhand smoke to nonsmokers; we're talking about a very real threat to every living organism on our ailing planet. PATRICK TIMOTHY MULLIKIN Montpelier, Vermont The words on the pictures on pages 110 and 111 imply that the stacks of the Georgia power plant are belching carbon-laden smoke, when in fact they are cooling towers emitting harmless water vapor. JEROLD NOSS Toledo, Ohio The land-clearingfire in the photo on page 111 is producing visible smoke, but, as several observant readersnoted, the four coolingtowers in the photograph of PlantBowen, a coal-burning facility near Cartersville,Georgia, are producingwater vapor.The tallertower in thatphoto (its top obscured by vapor) releases CO2 as a by-product of coal burning.Facilitieslike Plant Bowen accountfor 80 percent of the annualhuman contribution to CO, emissions. Han Dynasty My surname is Liu, so I was glad to read about the Han dynasty, which was started by the Liu family. The story of Wang Mang, who usurped the dynasty for 14 years, was most interesting. This was the reason for a long tradition in China that Liu men did not marry women from Wang families-the women would bring disaster. My mother was from a Wang family, and some people predicted disaster when my parents got married. Passport to a wireless world. I tLI-INULUYT intel. centrino LE in sd irls ord :"