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Natural threats

To the Editor:

I was very, very disappointed to read Geology Professor Giegengack's interview replies about the state of the planet's environment ("Inconvenient Truth with a 'political' slant," DP, 2/12/07). His remarks, which concluded that alarm over the environment is a political myth, were unfortunate, to say the least.

I am not an environmental professional, and Professor G. is. But I, and all of the folks I know, are convinced by all that we see, hear and read that the planet is definitely NOT okay; despite the professor's disclaimer, it hasn't been okay for centuries.

Its forests are stripped; its mountains raped; its lakes, rivers and seas polluted (and their temperatures and oxygen levels critically compromised); its air rendered into 'chewable garbage'; its soil contaminated. It is loosing several species a year that are not being replaced by others. For several million years it has been dominated by a species with no natural predators, which has propagated far beyond its ecological niche. This has caused most of the aforementioned environmental damage, and will continue to do so because of its numbers until Earth ends up as a dead cinder spinning through space. That species is .um .us.

Be afraid, be very afraid. The (polluted) sky is really falling. And even if it were not true that the environment is terminal, folks will never make change until they are uncomfortable. So Al Gore, and all of those environmental groups that hug trees and ride bikes: scare me to death . please.

Frances Hoenigswald The author is a library clerk at Biddle Law Library

Disrepectful mascot

To the Editor:

I was dismayed to read "Putting PC Demands Over Tradition" (DP, 2/21/07). Ms. France's argument is that because this imagery is ingrained in Americans from childhood, it is merely "upholding tradition" to perpetuate stereotypical depictions regardless of the depicted peoples' determination that they are demeaning.

As a high-school student, one of two white pupils in a Navajo language class, I was involved in extensive discussions about "Indian" mascots with people affected by this imagery. The class consensus echoed the sentiments of most Native Americans I have talked with: That this imagery is demeaning, racist, and detrimental to the self-respect of Native people and contributes to a social environment where they are seen as stereotypes rather than individuals.

This article was rife with assumptions of privilege. "[A]s could be expected, approximately 130 Illinois students united under a Facebook group titled 'If They Get Rid of the Chief I'm Becoming a Racist.'" As could be expected? Is racism an appropriate response to the actions of uppity Indians, a preventative measure against people who don't know their place? The NCAA needs to "chill out"? No: For all our sakes, passion for equality must never grow cold. I respect the NCAA for respecting inconvenient voices that too many would ignore.

Christopher Bogs CGS '06

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