Agree or disagree, global warming is real
In the 1960s and '70s, I knew a woman who firmly believed that no man ever set foot on the moon. She felt certain that the U.S. space program was a hoax designed to improve American morale after Sputnik and during the long Vietnam War. I haven't seen her in many years and don't know if she has changed her mind, but her opinion did not matter then and certainly does not matter now.
Now, like the moon-landing conspiracy theorists before them, we have repeated letters in The State proclaiming that global warming is either a huge mistake of virtually all of the world's scientists or that the scientists are involved in a vast conspiracy to use global warming to destroy the United States. One state senator declared global warming "less credible than the Easter Bunny."
Only a tiny minority of scientists denies global warming. Not one single country on the planet denies global warming. The debate has long since moved on to numerous proposals for either reducing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to slowly reverse the problem or finding ways in which we can more directly cool the planet to offset the problem.
Those who deny global warming have the right to do so (and I will defend that right), but their opinions will not matter to any group of the scientifically-educated or of the important policy-makers. To those who fear their protests are but a cry in the wilderness - at least you got that right.
Lipscomb brought State Museum to life
I was sorry to pick up my morning paper and read of the death of my friend Guy Lipscomb Jr. Guy hired me in 1976 to return to Columbia as director of the State Museum, and we worked together for nine years toward the creation of that institution. He was chairman of the State Museum Commission from its inception, and it was his tenacious determination and dedication to the task that made the museum a reality. Others served well and faithfully as commission members through the years, but it was Guy Lipscomb who kept the project moving and saw it through successful completion.
We, the people of South Carolina, owe this man a debt of gratitude for putting so much of his time, talent, effort and personal treasure into the establishment of the State Museum.
DAVID C. SENNEMA
Gentle giant touched hearts and lives
Guy Lipscomb was an amazing individual. He was a gifted artist, business giant, compassionate philanthropist and a caring friend.
He shared his time, talents and resources with others. He always had time to talk to Junior Achievement students, and most importantly, he listened to them. He understood what mattered in life.
He was the epitome of a role model. He touched our lives and our hearts. The beauty he created on his canvasses came from the beauty he saw around him and in others. Humble and gentle, he had a remarkable talent for expressing his love.
Democrats lead way out of gridlock
Remember the hue and cry when Congress was locked in ideology gridlock? Nothing could get done about pressing issues. Congress was stuck in the quagmire of "my way or no way." President Obama ran on a platform of change, and things are changing. It is quite clear that the Democrats have abandoned ideology purity so that political reality - in the form of compromises - can advance the solution to major societal ills.
To get the health reform bill to pass, the public option and the early Medicare buy-in were cast aside in the Senate. To some those were tough losses, but any advance is better than none. So the liberals have learned to give and take within their own ranks to reach goals. The conservatives have yet to learn that technique (and, indeed, they deride it) but insist on a unyielding commitment to their own minority view and thereby have found themselves in a state of irrelevancy.
The Democrats, by political dealing with their own, are progressing and passing legislation because the public was tired of gridlock engendered by the inability of the Republicans to compromise.
LESTER C. WELCH
Decade won't be over for another year
All three columns on New Year's Day talked about the end of the past decade and the beginning of the new decade.
On Jan. 1, 2000, Bill Clinton ushered in the "new millennium." The State had numerous articles last week talking about the "new decade." The problem is that the new millennium, century and decade did not start until the completion of the year 2000, and therefore, the old decade will end on Dec. 31, 2010. This is an indisputable fact. Paul Krugman, a liberal college professor and columnist, wrote: "Yes, I know that strictly speaking, the millennium didn't begin until 2001. Do we really care?"
This is a concept a fifth-grader understands, but the media and many Americans apparently don't. What a disturbing acceptance of untruths we have developed. It's as if we have decided that two plus two equals five, even though "strictly speaking," it equals four.