August 15, 2008
Letters to the Editor

Summary: This week, we have a letter responding to global warming skeptics; another saying that, because of its product, a motorcycle dealership can’t be considered green; and a third wondering about our photo gallery: This Week in Pictures.

Re: Letters to the Editor—Re: A Way to Reduce Carbon Reduction

Thanks for the hearty laugh today while reading the letters to the editor that you chose to publish from global warming deniers. Their letters were complete with links to non-scientific sites, righteous indignation, and references to both the Farmer’s Almanac and Time magazine as sources of information about climate change.

Climate skeptics are contrarians who challenge the evidence that human activities such as deforestation and human behaviors that result in more greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are causing changes in our planet's climate that may prove devastating and irreversible.

The core of the consensus view of the scientific community has been stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its "Climate Change 2007" report. The core of the consensus view is that global warming is happening and that human activities are contributing significantly to the climate change, which is affecting such things as the intensity of hurricanes and rising sea levels.

It is not always irrelevant to identify who or how many people make a claim. In this case, noting the consensus view is relevant and necessary. In climate change studies, we are dealing with probabilities. More important, we are dealing with a political situation in which powerful politicians and misguided journalists wrongly proclaim either that we are not justified in making changes as long as there is some doubt about an issue or that because there is a minority opinion, the issue is "controversial."

I will include this link: the BBC News has posted 10 of the arguments most often made against the IPCC consensus, as well as some of the counter-arguments made by scientists who agree with the IPCC: Climate Skepticism: the Top 10.

—Dave Stembel, AIA, LEED-AP
Haverford, Pa.

Re: Vrrrooom—Motorcycle Dealership Goes Green and Gets Gold

Because of the relatively low fuel efficiency of large and powerful motorcycles like the Harley, and the pervasive noise pollution they cause wherever they are ridden (not to mention the elevated risk of injury inherent in operating a motorcycle), I find it inconceivable that a Harley dealership should be eligible for LEED® certification. Yes, I know the USGBC only looks at the building when making a LEED assessment, and not at what is sold or produced in it … but maybe they need to start looking more closely at the overall impact that the business as a whole has on the environment, and not just putting on blinders while looking at the physical shell from which the business will operate.

—Roger Barton, AIA
Oklahoma CIty

Re: This Week in Pictures

I was just admiring “This Week in Pictures” in the latest AIArchitect online newsletter and wondering how our firm might contribute to a future edition. What steps are involved in submitting our work for this section? Also, how do you select which imagery is featured and what is your backlog?

—Peggy McCue, Director of Marketing
CMMI Architecture and Interior Design

Thank you for your interest, and I’m glad you like our photo gallery, which we launched about three months ago. All of the images in the gallery each week relate to articles featured in the same issue. We draw those articles from a number of sources, including submissions from architects themselves.

Anyone with a project in mind can send a press release and images to me []. Submissions can either be written (and bylined) by the architect or sent as story proposals that are developed by our staff. Stories should be about 600-1,000 words, with four or five images (usually jpeg files).

We choose stories on a monthly basis. Everything is gathered over the month, and then the editorial staff sits down, selects the material for the next month, and parcels out assignments. So the lead time for feature stories is approximately a month. If you have further questions, please contact me.
—Stephanie Stubbs
Managing Editor

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