UN must condemn Iran’s nuclear efforts 

How much longer must the world wait for the United Nations to take serious action against Iran’s nuclear weapons program?

Of course the leaders of that rogue nation tell us that their nuclear endeavors are strictly for energy production, but all of us, including the U.N. Security Council, are sure that weapons of mass destruction are their goal.

It’s no surprise that the Security Council is dragging its feet, because after all, so many of those members are in bed with Iran anyway.

Economic sanctions will not work. The hard-line leaders of that country will allow their people to suffer, literally to death, in order to achieve the deadly prize of nuclear armament, and certainly, they will receive plenty of aid from the multitudes of extremists in the region as well.

Unfortunately, the only diplomacy the Iranian government understands is “gunboat” diplomacy!

If Israel is forced to go it alone with a pre-emptive strike, it risks worldwide condemnation. If Iran is allowed to actually complete its mission, the results will most assuredly be of global apocalyptic proportion.

Barry Bradley, San Francisco

Climate change is natural

An October 2011 article in National Geographic documented how natural forces have caused rapid global warming as recently as the Paleocene/Eocene eras — before humans were involved.

As a geologist, I am glad to see the evidence mounting in the public sphere that global warming is more complex than politicians would have us believe.

While burning fossil fuels might contribute to climate warming, earth processes outside of our control are far more significant than human activity, and no change in our energy policy could ever override the powerful natural forces at play.

To suggest the Keystone Pipeline will have an impact on global climate change is misleading. The current discussion in the legislative chambers about the proposed route is intended to delay it indefinitely, as part of a political agenda.

Judy West, San Francisco

Extraordinary discoveries

Last week, scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center announced that the Kepler space telescope helped us discover 2,326 extra-solar planets. Roughly one-third of those planets are “super-Earths” that are bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune.

A key point is that these “super-Earths” are in turn upsetting science’s conventional models of planetary formation.

The recognition by the scientific method that new evidence requires existing theories to be updated, if not discarded, offers us all a marvelous teaching moment.

This is especially pertinent given that an ever-growing number of formerly Third World nations are catching up to, if not surpassing, America in the so-called STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Riley B. VanDyke, San Francisco

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