Mail and Commentary June 8, 2011 

Climate Change

The world's industrialized nations have inadvertently set in motion a cascade of climatic events that will affect not only all of humanity but all forms of life on Earth.

The accumulated carbon of millions of years are now being burned and reintroduced into the atmosphere with incredible speed; previous "climate change" events tended to take place over spans of millennia--still rapid in geological time but long enough to allow adaptive evolution a chance (boiseweekly.com, Citydesk, "U.N. Climate Change Conference: Things Are Getting Worse," June 5, 2011).

The climatic transformation of the Anthropocene, by contrast, looks like it's happening in a frame of centuries--the geological equivalent of hitting a wall at 100 mph. The delegates to the U.N. conference have their work cut out. They must develop strategies for coping with unprecedented planetary phenomena, while combating a level of ignorance and denialism in the world's media and political systems that makes effective action essentially impossible.

--Warren Senders,Medford, Mass.

Bets Off

I am writing regarding "And They're Off. Les Bois Opens Simulcast Betting Parlor," June 1, 2011 (boiseweekly.com, Citydesk).

Simulcast wagering on dog racing perpetuates cruelty. Since 2001, the dog-racing culture has changed, and 26 greyhound tracks across the country have closed or ceased live racing. Greyhound racing is no longer in tune with mainstream opinion. The public's awareness of the cruelty inherent in dog racing has contributed to its dramatic, steady decline.

It is inhumane for greyhounds to live in nearly endless, abysmal confinement in small, stacked cages. The cruelty doesn't end when they are let out to race, when they risk injuries such as broken limbs and necks, paralysis and cardiac arrest. As short-term investments, and overbred so there is always another greyhound to use as a replacement, the greyhounds are valued only as long as they generate a profit.

That is no way to treat a dog. Dogs play an important role in our lives and deserve to be protected from industries that do them harm. I have adopted gentle, beloved ex-racing greyhounds since 1997, and I am a board member of GREY2K USA, a national nonprofit organization that works to end the cruelty of dog racing. For more information, please visitgrey2kusa.org.

--Caryn Wood,GREY2K USA

Gilbert, Ariz.

Positive Biking

As a big fan and supporter of the Boise Weekly and other independent/community-oriented organizations, I thought I would drop a line and offer some information to go along with an "interesting" article called "Boise Cyclists Attempt To Form Lobby Organization" (BW, News, June 1, 2011).

Getting the cycling community together is, without a doubt, the key to making some major changes that will someday make Boise one of the cycling capitals of the U.S. of A. (which is good for everyone in Boise regardless of how many wheels you get to work on).

Unfortunately, it can't just come from talking, there has to be some doing involved, so it is exciting to see folks coming together.

I find it interesting to say that "community organizations are lying down on the job." As executive director of BBP, I think it would be nice to lay down off the job, but there isn't even a lot of that these days. I could go in-depth about the 1,200 students that BBP and SR2S taught bicycle safety to in the month of May, or the two straight weeks of Bike-in events from June 10-25 during Pedal 4 the People. I could explain how we collaborated with the Idaho Transportation Department to make and implement a Sharing the Road video into 300 different drivers' ed programs, and how we certified 12 new LCI instructors to teach safe riding practices throughout the state. BBP hasn't put in any bike lanes, but we've recycled about 3,500 bicycles and taught countless numbers of people about safety and repair. We consider that being advocates for cycling.

I won't speak for SWIMBA and TVCA, but at least they are doing something, and getting more people on bikes, which is a good thing. If you would like them to do more, I'm sure they'd accept your assistance, and you just might find they are doing more than you think.

Attacking the existing bicycle organizations is not the ticket to bringing the bike culture together. Supporting what's out there, bringing more groups to the table, and getting your hands a little dirty is what will make the difference.

BBP had a representative at the meeting and her review lacked the negative undertone persistent throughout the article. Rather than stir up controversy, which seems to be a theme of late, let's make an effort to promote cycling and make a positive change. I'm a fan of expose journalism minus the personal agenda.

Keep up the great work cyclists. The summer of the bicycle is here, so get pedaling, get to the amazing events this summer and get your hands dirty.

--Jimmy Hallyburton,Boise

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