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Let the Suburbanites Cry

Re: "Drivin' N' Cryin" cover story, June 7: I'll be 60 years old in 2030 when Charlotte's traffic congestion reduction plan is completed. That's going to be a while, almost as long as it's taking to finish I-485. Every time I get on that interstate I feel like I'm going to drive off the edge of the planet because it's so disconnected. Atlanta is ahead of the curve than us again, but that has ceased to amaze me unless the topic is tobacco farming or NASCAR. Face it, once and for all. Atlanta is a major city and Charlotte is not. We are what we are. This is the same machismo complex that has Wachovia and Bank of America building ever larger phallic symbols downtown.

As for the commuters in the havens of their personally constructed utopias in the burbs of lesser taxes, screw them. You can't have it both ways. Either you live in the city, pay higher taxes, live amongst non-whites and tolerate higher crime or you sit in traffic for hours. Being cheap and racist has a price tag but it ain't money or your conscience. It's time but I guess time is money, right?

--George Thompson, Charlotte

Once again, Tara Servatius has written a great piece. My comment is one of complete futility. I grew up in Charlotte. I rather disdain it now. In fact, I have come to disdain this state as well. The state and city has spent the better part of 30 years recruiting industry from the north. In the past 20 years, they have succeeded immeasurably. However, the state and the city operate in complete naivety and ignorance. It angers me to absolute end the debacles that I see daily. Take 485 from Carolina Place to Hwy. 74 for example. It was obsolete the day it was planned.

This state and city are gloating in their recruitment success. All the while, the quality of life (for most) spirals downward. Alas, it will never change. The banking and development interests in the state and city rule. They profit as the taxpayers get the grief and costs. And as you said, it is going to get much worse, the human flood gates have been fully opened. I guess the Charlotte chic term "New South" truly means how quickly can we develop it and ruin it.

--Tim Seale, Charlotte

Memo to Tara: The Earth is Round

Tara Servatius is the best print reporter covering the Charlotte-Mecklenburg beat today. But her column in this week's CL ("Burn, Baby, Burn," June 7) shows the lack of effort Servatius often gives when she's tackling broader issues.

Servatius' contrarian musings about global warming suffer from lazy thought construction and sloppy writing. Her article is full of the snarky, condescending half-truths reminiscent of an Ann Coulter column. I was very disappointed in the poor quality of Servatius' writing and research. Allow me to enlighten her on one basic misconception she discussed.

The fact that fossil evidence from the Arctic region points to a tropical climate 50 million years ago may have little or nothing to do with global climate change. The geological theory called "continental drift" (which has been accepted by scientists for at least four decades) describes how land masses shift their position over the earth's crust over extremely long periods of time.

What is now considered the Arctic region was located much closer to the planet's equator ages ago. This means this region was then much warmer, due to its relative position on the earth's surface compared to where it is now. Over millions of years, this part of the world was pushed northward, where its fossil record now rests under rapidly melting ice caps -- ice caps whose melting is being accelerated by the industrialized actions of mankind.

Continental drift is a concept easily accessible for study in a 9th grade science textbook. Too bad Tara Servatius couldn't take time away from her environment-bashing to research the basic facts about the subject on what she was attempting to write. I expected better from a reporter whose writing on local matters has been so keenly insightful.

-- Michael A. Clark, Charlotte

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