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A flood of comments on the Maldives

January 17, 2010

Hackles raised over the Maldives

The story the Travel section ran on the Maldives "drowning" due to rising sea levels is absurdly overblown ["Getting Their Green On," by Amanda Jones, Jan. 10]. Its leader is being taken in by some two-bit horror movie and Al Gore's unscientific blathering about sea levels rising 20 feet or more, since refuted by nearly all real scientists.

The fact is that in the past, sea levels did rise by a large number of feet, but that was because the world was covered by ice such that it was 1 1/2 miles thick at what is now Chicago.

It is mostly gone, and the most widely believed possible rise of sea level by real scientists involves mere inches over 100 years; a median number might be 4 to 5 inches, the highest maybe 8 inches, and remember, that was over 100 years -- plenty of time for humans to adapt gradually if it occurs.

There is an old saying, "Follow the money," if you want to know what's really going on. These developing countries are trying to extort hundreds of billions of dollars out of U.S. taxpayers with these claims.

-- Tom Claridge, Monte Sereno, Calif.

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I usually like the Travel section, but, whoa, the lead article on the Maldives read like a political piece. Would you please explain to Jones that the Maldives has more to fear from pollution from wastewater from the 800 million people of India than its "carbon footprint"?

At those hotel prices and location, the Maldives is not likely to attract overwhelming numbers of tourists.

I suggest that she simply report her travel adventures and let us worry about "our inner turmoil."

-- Geoff Bloomingdale, Goleta

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Is there any justification for room rates in the range of $1,000 a night in a country where the average hourly wage is about $1, and where the food is plucked from the sea by these same poorly paid workers? Where do the huge profits go? Jones didn't even think it worth mentioning how vastly overpriced the Maldives are.

-- Harvey S. Frey, Santa Monica

A big thanks from a Santa Cruz local

Thank you for the article and video about Santa Cruz ["Ease into Santa Cruz" by Christopher Reynolds, Jan. 10]. It is nice to see your hometown through an outsider's eyes. He made our week.

-- Ryan Coonerty, Vice mayor, Santa Cruz

St. Paul's chapel honors fallen GIs

As a City of London guide now living in California, I read Jay Jones' article on St. Paul's Cathedral with interest ["At 300, It's Like New," Jan. 10]. One of the main attractions of St. Paul's for American visitors is, of course, the American Memorial Chapel that commemorates those Americans based in Britain who gave their lives in World War II. It was designed in the Wren style and paid for by donations from the British. There are 28,000 names on the honor roll on the front altar, and each Thanksgiving Day a service is held there for the American community in London.

-- Kate Boyle, Valencia

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