I appreciate Mr. Roso's valid points when he takes on Pasquale Pistorio [of STMicroelectronics] in his letter published in the May 9 Crosstalk (page 34). However, I must disagree with his statement that there is a dearth of evidence for global warming. Can't we give this contention a rest? The evidence that the Earth is warming is substantial and well-documented. It is even correlating with the predictions of many climate-modeling efforts. Those modeling efforts are based on the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which has increased more than 30 percent since the beginning of the industrial age. The United States has produced more carbon dioxide than any other nation and will continue to do so for many years to come. Is this because we are one of those nations with a "pathetic postcolonial regime"? Mr. Pistorio may believe that global warming is a bigger threat than terrorism because our own military has published the same worry.
One of the greatest failures of our current society is the disconnect between the public and political perception of reality and the real science.
Mr. Roso's statement about "mankind's ability to invent and improve his lot" is correct. His fellow Texans already raised Galveston more than 100 years ago. We may need their help to raise the rest of our coastal cities in the coming decades.
Don Hoefer, Design Engineer
Assurance Technology Corp.
Thanks for recognizing women's contribution to engineering
I want to thank Junko Yoshida and EE Times for the article "Designing Women" (May 9, page 1). Women have an incredibly valuable impact on the changing face of engineering and the increasingly diverse nature of the engineering workplace. The United States in particular needs every creative mind available to continue to be competitive. It is critical for the technical community to recognize that impact and embrace women's roles in the workplace. Articles like this one are a fantastic tribute to that growing appreciation, as well as a very encouraging note for women in or considering entering, technical fields of work.
Digital Design, Verification
Astronautics Corp. of America
Advice for aid in Third World countries should be realistic
Both Eric Brewer and Paul Mack (see May 2, page 32) are a bit out of touch when it comes to helping people in Third World countries. Certainly some sort of realistic information-dispensing device could be useful in rural areas of such nations. This isn't exactly an area that is nonexistent even today, with solar or even pedal-generator-powered satellite TV, phone and Internet connections available. That this technology is not cheap does not mean it could not be provided by governments-theirs or ours-if not by local people. With a source of usable information on better methods of farming, health care, etc., and access to specialized teachers and doctors for remote diagnosis, many of the problems that Mr. Mack lists might be more readily solved.
As for a village buying a tractor, it's done all the time, but most of the tractors are smaller 20- to 50-hp units built in places like Poland, India, China, etc., which can be bought in the United States for prices ranging from $7,000 to $25,000. A $175,000 John Deere is a huge machine, better-suited for 1,000-acre farms in the U.S. Midwest or the Ukraine than than for small plots in most Third World nations.
Brookline Controls Corp.