Stop the rush

Leonard Pitts Jr.'s June 22 column titled "Heed climate signs now 'blinking red'" displays a crucial misunderstanding of the objections to dramatic action to combat climate change.

Pitts paints the objections as a failure of imagination. He acknowledges that most - fully two-thirds - of climate scientists, while agreeing that climate change is occurring, are unsure whether human activity is causing it.

He waves away this objection, stating that "... the price we pay if the 97 percent [of scientists who express an opinion] are right and we do nothing is infinitely greater than the one we pay if they are wrong and we take action."

But Mr. Pitts' statement relies on a major, unstated assumption: that any action we take will bring the intended benefits.

This is the crux of the issue for me, and I suspect for most people who question the urgency of taking action. I don't challenge the hypothesis that the planet is warming, but most scientists lack confidence that we fully understand why it is happening.

How can we devise effective action when we lack consensus on the source of the problem? Indeed, we might find ourselves making things worse.

The impact modeling of currently proposed regulations for power plants, for example, shows an infinitesimally small impact on global temperatures. If these regulations are implemented, we would spend billions of dollars to have essentially no impact on global warming.

I don't understand how spending money for no effect is better than inaction.

If we believe that global warming is more than a cyclical phenomenon, we would be better off putting the money aside to move our cities inland if ocean levels rise significantly. That would seem absurd to most people. But it is much less absurd than rushing to upend our economy to no constructive purpose.

Jack B. Hoey Jr.

Cadberry Court

Mount Pleasant

Powerful service

Our power went out Monday afternoon June 26 at 4:20. I called the SCE&G power outage number.

After an automated verification of our phone number to our account and address, a real person came on the line. She told me I was the second caller and that their crews were on it.

I imagined a cold supper and a hot night. Twelve minutes later the power came on. I know the time from the clocks that I had to reset.

Two minutes after that - again the clocks - the phone rang, and it was an SCE&G automated message saying "If your power is back on, please press 1." Good follow-up service.

We don't know how these things work, we just want them to work. Perhaps someone tripped over the cord to our area.

We were so appreciative for the swift action of SCE&G - and for a hot supper and cool night.

Vivian Filosa

Magnolia Woods Drive

Mount Pleasant

Smart subsidies

Your editorial of June 25 titled "Such an Obamacare deal" takes the Department of Health and Human Services to task for the amount of subsidies required to provide affordable health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act, which is estimated to be $11 billion with the cost rising to $23 billion next year and $95 billion by 2024.

According to the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database (http://farm.ewg.org/), between 1995-2012 the federal government has given $177.6 billion in commodity subsidies, $53.6 billion in crop insurance subsidies, $38.9 billion in conservation subsidies,and $22.5 billion in disaster subsidies for a total of $292.5 billion. In South Carolina alone, farmers were given $1.94 billion in subsidies between 1995-2012.

It is disingenuous at best to rail against subsidies that encourage Americans to purchase health insurance when it is common and accepted practice of governments to subsidize portions of the economy.

Richard Hernandez Fairbury Drive

Goose Creek

'No' to dual track

I was very disappointed after reading the article, "Montessori at Murray-LaSaine Revisited."

I live in the MLES attendance zone, unlike some of the parents quoted as being against the transition (a fact that was not included in the article). My oldest son attended the Montessori program there and thrived academically, emotionally and socially.

We are thrilled that he has been able to receive a superb education in a diverse community at his neighborhood school and have enrolled our three year old in the program for next year.

I have never heard anything from the county or school about MLES being slated for dual track. I have been unable to find anything in the School Board minutes since 2012 (when the board voted to proceed with Montessori at MLES) proposing a dual track. None of the other public Montessori schools in Charleston County have a dual track - all have, or are in the process of making, a full transition.

The county has committed $10 million to renovating the MLES building to bring it up-to-date and enhance the Montessori educational experience for the school's students.

Teachers have committed to the school, transferring from other locations, and parents who have been advocating for a Montessori school in District 3 for over a decade have committed their families to MLES based on information from the county and school that MLES would be fully Montessori by 2020.

School choice does not mean, as it is stated in the article, that one school will have a variety of educational options available, but rather that a student can choose between two or more schools within a reasonable distance of their residence.

I wish your reporter had dug a little deeper and attempted to contact more families at MLES. She would have found many happy parents who support a full transition to Montessori and are committed to making MLES an excellent and inclusive Montessori school.

Kate Riddile

Coker Avenue

Charleston

Winning design

I attended last week's Board of Architectural Review meeting and was thrilled when Clemson's proposed Spaulding Paolozzi Center received its preliminary approval.

It is critical to know that there is enthusiastic support and excitement about this proposed design from many residents and members of the Charleston community.

I am a resident of downtown Charleston, and am raising my family and making my life here.

We are so fortunate to have an institution and design/construction team investing in the thoughtful, refined and innovative research-based approach to a significant building for our city's urban fabric.

Anyone who has visited the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver - a project of similar scale and budget to the SPC, also by Allied Works Architecture - will know it as a breathtaking experience, rich with detail, craft, light and shadow. It truly has a soul.

I am excited for the opportunity to have a similar experience available in Charleston. I hope this sets the stage for a continued elevation of the design dialogue and demand for incredible works of beauty in our built environment.

Jennifer Charzewski AIA

Race Street

Charleston

Water quality

The June 26 article on S.C. beach water focused on the negative, both in the heading and the body of the article.

While the poor quality rating of most beaches is important to note, one shouldn't have to find, buried in the 11th paragraph, that three beaches "had no samples exceed the safety threshold," and one of those, Seabrook Island, is in the immediate Charleston area.

Please try to give a little more balance to your reporting. People do like to hear good news.

Jerry Farber

Cat Tail Pond Road

Seabrook Island