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No space for refugee children in consulates As a visitor to Boulder I’d have never imagined writing to the local newspaper but can’t let Mr. McCarthy’s letter [“An army of refugee children,” Letters, Aug. 21] go without comment. The basic premise of his letter, that if the children were “true refugees they would have found refuge at the American Consulates in their home country” is so wrong, that I was inclined to laugh.

Mr. McCarthy is clearly clueless about the size of the countries, the locations of the American Consulates, and the very rigorous security at these consulates. While it’s quite possible that a few children might make it to the consulate, it’s pretty certain that almost none would make it through security to apply for refugee status. Even if 50,000 children got there, what would Mr. McCarthy have the consulates do? Keep them on site? Ship them back to the USA (for free?) or tell them “Hey, too bad, go home”?

While the subject of refugee status is a complex one, and the abuse of said status to gain entry to the USA one that deserves protection. The fate of even 100,000 children shouldn’t be beyond the wit and wisdom of one of the biggest and richest countries on the planet. After all, it’s not the millions that have been displaced and are living across the border in the Middle East and Africa, often as a result of U.S. policy.

Mark Cathcart/Austin

Read up on your pro-fracking stance Frack to avoid ”blood for oil”?

I agree with Paul Danish [Re: “No blood for oil,” Danish Plan, Aug. 21] that ending national dependence on foreign fossil fuels is desirable (21 August, pp. 8-11). But, as I put down his article to rush out and find a “fracking oilman” to hug for increasing domestic supply, I stopped and asked myself, “Won’t decreasing demand end our dependence without increasing supply? The answer is yes. Three government policies could decrease demand — one unpopular with the public and two unpopular with vested interests. The Federal Government could ration gas and electric appliances to make the public consume less. It could stop subsidizing fossil fuels and launch massive subsidies for renewables. And it could force energy extracting and using industries to eliminate the massive waste and inefficiencies of businessas-usual practices. The best policy is reducing demand by raising efficiency. If Danish would read Robert Ayres’ Crossing the Energy Divide: Moving from Fossil Fuel Dependence to a Clean-

Energy Future, and Amory Lovins’ Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, he might shift his energies from urging us to love his fracking oilman profiting from new fracking technologies to exposing business waste and political power that are major obstacles to global independence from fossil fuels.

Baldwin Ranson/Longmont

Mountain bikers want wilderness, too While I laud the notion of wilderness set asides for all the reasons mentioned in your article [Re: “Growing wilder,” Boulderganic, Aug. 28], I don’t understand why mountain bikes are lumped in with motor vehicles.

Several trail studies have been done that find very little difference in trail impacts between mountain biking and hiking and more studies are always welcome.

All of the reasons that Bill Ikler states for loving the spiritual side of being in wilderness are the exact reason I love backcountry mountain biking. I think many see mountain bikers as Mountain Dew swilling adrenaline freaks, but those of us who would venture into the long, back country trails are in pursuit of a spiritual high, not an adrenaline high.

I feel that the wilderness movement could gain the backing of the ever growing mountain biking community to protect more land from true motorized use and development if we could come to agreement on this issue. We shouldn’t be opponents, we should be allies in this fight.

Marcus Popetz/Boulder

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