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BYH, there are 3 types of people in this world, those who count their blessings and those who are bad with math....

The air you breathe

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

The March 6 edition of The Daily Reflector carried a column by Walter Williams in which most of the space is used to run through various historical cataclysms that failed to blow our planet apart — Krakatoa, the great earthquakes in Chile and Indonesia, and so on. He concludes that the Earth is not fragile and then finishes with an ad hominem attack on “environmentalists.”

I believe the readers need a little more information. The earth has an equatorial diameter of 7,926 miles. From the depths of the Mariana Trench to the top of Mount Everest is a total of 13 miles or 0.16 percent total variance from the diameter. Most life on earth is found in a 2-mile band or 0.03 percent of the diameter. The earth is basically a Q-ball with a microscopic biofilm on its surface. Into this biofilm we are spewing an incomprehensible amount of carbon dioxide. Instead of a punctate event, we are deliberately changing the air we breathe. Very different.

If you take a good mileage car, 30 mpg, and drive it 15,000 miles in a year, that equates to 500 gallons of gasoline. Gasoline weighs close to 9 pounds a gallo, so 4,500 pounds. Gasoline is almost entirely octane, C8H18, and complete oxidation produces 8 molecules of CO2 and triples the weight. So, multiply by 3 and divide by 2,000 pounds and your fuel-efficient car has pumped about 6.5 tons of CO2 into the air that you breathe. Multiply by 150 million vehicles in the U.S., same for Europe, same for China and India, same for the rest of the world, throw in planes, trains, trucks, power plants and the amount is beyond any comprehension.

The earth does have buffering systems. But, every chemist will tell you that any buffering system can be overwhelmed, and that is what we are doing to the microscopic biofilm that we live in. Pity that Mr. Williams continues to fail to understand what is happening.

Brian McMillen

Ayden

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Letters

March 18, 2019

I am writing this letter to thank all the volunteers who made my last Upward Basketball season so much fun!

Special thanks to Mr. Lennie Furlough for organizing the Upward program at Jarvis Church, and to Mr. David Campbell for spending many hours serving as my team's coach.

I also appreciate all…

March 18, 2019

It seems to me that many of the acts of terrorism (read mass shootings) through the world today are by white supremacists. These shootings are then dismissed by many people I know due to ignorance and fear of the victims religion or cultural background. After the most recent act, in New Zealand…

March 17, 2019

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” (Dr. Seuss) This timely quote reminds me of a conversation I had with a cousin of mine recently. He informed me that his daughter at Bertie High School, where I graduated in…

March 16, 2019

When my husband and I go to the theater, we usually get front and center seats. We have also enjoyed living our lives, where ever we have been, in that same location. It’s our choice and the privilege of the young. If you work hard, aim high, and fit right in, you get the good seats.

But…

March 15, 2019

What good is a city if not for its neighborhoods? A city's neighborhoods define its character, its safety, its attractiveness and its beauty. Big buildings, parking garages and businesses can certainly appeal to prospective residents, but only supplement the surrounding neighborhoods.

Some people…

March 11, 2019

Look up the word 'socialism.' According to my Webster's it means: "social system based on shared or government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."

Make no mistake, our government will never produce and distribute our furniture, clothes, electronic…

March 10, 2019

The March 6 edition of The Daily Reflector carried a column by Walter Williams in which most of the space is used to run through various historical cataclysms that failed to blow our planet apart — Krakatoa, the great earthquakes in Chile and Indonesia, and so on. He concludes that the Earth…

March 09, 2019

Growing up in eastern North Carolina, I was raised by two state employees in a household where the values of selfless service, commitment to the state and others, and hard work were on display each and every day.

I saw those same values exhibited by my teammates during my career in hospitals in…

March 07, 2019

The recently proposed rule change by the EPA limiting the waterways protected by the 1972 federal Clean Water Act is dangerous to those of us living in eastern North Carolina. The changes would remove all protections from intermittent streams and wetlands without a constant surface connection to…

March 06, 2019

“The Times They Are a-Changin.” That old lyric is increasingly accurate, especially when it comes to today’s evolving GRAIN technologies — genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.

In the 10 years I’ve worked on this, I’ve seen enormous…

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