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Ted Kleine's article about the sheer terror that ought to be inspired by our rapidly changing climate ["Hot and Bothered," March 8] would be welcome if it weren't such a poor specimen. By arguing that the new climate makes Chicago worse for skiers, ducks, or even farmers, Kleine tacitly legitimates the counterclaim that it's better for windsurfers, retirees, or gorillas. The argument against tinkering with our planet's climate must be grounded in the fact that there is no information about the potential long-term effects of changes to such a complex system.

Because they're such incendiary straw men, Kleine's arguments on the basis of short-term practicality are as dangerous as they are absurd. (Differences in wealth between the northern and southern United States are better explained by slavery, the Civil War, and geographic patterns of trade and expansion than by hot weather that has never hampered the hardworking population of India, to pick one example out of a hat that's embarrassingly full of them.)

Matt Segur


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