Climate deniers put Earth, humanity at risk

Charles Krauthammer, in "The myth of 'settled science'," (Opinion, Feb. 23), denies being a climate denier and tells us that he believes "it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

He then argues that the tiny number of scientists who doubt the reality of climate change may possibly be correct and that anyone who advocates taking action based on the consensus of the vast majority of scientists are either propagandists or whores.

Meanwhile, glaciers melt, oceans rise, coral reefs die from ocean acidification, storm damages worsen, wildfire seasons lengthen and we continue to spew carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Someday, science may finally "settle" to the point that even Krauthammer is convinced.

By then, it may be too late. We will be like someone who awakens to the smoke alarm and smells the smoke, but decides to wait before calling 911. After all, there could be other reasons for the alarm and the smell and we wouldn't want to waste the taxpayers' money on false alarms.

Lee Ballance

Berkeley

Oakland's rent law should be changed

The absurd clause in Oakland's rent-control law allowing landlords to charge their tenants for capital improvements needs to be eliminated altogether ("Oakland rent law under fire as one couple faces 112 percent rent hike," March 8).

Landlords should not be allowed to pass any of the cost of capital improvements to their tenants through rent increases -- especially because all repairs, other than capital improvements, on rental property are 100 percent deductible from the landlord's taxes.

The government, in effect, is paying for all the landlord's repairs, and now these landlords want their tenants to pay the only expense left: capital improvements? Landlords own the property; they would have to maintain the roof, the exterior of the building, etc., even if the building was vacant.

Rental property is an investment, not a ticket to ride for free. Basic common sense and fair play demands that the capital improvements clause be eliminated from Oakland's rent control laws immediately.

Terri Jaenisch

Oakland

More must be done to prevent cybercrime

As reports of cybercrime are becoming more common, I have begun to question the safety of my personal information in the hands of others. It was when the recent security breach at Target surfaced that I realize how much personal information I have out there and the possible risk of it being compromised by cybercriminals.

Many companies and other institutions have moved all their records online, making those hot targets for cybercriminals. It makes me wonder how vulnerable I am to identity theft, knowing that my information is in the hands of multiple places such as my employer, my school and everywhere I shop.

Cybercrime is more common than people think and our government needs to take more measures to ensure that our private information is protected.

Joachim Custodio

San Lorenzo

Not accepting letter of protest was an insult

As a writer, I stand with Cecile Pineda, author of "Devil's Tango," and her anti-nuclear power readers. Pineda wrote a message to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, representing the members of No Nukes Action at the third anniversary of Fukushima disaster rally.

During this rally, no one came from the Japanese Consulate to accept the letter, though it always has happened before. Pineda says of the Japanese secrecy law, passed Dec. 7, 2013, "The law provides for up to 10 year's imprisonment for anyone who either inquires or reports anything about the status of your three meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi."

At each of the last 19 rallies in front of the Japanese Consulate, a person has come out to accept our message. This time, it didn't happen. We at the rally were furious about the indignity to the Fukushima victims.

Maureen Hartmann

Oakland

New lights in Oakland aren't an improvement

As a property owner who pays for Oakland city lighting, I protest the new, harsh blue lights that have replaced the old, warm bright ones.

They are cold and leave scary shadows. They invite crime. Oakland at night now resembles the dark side of the moon.

Diana Geary

Oakland