It's Time for Perestroika at the United Nations
The opinion-page column "The Hydra-Headed UN," May 29, cries out for careful reading and worldwide action. The authors declare that "what the far-flung UN system needs is a powerful nerve center...." What they fail to conclude is how desperately the world needs such a fully developed UN body. People are becoming aware that we are, after all, one world. We are not yet ready to admit that one world needs one government. The UN is the only possible source of such a government. Why hasn't it evolved from that awareness? No country wants to have a superpower looking over its shoulder. Nations, great and small, have interests they do not want interfered with.
But the time is coming when the global approach is the only secure point of view toward many problems. In a few short years we shall shift from 1999 to 2000. What better time than now to begin preparing the restructuring of the UN, an inspired perestroika? It will take at least these few years to reshuffle the laws and regulations of the world's many different governments to create a new pattern for a new century.
Helen Froehlich, Ruletts Landing, N.Y.
Where does all the carbon go?
Regarding the article "Power Company Gets Green Idea: Trees-for-Carbon Swap," May 29: The desire of AES Corporation to offset the carbon dioxide it will produce with its new Hawaiian power plant is admirable. However, purchasing the 146,000 acre Mbarcayu forest may not achieve this goal. Once a forest matures, it may have more trees dying than growing, thereby creating a net increase in carbon dioxide.
The writer is incorrect in stating: "If the trees were cut, this carbon would be released." Carbon release would occur only if the trees were burned or allowed to rot. If wood is used in homes, furniture, or books, most carbon is stored. Match this wise use of natural resources with replanting or natural regeneration and you have a sure winner.
Y. Leon Favreau, Shelburne, N.H.,
President, Multiple Use Association