Your turn

cover of winter 08-09 Review

notes & errata: Review neglected to credit in the winter 2008-09 issue (pictured). We used the online application to create the word collage that formed the basis of that issue's cover design. We regret the omission.

Dwindling oil

I hope you were serious when you asked what we think the new president should do ("Mr. President .," fall 2008).

I was pleased with the thoughtful advice the faculty members offered our new president, but I was dismayed that none of them mentioned the main crisis facing the new administration: What to do about waning global petroleum resources. Why is no one talking about this?

Here would be my advice to the new president: Come clean with all Americans. Admit that we are in a period of declining oil resources, and technology in and of itself will not save us. Admit that our standard of living cannot be sustained, and admit that global population growth is out of control. Then start looking for alternative energy sources and the technology that will give us access to them, not to expand or even maintain our living standard but to bridge the transition period to a lower, sustainable standard.

James Pesout, father of Trevor, '10, and Sarah Pesout, '12

Reflections on Kapany

I enjoyed reading the story "Celebrating innovation, ideas, and ideals" (winter 2008-09).

I completed a course taught by Narinder Kapany during the winter quarter of 1980 at UC Santa Cruz. This economics course provided insight into the innovation and entrepreneurial processes for students contemplating careers in the business or technical sector. We also learned about "total internal reflection," the scientific concept that made Kapany famous for his research that demonstrated light could be passed through bent optical fibers without any loss of transmission.

Paris Everett Merriam, College Eight, '81

You say you want a revolution

Millions and millions of dollars...from wealthy donors to UCSC.

Why doesn't UCSC funnel some of those millions you receive and build an Earth center on the campus? So we can save (what's left of) our planet!

It's time for a global green revolution.

Steve Jones, College Eight, '84

photo of barn at the base of campus

Save the barn

Is there a plan to demolish the barn at the entrance to the campus? That is what seems implied in the story of Sam the goat in the winter 2008-09 issue ("Your Turn").

I think that historic buildings like the remains of the Cowell Ranch give a three-dimensional picture of history. By preserving them we understand better where we are and where we are going.

Tom Fagan, Porter, '78

ed. note: The letter writer simply meant that time and the elements are taking their toll on the barn, not that there's any plan to tear it down. However, a new group on campus, Friends of the Cowell Lime Works Historic District (, is working to restore the buildings in the historic lime-producing area near the base of campus.

We welcome your letters and reserve the right to select and edit for space.