Magazine article Science News


Magazine article Science News


Article excerpt

Gut feelings

In response to the article "Emotional judgments seek respect" (SN: 7/24/99, p. 59), I submit that a "gut feeling" is the reset of the nonconscious process detecting a threat that the conscious process has not detected. Because of the isolation between the two processes, direct communication is not possible. By triggering an emotion, the nonconscious process is, in essence, waving a flag to get the attention of the conscious process. I have, at times, regretted ignoring a gut feeling and I suspect that I am not done.

Francis E. Kent Four Lakes, Wash.

The dirt on [CO.sub.2]

Just a quick comment on your article "Carbon dioxide shakes off its pursuers" (SN: 7/24/99, p. 54). While it certainly seems unlikely that North America would have a monopoly on carbon sinks, the time frame of the original Princeton study, 1988 through 1992, did grab my attention.

At that time, conservation-compliance regulations in the United States and relatively warm and dry weather conditions in the northern corn belt led to sharp decreases in tillage and corresponding increases in surface residue on farm fields. Also, farmers were making significant cuts in nitrogen-fertilizer use, which might have slowed the breakdown and release of carbon from crop re, dues. And acres had not yet begun to be released from the Conservation Reserve Program to be burned off, tilled, and brought back into crop production.

Fred Wirtz Jr. West Bend, Iowa

I am disappointed by the implications of your article. …

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