The author of the article about when to turn on the heat ("Giving in to the furnace season," Oct. 13) seemed to think it necessary to report the all-too-common passive-aggressive behavior of a man who sneaked down and turned off the furnace so his wife could not run it. If it was intended to be humorous, it is not. This is abusive behavior, and at a minimum, not loving. How many women would just like their husbands to be considerate and say, "Gee, honey, I am so sorry you are cold and colder than I am. How can I make it more comfortable in here for you?"
NANCY HONE, St. Paul
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The Oct. 13 article considered why we flip the switch, our decisions based on comfort and sometimes sentiment. However, it failed to discuss a key motivation we should consider with every twist of the thermostat dial: Our fossil-fuel consumption and climate change. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is an example of the ever-more-serious risks associated with fossil fuels. It would carry oil, extracted from stone using hot water, which also creates lakes of toxic residue that kill birds and wildlife. The boreal forest, a significant carbon sink, is decimated, and the extraction process generates 17 times more greenhouse gases than traditional petroleum. (This is not to say traditional petroleum is a much prettier sight.) Tar sands oil is toxic (heavy metals) and corrosive (will degrade the line and spill).
Stopping the Keystone XL is a twist of the dial, showing the world that we in the United States are serious about protecting the planet and its inhabitants.
CATHERINE ZIMMER, St. Paul