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Nelson Otto

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

It is interesting to see how much history people have forgotten. Mr. Kemna in LTE tried to associate the voyage of the Titanic with climate change. He might be right — let's take a closer look at his claims and actual history.

The Titanic was designed to provide comfort not speed. The "experts," the engineers, like Bill Nye, claimed they had designed an unsinkable ship. Just like now the press then followed the story with great abandon. Before the sinking skeptics existed and their concerns downplayed like when Sylvia Caldwell of Southampton asked a crewman, "Is it really unsinkable" to which he replied. "God himself cannot sink this ship." According to testimony at the inquiry people didn't get into the life boats not as Mr. Kemna claimed — because they didn't believe the ship was sinking — but instead survivors claimed no general warning was ever sounded. Even the crew was confused. The boats were not filled to capacity by the crew because they believed the divots would collapse under the weight. Even after the boats were in the water they did not send people down because of the unfounded fears the lifeboats would not support a full load of people. Government officials and "experts like Sir Alfred Chalmers of the Board of Trade stated that he felt that if there had been fewer lifeboats on the Titanic more people would have been saved because people would have rushed to the boats and they would have been filled to capacity thus saving more people.

The most interesting comment was from a historical paper. "It was the beginning of the twentieth century and people had absolute faith in new science and technology. They believed that science in the twentieth century could and would provide answers to solve all problems. The sinking of the 'unsinkable' Titanic shattered much confidence in science and made people more skeptical about such fantastic claims."

Lessons from the Titanic. 1. Never challenge God; 2. Because of the unfounded fear that something will not support the numbers, 458 people were left to die; 3. Listening to the experts and politicians lead to too few lifeboats; 4. If it is too good or too bad to be true it most likely isn't; 5. Listen to the skeptics; it could save your life. And; 6. Think for yourself; you are smarter than they think you are.

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