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Obama's policies on global warming cannot do any good, but will impoverish the United States anyway. Modern believers in man-made global warming get a lot of press coverage, but few questions. Here are some questions and answers everybody needs to know.
Question: How fast is the Greenland ice cap melting?
Answer: It isn't melting at all. In 1976, during the Cold War, the U.S. built two radar sites on Greenland, at elevations of about 8,000 feet above sea level, on the icecap itself. To avoid problems with drifting snow in 100 mph winds, both radar domes were constructed to sit about 20 feet above the snow surface.
Both radomes are now sitting a meter or two below snow level. Satellite radar altimetry shows Greenland's ice cap is currently increasing in thickness by about 2 inches per year. The radomes appear likely to be inundated by ice and snow in the coming decades.
Q: How fast is Antarctica melting?
A: The peninsula of Antarctica, that juts northward almost to South America, shows a statistically significant warming of about 0.3 C per decade since 1966.
But be careful. The temperature record shows that most of the cold weather occurred early in the record, so the warming or cooling trend is very sensitive to "start date" for temperature trend calculations. As the World Climate Report said in 2007, "If you are interested in Antarctica temperature trends from the present back to 1982, the region has cooled."
Q: So, how fast is the globe warming?
A: Nowadays, not at all. The earth is cooling. Oceans have a great influence on global temperatures. During the past decade or so, the Pacific exhibited a major "quasi-periodic switch" from warm to cool waters off Peru, which occurs about every 30 years or so.
The effect on global temperature is remarkable, and reasonably well understood. The temperature record shows that the earth is now cooling, not warming.
Of course, more is involved than just the Pacific Ocean. For example, solar activity is now at a low level that has not been seen for centuries. The point is that the earth is cooling, even though carbon dioxide continues increasing. The earth is now much cooler than any model driven by carbon dioxide (rather than climatic data) ever projected. Those models predict only increasing temperature, never decreasing. The models are wrong.
Q: Then why are politicians like Barack Obama trying to control carbon dioxide?
A: Not to "save the climate." Obama and his party have other things in mind. They are almost (but not quite) as aware as you are that carbon dioxide is not the cause of climate change. Therefore, Democrats and their friends understand that "controls" on CO2 emissions will have little effect on climate. They will not admit it in public because controlling CO2 emissions will definitely give them a great control over the economy.
Many of them will get very rich, just as Al Gore has in the past decade, by manipulating "catastrophic global warming" and "carbon trades," but the earth had stopped warming.
Obama's policy of "carbon cap-and-trade" means that anyone can build a coal-fired power plant. However, "it will bankrupt them," which will cause electrical energy prices to "skyrocket" (his words, via YouTube).
But as noted, CO2 is not the cause of changing climate. The principal results of Obama's policies will be socioeconomic chaos, and an impoverished U.S.
WT "Ted" Hinds
Popular vote won't fly when recounts needed
At least two letter writers have pointed out sound philosophical and practical reasons for retaining the Electoral College in the process of choosing the president rather than moving to a tally of the vote nationally. They have rightly noted that the college is an important cog in the machinery that protects our liberty and strengthens our federal system.
These alone are reason enough to retain the college. There is another reason, crucial at the most practical level of self-government; the Electoral College helps protect the integrity of the entire system of voting and counting votes.
It does so in two ways. First, it makes recounts far more manageable by limiting them to states or districts where the vote is close; second, it lessens the incentive for various forms of stealing votes.
Imagine the problems with a recount in a close presidential race. Would votes only be recounted in close states? No; if all votes count, votes anywhere and everywhere might be recounted. Certainly, partisan leaders would be pushing to recount anywhere they could claim votes were missed.
The current fiasco in Minnesota, a state supposedly as clean as any, makes clear the possibilities for using recount to "find" votes. This brings us to the second way the college protects the integrity of the system: the Electoral College reduces the incentives for stealing or manufacturing votes.
These practices remain a problem in certain quarters of America, both in rural and urban areas. Under the current system, when those who engage in such thievery know their favored candidate is clearly going to win their state, there is no incentive to keep piling up stolen votes.
However, if every vote counts in a national total, the incentive to steal and manipulate will increase. Any additional "votes" would help the cause nationally. Those given to fraud and manipulation will be sure to plant reason to challenge the vote in certain precincts or districts.
Another thought: Who would set the rules for a recount? The states have traditionally done so. What if some states are far more lenient in allowing recounts and have loose standards about how absentee and other ballots are handled? Or what about rules for the vote itself? Will some states make it easier for convicted felons to vote, those who aren't citizens to vote and so on?
The list would never end. The Electoral College should be retained.
James R. Pilgrim