Letter to the editor: Global warming in this deep freeze? Nah.
Jim Hofsommer, Markham
I’ve been struggling with a quandary for several weeks now that I haven’t been able to solve. Evidently, this global warming scenario is getting so serious that President Obama has declared war on coal in order to save us all. Even though we have low cost coal reserves so massive in this country that they could meet all our stationary energy needs for a few hundred thousands of people out of work with the anticipated idling of scores of coal mines and power plants across many of our states. Hopefully, congress will pass several more extensions to unemployment benefits for these unemployed workers and everything will be all right then.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, residents of Minnesota – well heck, all of the Midwest – have been locked in a deep freeze for well over a month now with temperatures so brutal that even the hardy Finns of the area are having visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads of palm trees and the sandy beaches of Florida. The meteorologists are abuzz everyday with new graphs and charts of this Arctic onslaught that has enveloped the region. The weather has been so severe that troops of volunteers have been scouring the area to help homeless people from freezing their ears off, our local ski hill at Giants Ridge is closed for two days, the Minnesota Zoo and all the parks in St. Paul closed, and Governor Dayton has taken the unusual step by executive declaration to close all schools across Minnesota for Jan. 6, due to dangerous winter temperatures.
Last year was no picnic either. The winter was so bitter in much of Europe and Asia that many areas were nothing short of a disaster zone. The one, well – warm spot – of this was that North American trappers had a banner year shipping tons of fur to China and Russia to be made into fur hats and coats to keep everyone there from freezing to death.
Those on the East Coast and the Northeast apparently aren’t faring any better this year, as they have been frozen in an ice box of their own for weeks now, too. Record low temperatures have been registered over more than half of the U.S. and school closings have been called all the way down to Georgia. Just before Christmas, hearing oil stocks across the country had suddenly dropped to such dangerous lows due to the frigid temperatures, the price of fuel and gas has jumped 40 to 80 cents per gallon.
Things aren’t any better on the other side of the earth either. Just a week or so ago, a Russian research ship – probably studying the “shrinking” Polar Cap, due to global warming – near the South Pole, got stuck in ice so thick it couldn’t move. An ice-breaker sent to rescue it couldn’t get through either. Two more ice-breakers, including a monster ice cruncher from Australia, were dispatched to the scene, but still couldn’t reach the stranded ship. Finally a Chinese helicopter crew airlifted the 50 researchers off this marooned ship. I guess we’ll have to wait a few more months so our “global warming” can melt some of this ice and the captain can go back and drive this boat home.
Hmmm…there’s something about this whole picture that I don’t quite understand. I’ll tell you what – if Al Gore has time to grab his sandals, hop on his fuel-guzzling, smoke-belching jet and spin over to my place, I have a lawn chair and a pair of sunglasses I’ll loan him while he sits in my yard and maybe helps me understand this global warming thing. I’ll even keep an eye out and stand guard for him so he doesn’t get run over by a charging moose busting out of the brush with a pack of hungry wolves hot on its heels.