Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for June 23

There is no cooling trend in state climate

According to National Climatic Data Center records, average annual temperatures in Washington have been yo-yoing up and down since 1895, with the most recent slight decline starting in 2006.

So is Washington experiencing a cooling trend, as several writers claim?

No. The dip in average temperatures these last two years has simply brought our winters back to one degree below the long-term averages.

For the last two decades (1989-2008), NCDC lists a cooling trend of about 0.1 degrees F per decade.

You may wonder how they get this trend when 15 of the of the 20 yearly temperatures are at or above the long-term annual average.

The answer is a statistical procedure called linear regression. This calculation will always give you a trend, even if you feed it gibberish random numbers.

However, there is a way to check the trend’s reality, called “the T-Test of the hypothesis trend = zero.”

I tried the regression calculations on NCDC’s temperature data, and the T-Test, and found the following:

1) I got the same cooling trend as NCDC, about – 0.1 degrees F per decade.

2) Speaking statistically, “the trend is not significantly different from zero at the 95 percent level of confidence.” In plain English, “There is no cooling trend in Washington’s climate.”

The NCDC cooling trend has been mentioned by recent letter writers as reason for doubt about the reality of global warming. The bottom line is, there is no such trend and global warming is real, beyond doubt.

David Milne, Shelton

Don’t fall for Obama’s health care plan

Here is a taste of what Obama’s health care will be like.

Obama wants to cut Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals by $200 billion over the next 10 years, and plans to cut $75 billion from Medicare prescription drug spending.

You see, by Obama’s logic, if the government spends less on you it will mean more money for people elsewhere. He is spreading the wealth by cutting seniors current government health care.

Obama wants to cut government payments for MRI and CT test, and said that they are used so often and the techs so efficient that the providers can spread their costs over many patients – more of the same spreading the wealth.

Obama wants to cut government spending on Medicare and Medicaid right now, by making the hospitals give you inferior care.

This is a taste of Obama health care. Obama on a whim can and will cut your Medicare and Medicaid. Think what it will be like when Obama runs the whole health care industry. You will be at the mercy of whatever Obama wants to spend on your care. Right now he wants to cut it and provide substandard care.

Katie Brickell, 19, was told by Britain’s government health care system it wouldn’t pay for a pap smear until she was 20. A year later, the government decided they needed to save money, so moved the eligibility age to 25. At 23, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and has been told the disease is not treatable.

James Rush, Olympia

Oyster deaths not tied to carbon dioxide levels

Baby oysters in Northwest shellfish nurseries have been dying for five years because of the upwelling of deep, cold and corrosive Pacific Ocean water into Willipa Bay and other coastal areas, according to The Olympian article by Seattle Times writer Craig Welch.

Welch suggests that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are responsible for impairing oysters and other sea life by acidifying ocean waters faster than expected.

Seattle Times writer Sandi Doughton’s May 22, 2008 article indicated, however, that the deep, cold, acid ocean water upwelling along the Pacific Coast in recent years was last exposed to the atmosphere about 50 years ago when carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were much lower.

Research studies indicate that the deep ocean waters are colder than surface ocean waters and contain more dissolved carbon dioxide that significantly increases their carbonic acid content and acidity.

Research also indicates that, to date, there has been virtually no change in the acidity of these deep ocean waters.

The deep, cold and corrosive Pacific Ocean water that has been upwelling into Willipa Bay and other coastal areas in recent years may be creating problems for our shellfish nurseries, but there is little indication that these shellfish nursery problems are the result of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

Ken Schlichte, Tumwater

Our government needs an overhaul

A few months ago, voters flocked to the polls to change President Bush’s hated policies. Benjamin Franklin said we have a represetative government that’s up to us to retain.

What are passive voters doing?

Today we have an old, career Congress, with members of the eastern states largely deciding our fate, plus an unelected staff and lawyers preparing voluminous bills for Congess to vote on without ever reading them. The bills are rushed through before content is leaked to the public.

Representative government?

Why do so many elected and appointed members seem to be of like political mind? I realized they attended the same elite universities taught by political professors of a like mind - never questioned by alumni. Now we are imitating the failed politics of Europe without protest, nor do we find out how decrepit are the hospitals with universal Cuban care - never shown in Michael Moore’s film.

We love unions but should learn how ineffective they really are in socialist Canada.

Rep. Barney Frank pushed his progressive housing agenda that all should have a home. Now we see how government is dealing with this failed experiment.

We are living on Chinese credit, but people love the promises as that is how we live - on our own huge credit card debt, living for the day, blindly pushing back the day of reckoning.

Our government needs overhauling and it needs to begin with voters in eastern states.