Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Issues & News 04/07/2010 Part 2

Yeah, right.

Texan Cooks Up Plan To Fire Congress

Plan Would Oust All House Incumbents

Posted: 10:12 am EDT April 7, 2010
Updated: 10:57 am EDT April 7, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas -- A Texas man unhappy with the way things are going in Congress said he's got a new plan -- kick everyone out.

Tim Cox, of Liberty Hill, said he's got a better way of deciding who goes to work on Capitol Hill, specifically in the House ofRepresentatives.

"Many of the people up there are very good people," he said. "I have no bones with most of them. What we're saying is that the process is broken."

Cox described his plan as simple -- yet revolutionary. In addition to ousting every incumbent in the U.S. House, he'd like to see communities come together, meeting in groups of 10 on the weekends, to determine who should represent them in Washington, D.C.

After four or five weekends, one person rises to the top -- and that person becomes the citizen representative, Cox said.

In addition to pledging support for term limits, candidates would also have to answer 100 questions about policy and priorities.

"There's no right or wrong answer, but put your position in writing and be prepared to defend that," Cox said.

St. Edward's University professor Brian Smith said drawn out events like health care reform typically drive down congressional approval ratings. But that rarely translates into action.

"A lot of people support it, people are in favor of getting rid of incumbents, until they get to the ballot box and they realize, wow, I cant get rid of Lloyd Doggett or Lamar Smith -- they're working for me," Smith said.

A similar movement affiliated with Ross Perot failed in 1992. Cox had hoped his plan would work in 2000. He's hoping it will again -- this time in 2010.

"There's no way we could send anybody up there and have them do any worse," Cox said.

Copyright © 2010 CNN Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


No global warming Hmmmm????

2 More Glaciers Gone From Glacier National Park

Numbers Dwindle From 150 To Just 25

Bill Wallner

MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Posted: 12:19 pm EDT April 7, 2010
Updated: 7:30 pm EDT April 7, 2010

BILLINGS, Mont. -- Glacier National Park has lost two more of its namesake moving icefields to climate change, which is shrinking the rivers of ice until they grind to a halt, the U.S. Geological Surveysaid Wednesday.

Warmer temperatures have reduced the number of named glaciers in the northwestern Montana park to 25, said Dan Fagre, an ecologist with the agency.

He warned the rest of the glaciers may be gone by the end of the decade.

"When we're measuring glacier margins, by the time we go home the glacier is already smaller than what we've measured," Fagre said.

The latest two to fall below the 25 acre threshold were Miche Wabun and Shepard. Each had shrunk by roughly 55 percent since the mid-1960s. The largest remaining glacier in the park is Harrison Glacier, at about 465 acres.

On a local scale, fewer glaciers means less water in streams for fish and a higher risk for forest fires. More broadly, Fagre said the fate of the glaciers offers a climate barometer, indicating dramatic changes to some ecosystems already under way.

While the meltoff shows the climate is changing, it does not show exactly what is causing temperatures to rise.

In alpine regions around the world, glacier melting has accelerated in recent decades as temperatures increased. Most scientists tie that warming directly to higher atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Some glaciers, such as in the Himalayas, could hold out for centuries in a warmer world. But more than 90 percent of glaciers worldwide are in retreat, with major losses already seen across much of Alaska, the Alps, the Andes and numerous other ranges, according to researchers in the United States and Europe.

In some areas of the Alps, ski resorts set atop glaciers have taken drastic measures to stave off the decline, such as draping glaciers in plastic sheeting to keep them cooler.

It could prove a losing battle: Scientists working for the United Nations say the last period of widespread glacial growth was more than three decades ago, lasting only for a few years.

Since about 1850, when the Little Ice Age ended, the trend has been steadily downward.

The area of the Rocky Mountains now within Glacier National Park once boasted about 150 glaciers, of which 37 were eventually named.

Fagre said a handful of the park's largest glaciers could survive past 2020 or even 2030, but by that point the ecosystem would already be irreversibly altered.

Fagre said geological evidence points to the continual presence of glaciers in the area since at least 5000 B.C.

"They've been on this landscape continually for 7,000 years, and we're looking at them disappear in a couple of decades," he said.

A glacier needs to be 25 acres to qualify for the title. If it shrinks more, it does not always stop moving right away. A smaller mass of ice on a steep slope would continue to grind its way through the mountains, but eventually could disappear completely.

Smaller glaciers and warmer temperatures could lower stream flows, which in turn prompt fishing restrictions and hobble whitewater rafting businesses, said Denny Gignoux, who runs an outfitting business in West Glacier. Tourism is a $1 billion-a-year industry in the area.

"What happens when all these threats increase?" Gignoux asked. "We're losing a draw to Glacier."

A report released Wednesday by two environmental groups highlighted the threat to tourism of fewer glaciers. The study by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and Natural Resources Defense Council included an analysis of weather records that showed Glacier was 2 degrees hotter on average from 2000 to 2009, compared with 1950 to 1979.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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