I'd almost rather hear President Bush speak almost.
Manned moon station
wrong priority for NASA
Global warming is still staring us in the face. Polar bears are becoming an endangered as the ice floes melt. Glaciers are sliding toward the sea at increasing rates as the ice softens at the boundary between glaciers and their rock bases. Bird migration patterns are changing, and many of our plants are blooming at the wrong time.
We may be thankful that we now have a Congress and Senate that is willing to tackle the issue. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is sponsoring a series of bills that will reduce emissions of the carbon dioxide that reduces the radiation released into space.
One important piece of information that will determine the rate of warming is the amount of sunlight reflected back into space by cloud layers. The only instrument capable of measuring and continuously monitoring this albedo is the Deep Space Climate Observatory. Already built and paid for, it sits in a warehouse at Goddard SFC waiting to be delivered to the Lagrange-1 point, about a million miles in the direction of the sun.
We understand why President Bush may not like DSCOVR. But not much has been heard from Congress or the public. It is high time that we speak up.
At the same time, the budget of the National Science Foundation that is essential for monitoring and analyzing the data has been decimated. A recent Academy report finds that NASA's earth science budget has fallen by 30 percent, while the number of operating Earth-observing instruments on NASA satellites will fall by 40 percent by 2010. The funds are being siphoned off to prepare for a manned science station on the moon. These priorities have to change.
Mathias van Thiel, Ph.D.
Few in state are
weak on business
The recent issue of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce's Business News featured an article about how Senator Figueroa and Assemblyman Klehs were weak on business. The fact is, California is structured so that it may be the most pro-business state in the country.
1. The two-thirds vote required for tax-related legislation makes it almost impossible to pass legislation that is perceived as a tax on business.
2. The governor is almost always Republican. The little-known fact is that California is ranked 50th in the country for electing Democratic Party governors over the past century.
3. Prop. 13 has many new homeowners paying more in property taxes than many prosperous established businesses sometimes three or four times as much. My neighbor pays over $5,000 a year in property taxes for a two-bedroom, while at least one if not several Chamber leaders pay under $1,500 for their highly profitable business establishments.
4. Finally, and another fact rarely noticed, the business community is blessed with an influx of 500,000 new citizens/customers a year. In one decade we jumped from 25 to 35 million people. Most states and businesses in other states would probably support Fidel Castro for governor to get that many new shoppers in their state. Not to mention lower paid immigrant workers as well as energy costs that are lower than most other states.