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July 17, 2013     Stone County Enterprise
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NEWS TIP?. Phone: 6ol.928.48o2 Email: news@stoneeountyenterprise.eom PINION Wednesday, July 17, 2o13 YOUR OPINIONS A response to Senator Wicker Politicians like Roger Wicker challenge the scienc of climate change with no empirical evidence. They use common myths and talking points to keep you, the peo- ple, from calling on them to take action. When econo- mists fight over whether or not the economy is crashing, everyone demands action. When every scientist in the world warns congress that the climate is crashing, noth- ing happens. Why? There's money to be made from the one issue, but not the other. If you have questions about medicine, you ask a doctor, not a politician. If you have a question about global warming, ask a scientist. The following statements are universally accepted facts, as real as the 28-foot storm surge that pummeled Biloxi in 2o05. If you have questions about medicine, you ask a doctor, not a politician. If you have a question about global warming, ask a scientist. These are universally accepted facts, provided by NASA, IPCC and NOAA. FACT: 97 percent of climate experts, which include physicists, chemists, oceanographers and the like, agree that climate change is happening and that humans are the cause (NASA). FACT: Climate change is not a belial system or some- thing be "believed in" anymore than ?eople "believe in" gravity - it is science, not politics, pure and simple. FACT: The Earth's climate has already risen by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last z5o years, which is higher, not lower, than the conservative estimates by the IPCC (IPCC). Think of the Earth like it's your body: when you get a 2 degree fever, you start to feel queasy and perhaps even take off work. At a 6 degree fever, the conservative estimates of how much more warming we are in store for, your brain begins to melt and you slip into a coma then die. FACT: The sun's energy has dedined in the last 40 years while temperatures continue to rise. This is not the sun (NASA). FACT: The concentration of carbon dioxide, a potent heat-trapping gas, is now the highest it's been in more than 65o,ooo years. If the climate were behaving natu- rally, or if man had never existed, our planet would be getting colder, not hotter. It's getting hotter because we continue to pump carbon that was meant to be stored inside the earth back into the sky (NASA). If you think carbon gas can't be dangerous, sit in your closed garage with your car engine on for a few hours. FACT: Keystone XL could cause an additional z-2 degree Fahrenheit warming in itself- the single most polluting carbon-based resource known to man (Hanson 2o12). Not to mention the ecological impacts of pollu- tion, leakages and inevitable spills. Think BP 2ore - times 50. FACT: NOT acting on climate change has already cost the U.S. more than $1 trillion - $8z billion for Hurricane Katfina alone. And, yes, hurricanes are getting worse and will continue to become more severe as ocean tempera- tures continue to rise (FEMA). FACT: We are running out of oil and coal, and they will continue to become more expensive as their rarity increases. The cost of wind per-unit energy is actually lower than coal when you remove the $500 billion of your tax dollars that have gone to keep the prices down. This is not some government-aided hoax meant to line the pockets of scientists (who don't make much money, by the way) - deniers of climate change are the only peo- ple who stand to profit. All you have to do is look at who is funding their campaigns. Always follow the money. I work between 5o-7o hours per week for less than the average teacher's salary because I love my job, not because I want to wreck the economy - a slanderous accusation toward an entire group of scientists. The Earth will survive this radical change - the question is whether or not we survive with it. Visit climate.nasa.gov for more information. Rebekah Jones is an atmospheric physicist and climate expert at Louisiana State University. She welcomes your questions at RJONn2@LSU.EDU. Rebekah Jones M.S. Louisiana State University BA. Syracuse University Got An Opinion? The Stone County Enterprise encourages its read- ers to submit letters to the editor about issues dis- cussed in the newspaper or that are relevant to the community. Letters may be sent by mail to PO Box 157, Wiggins, MS 39577, or dropped off at the news- paper offices: 143 S. First St., Wiggins, or sent by email: editor@stonecountyenterprise.com All letters sent my mail, email or dropped off at the office must be signed and contain a telephone number and address for verification purposes. No unsigned or anonymously-written letter to the editor will be published. The Stone County Enterprise reserves the right to proofread or edit letters to the editor. The Enterprise also reserves the right to refuse to publish any letter. The views expressed in letters to the editor are those of the writers and do not neces- sarily reflect the views of the Stone County Enterprise or its staff. Wicker supports long-term student loan reform Senate Democrats Continue to Block Bipartisan Solutions manship. As a recent Washington Post edito- rial put it, "Lawmakers should reject this pathetic, non-solution and put their effort instead into finalizing a compromise plan that is well within their reach." Needless Obstructionism That is exactly what many Republicans and Democrats are calling for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to do. Rather than kick the can down the road, widely supported plans to lower student loan rates by linking them to market rates would help students and shield taxpayers from future costs. Market- based solutions would also remove Washington from the business of arbitrarily fixing these rates in the first place. Permanent reform makes budget sense, too. According to the independent Congressional Budget Office, taxpayers will lose an estimated $95 billion on student loans over the next o years under the current sys- tem. Last year's post- ponement of the rate hike for just one year came with a price tag of nearly $6 bil- lion. So far, Leader Reid has refused to either the bipartisan Senate bill or the plan U.S. Senator passed by the House Roger Wicker of Representatives for a Senate vote. Unlike the proposal from Senate Democrats, these plans would lower all new stu- dent loan rates, not just the rates for newly issued subsidized Stafford loans. Much of the recent public attention on stu- dent loans has been fueled by the rate increase on these Stafford loans. On July 1, the rates jumped from 3.4 percent to 6.8 per- cent, affecting approxi- mately 7 million stu- dents likely to take out this type of loan for the next academic year. Putting Students First There is no excuse for Senate Democrats to play politics on this issue. Planning ahead for college is a difficult process, and students and families should be able to make these important decisions without worrying about uncertainty in Washington. The Obama Economy and costly premiums under the President's health- care law have com- pounded the challenges that young Americans face. Financing their education should .not add to this burden. If Senate Democrats are serious about educa- tion affordability and accessibility, they must be willing to work together and with Republicans to ensure students have lowest borrowing costs possi- ble. It is long past time to abandon proposals designed to fail. Solutions that can have an enduring impact are ready and waiting for a Senate vote. Roger Wicker is a mem- ber of the U. S. Senate. His opinions are not necessari- ly those of the Stone County Enterprise. Finding a way to curb the drastic spike in stu- dent loan rates should have been an easy bipar- tisan win. Republicans, Democrats, and the White House agree that students and families deserve lasting reform - not annual showdowns in Congress every time the student loan rate is scheduled to rise. A group of Senate Democrats, however, continues to choose the path of most resistance, blocking long-term measures in favor of a shortsighted, band-aid approach. 'Pathetic, Non- Solution,' Says D.C.'s Post On July lo, a proposal from Democratic leaders to extend the expiring student loan rates for one year failed to earn enough votes in the Senate. The stopgap measure would have addressed only about 40 percent of all new feder- al student loans, cost taxpayers $4.3 billion, and put in place a per- manent tax hike with only temporary results. Within the year, Congress would face another deadline - sub- jeeting the issue to even more political games- Taking Embarrassing to a New Level Every administration hits rough waters By Donald Kaul Obama is not on a roll. in the international the major countries of His good times may not have been spectacu- lar, but he did win re- election by a wide mar- gin and things were looking up. That seems a distant memory now. If he had nothing more than the disastrous Edward Snowden affair to deal with, it would be enough. Not only did the youngish intelligence worker reveal that we are building the capabil- ity of spying on every man, woman, and child in the nation, the docu- ments he released showed we are also spy- ing on our best friends and allies. Doesn't everybody do that, you ask? Perhaps, but to have it revealed to the global community via a leak from our most secretive government agency takes "embar- rassing" to a new level. And to have Snowden flee to Russia, of all places, allowing Vladimir (The Thug) Putin to withhold grant- ing asylum unless Snowden promised to stop revealing U.S. intel- ligence secrets...well, that's an irony almost beyond endurance. We have, in short, become a laughingstock community. But that's not all. The so-called "Arab Spring," which we wel- comed as the healthy introduction of democ- racy into autocratic Middle Eastern and North African countries, has gone completely off the rails. The popular uprising in Syria has degenerated into what amounts to a full-scale civil war. We now face the choice of getting involved in it - which we definitely do not want - or looking like a pitiful helpless giant. Egypt had its own pop- ular uprising against the military strongman (and our ally) Hosni Mubarak, replacing him with an elected Islamic leader. We weren't altogether happy about that, but we made approving noises in support of democracy. Within a year, the Islamists had screwed things up so badly that they inspired another popular upris- ing, followed by a mili- tary coup. Naturally, people want Obama to do something about it. They just don't say what. If that weren't enough, Europe are threatening to break off important trade negotiations with us because of our spying + on everybody. On the home front, the conservative Supreme Court has just made it easier for states to sup- press voting by the poor and people of color. Obstructionist House Republicans are treating the immigration bill, on which Obama has spent so much of his political capital, as their favorite hostage. I have an old and dear friend, a woman only slightly to the left of Lenin, who recently wrote, "Obama is the worst president we've ever had." I also have a rabid con- servative friend. He thinks Dick Cheney is the greatest vice-presi- dent we've ever had, and he agrees with her. And, don't forget, it won't be long before Obama has to convince Congress that it should raise the debt ceiling so the nation can pay for the things it's bought recently. Good luck to him with that. No, Obama is definite- ly not on a roll Contact Us telephone ................................. 6ol.92848o2 rollfree .................................... 866.231.672t Fax ........................................ 6ot.928.2191 General email .......... editor@stonecountyenterprise.com Newsmom email ........ news@stonecountyenterprise.com Classified email ..... chssifieds@stonecountyenterprise.com unvw tonecountyenterprise.com Virtually every presi- dent gets on a roll at some time during his administration, general- ly early on. And while he's on that roll, every day is a wedding. He gets bills passed, inter- national relations go his way, and people love him. It seems he can't make a bad move. It happened to Lyndon B. Johnson, whose early years gave promise of giving us the greatest presidency of modern times. And it happened to Richard Nixon, who, much to the consterna- tion of his enemies, seemed to get stronger as his years in office mounted up. Eventually, the roll ends. Whether it's Watergate, Moniea Lewinsky, the Iran- Contra scandal, the Vietnam War turning sour, or the Iranian hostage crisis - every administration hits rough waters. The president goes into a slide and things are never the same again. Suddenly, he can't do anything right. Every day brings a new head- line that lands like a punch to the stomach. President Barack 00tone Count? 00nterp00ee SERVING STONE COUHTY SINCE 1916 Published each Wednesday at 143 First Street, Wiggins, MS 39577 (601) 928-4802 * fax (601) 928-2191 E-mail: edttor@stonecounteq)dse.corn USPS 522.300 Periodical postage paid at Wiggins, Miss 39577. Heather Freret Jody O'Hara Publisher/Editor Rose Martin Staff Writer Classified / Legal Clerk Charlotte Wippler Chelle Grantham Advertisifi-g3ales Advertising Sales Member Mississippi Press Association 0 MTt KI Single copy price 75 cents. Subscription rate inside Stone County is $25.00 per year; in-state $37.00 per year; outside-of-state $42.00 per year. Service members subscriptions are $25.00 per year. Entered weekly as a second class mail matter July 3, 1906, at the Post Office in Wiggins, Mississippi, under the Act of Congress March 13, 1879. ! POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Stone County Enterprise, P.O. Box 157, Wiggins, MS 39577.  R +