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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Wednesday September 24 2008 - (813)

Wednesday September 24 2008 edition
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Southeastern U.S. Sees Widespread Gasoline Shortages
2008-09-24 02:35:26
When the gas gauge on Jada Burns' Kia wagon was on empty Tuesday afternoon, she lucked out, catching her neighborhood Chevron station at a time when its pumps were open.

The clerk, Mamadou Diallo, said he expected to be sold out by rush hour. With drivers already forming a line, it was about 20 minutes before Burns could fill up.

"This is the first time I've had to actually wait," said Burns, 33, who earlier had passed by a station where the line was much longer. "This is crazy, isn't it?"

The impact of hurricanes Gustav and Ike was being felt far beyond the wind-battered Gulf Coast this week: In Southeastern states, gas shortages and long lines were widespread due to oil industry interruptions and damage to the energy infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico.

At least half of the total gas stations in Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee and the Carolinas ran out of gas over the weekend, said Tom Kloza, an analyst with the Oil Price Information Service.

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In U.S. Era Of Offshore Drilling Ban Draws To A Close
2008-09-24 02:35:05
A long-standing congressional ban on new offshore oil drilling will expire in seven days, with Democratic leaders conceding Tuesday they stand no chance of renewing it this year over President Bush's opposition - and in an election year in which gasoline prices have become a hot campaign issue.

With the moratorium lapsing, the issue will gain greater prominence in the election because it will be up to the next president and Congress to decide whether to renew all or part of the ban, which was imposed in 1981 to put much of the California coast off-limits to new oil rigs and expanded to much of the rest of the U.S. coasts in 1985.

"This next election will decide what our drilling policy will be," said Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wisconsin), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain, like President Bush, has called for lifting the ban entirely, whereas Democratic nominee Barack Obama has said he would consider limited offshore drilling as a compromise in a comprehensive energy policy.

Once the ban expires, oil companies could seek federal approval to drill three miles offshore or farther. Congressional supporters of the moratorium hope that before any new drilling can begin they can renew it or at least win approval of compromise legislation that would forbid energy exploration up to 50 miles off the coast but let states decide whether to allow it beyond that.

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Poll: Americans Reluctant To Fund Bailout
2008-09-24 02:34:37
Most Americans don't believe the government has responsibility for bailing out financial firms with taxpayer money, a core part of the rescue plan Congress is considering to halt the near-meltdown of the nation's financial markets, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

Reluctance to use public money to rescue private firms runs across the population, the poll found: Democrats and Republicans, high-income and low-income families alike.

Asked whether the government should use taxpayer dollars to rescue financial firms whose collapse could have adverse effects on the economy, 55% of the poll's respondents said they did not believe the government should be responsible for funding a bailout plan.

However, opinions about the bailout plan appear to be malleable, perhaps because voters are still learning about the proposal. When some of those who opposed a bailout were interviewed, several said they would reluctantly accept a bailout plan if Congress decided one was necessary.

"It sticks in my craw," said Camille Woyak, 82, a retired office worker in Appleton, Wisconsin, who said she opposed a bailout. "There should be some other solution. But I think the taxpayers are going to have to cover it. I don't know any other way out.

"I lived through the Depression as a little girl," she added. "I don't want to go through that again."
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Warren Buffett To Invest $5 Billion In Goldman Sachs
2008-09-24 02:33:34

Warren Buffett has agreed to invest $5 billion in Goldman Sachs, giving the bank a strong vote of confidence after the tumultuous events on Wall Street of the past few weeks.

Goldman said it would also raise another $2.5 billion in a public offering of shares.

The investment follows the decision over the weekend by both Goldman and Morgan Stanley to change their status from investment banks to more traditional banks, ending an era on Wall Street.

Buffett, one of America's richest men, is widely admired for his astute, common sense approach to investment and the annual meetings for his company Berkshire Hathaway in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska draw huge crowds. His decision to invest in Goldman will likely be received as a welcome backing for the broader financial markets, which have been devastated by mortgage-related securities that turned sour.

Treasury secretary Henry Paulson was in Washington Tuesday defending a planned $700 billion bailout of Wall Street.

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Taro Aso Readies To Become Japan's New Prime Minister
2008-09-24 02:32:43
Ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader Taro Aso readied to take over as Japan's prime minister in a parliamentary vote Wednesday, piecing together a Cabinet expected to include a fellow outspoken hawk as finance chief.

Aso, who was chosen as president of the long-ruling LDP on Monday, faced an afternoon ballot in a politically split parliament. Aso was all but ensured of winning because of the LDP's power in the lower house.

The right-leaning former foreign minister will confront a country wracked by political divisions and concerns over the economy, which has stalled in recent months amid the ballooning financial crisis in the United States.

"If you look at the current period, it's not a stable one," he told reporters. "These are turbulent times with the financial situation and everything else."

The vote on Wednesday was to reflect that turbulence.

Aso, 68, was expected to win easily in the LDP-controlled lower house, but the opposition-dominated upper house was expected to vote for Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa. Then, after a lengthy conference, the lower house was to formally override the upper house vote, installing Aso as premier.

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Congress Skeptical Of Bailout Plan
2008-09-23 19:02:25

A massive federal plan to revive the U.S. financial system ran into intense skepticism Tuesday on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers from both parties questioned whether it would work and demanded protections for taxpayers with tough oversight.

Appearing before the Senate Banking Committee, the nation's top economic policymakers warned that failure to pass a rescue plan quickly would impose a greater risk for taxpayers than the estimated $700 billion potential cost of bailing out the troubled financial system.

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke argued for broad authority to intervene in financial markets promptly and forcefully enough to avert a meltdown that could mire the economy in a deep recession. Yet Democrats and Republicans alike said they would not be stampeded, complained about what they called the ad hoc nature of the proposal and insisted that taxpayers and beleaguered homeowners get something in return for assuming Wall Street's risks.

"It's a sad story, but the American taxpayer ... is already on the hook," said Paulson. He cited widespread dependence on credit, which he said would be at risk without massive federal intervention to prop up the financial system.

Paulson conceded in his testimony that "there will be experimentation" as the unprecedented rescue program is implemented. He said he would welcome strong oversight but warned senators that imposing "punitive conditions" on the program or limiting participation in it would cause it to fail, "and we'll all lose."

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Finnish Gunman Who Made Videos Kills 10 At School, Then Himself
2008-09-23 19:02:03
A chilling YouTube video with a young man firing a pistol and warning "You will die next" caught the eye of police, who questioned him but then let him go, saying they didn't have enough evidence to take away his weapon.

On Tuesday, he walked into a vocational college, the School of Hospitality, and opened fire, killing 10 people and burning their bodies with firebombs before shooting himself fatally in the head. At least two other people were wounded.

The rampage bore eerie similarities to another school massacre in Finland last year in which an 18-year-old gunman killed eight people and himself. Both gunmen posted violent clips on YouTube prior to the shootings, both were fascinated by the 1999 Columbine school shootings in Colorado, both attacked their own schools and both died after shooting themselves in the head.

The latest shooting raised questions about whether police could have stopped the bloodshed, and although there was little initial debate about gun control, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said the government may consider restrictions on privately held semiautomatic weapons.

There are roughly 1.6 million firearms in private hands in Finland, a nation with deep-rooted traditions of hunting in the sub-Arctic wilderness. The country's 650,000 licensed gun owners - about 13 percent of the population of 5.2 million - include hunters, target shooters and gun collectors, and Finland ranks in the top five in civilian gun ownership per capita along with the United States, Yemen, Iraq and Switzerland.

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DOH! Risky Mortgages Led To Fannie, Freddie Crashes
2008-09-23 19:01:37

The regulator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Tuesday gave its most detailed explanation yet behind the government's seizure of the mortgage finance giants, saying the companies ultimately could not continue to cover mortgage losses without government support.

James B. Lockhart, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased and guaranteed "many more low documentation, low verification, and non-standard" mortgages in 2006 and 2007 "than they had in the past."

In prepared testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Lockhart said roughly 33 percent of the companies' business involved buying or guaranteeing these risky mortgages, compared with 14 percent in 2005. At Fannie Mae, roughly 40 percent of mortgages in the first half of 2007 fell into that category, compared with 26 percent in 2005.

Those bad bets on mortgages led to billions of dollars in losses at the firms. "The capacity to raise capital to absorb further losses without Treasury Department support vanished," said Lockhart.

Lockhart said the companies increased their exposure to risks in 2006 and 2007 despite the regulator's warnings.

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Sarah Palin Stiff Arms The Media At U.N.
2008-09-23 19:00:43
Plans by John McCain's presidential campaign to showcase running mate Sarah Palin's meetings with world leaders at the United Nations Tuesday got off to a rocky start. Reporters' access to Palin, who has yet to hold a news conference, has been limited by the campaign, but the protective blanket around the Alaska governor drew even tighter during a visit to New York to meet with foreign leaders and policy experts.

The campaign told print and wire service reporters that they would not have a representative in the pool of reporters accompanying Palin to her meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, a foreign policy advisor to McCain.

The pool of reporters, which was to include a television crew, was supposed to be in the room for a few moments - just to capture the opening of Palin's meeting but, when the campaign announced that even the pool television producer - who is charged with capturing editorial content for the five networks - would not be permitted in the room, the networks threatened to pull their cameras from Palin's events Tuesday.

Eventually, the campaign relented and allowed a CNN producer into the room for the meetings, but there were no wire service reporters or print reporters present for the first meeting, with Karzai.

According to the pool report from the CNN producer allowed into Karzai's hotel suite, Palin was seated a few feet from Karzai; seated slightly behind her were foreign policy advisors Steve Biegun and Randy Scheunemann, who are accompanying the governor Tuesday.

The president and Palin talked about his son.
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Merkel Says Washington Helped Drag Europe Into The Credit Crisis
2008-09-23 03:55:45
Response to Washington's multibillion-dollar Wall Street bailout has involved a lot of skeptical grumbling in Germany and the U.K. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Bush Administration has mishandled Wall Street, and that its refusal to adopt stricter rules led to the current crisis.

The United States government is campaigning around the world for support for its multibillion-dollar Wall Street rescue package. The reaction has been skeptical at best - and in Europe the plan has been met with bare-knuckled criticism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accused the U.S. government of serious failures which she believes contributed to the current credit crisis. In particular she blamed Washington for resisting stricter regulation.

On Monday she also said the crisis could hurt the German economy. "The whole thing is going to set the pace for the economy in the coming months and perhaps years," Merkel said at a meeting of her party, the conservative Christian Democrats.

Over the weekend the U.S. said it would provide $700 billion to cover bad debt on Wall Street and ensure the survival of some financial institutions. On Sunday U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson then called on foreign governments to launch similar bailouts for their own banks. "We are talking very aggressively with other countries around the world and encouraging them to do similar things and I believe a number of them will," Paulson told ABC News.

Yet the governments of Germany and Great Britain have shaken their heads.

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London's Met Office Says Climate Change Deniers Are Deluded
2008-09-23 03:54:57

Climate change skeptics such as Nigel Lawson who argue that global warming has stopped have their "heads in the sand", according to the Met Office in London, England.

A recent dip in global temperatures is down to natural changes in weather systems, a new analysis shows, and does not alter the long-term warming trend.

The office says average temperatures have continued to rise in the last decade, and that humans are to blame.

In a statement published on its website, it says: "Anyone who thinks global warming has stopped has their head in the sand. The evidence is clear, the long-term trend in global temperatures is rising, and humans are largely responsible for this rise. Global warming does not mean that each year will be warmer than the last."

The new research confirms that the world has cooled slightly since 2005, but says this is down to a weather phenomena called La Niña, when cold water rises to the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Despite this effect, the office says, 11 of the last 13 years were the warmest ever recorded.

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FBI Investigating Companies At Heart Of Financial Meltdown
2008-09-24 02:35:18
The FBI is investigating four major U.S. financial institutions whose collapse helped trigger a $700 billion bailout plan by the Bush administration, The Associated Press has learned.

Two law enforcement officials said Tuesday the FBI is looking at potential fraud by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and insurer American International Group Inc. Additionally, a senior law enforcement official said Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. also is under investigation.

The inquiries will focus on the financial institutions and the individuals that ran them, said the senior law enforcement official.

The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigations are ongoing and are in the very early stages.

Officials said the new inquiries bring to 26 the number of corporate lenders under investigation over the past year.

Spokesmen for AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did not immediately return calls for comment Tuesday evening. A Lehman spokesman did not have an immediate comment.

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Poll: Economic Fears Give Obama Clear Lead Over McCain
2008-09-24 02:34:48

Turmoil in the financial industry and growing pessimism about the economy have altered the shape of the presidential race, giving Democratic nominee Barack Obama the first clear lead of the general-election campaign over Republican John McCain, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll. 

Just 9 percent of those surveyed rated the economy as good or excellent, the first time that number has been in single digits since the days just before the 1992 election. Just 14 percent said the country is heading in the right direction, equaling the record low on that question in polls dating back to 1973.

More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street and, as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support. The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 percent and Obama at 47 percent.

As a point of comparison, neither of the last two Democratic nominees - John F. Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000 - recorded support above 50 percent in a pre-election poll by the Post and ABC News.

Last week's near-meltdown in the financial markets and the subsequent debate in Washington over a proposed government bailout of troubled financial institutions have made the economy even more important in the minds of voters. Fully 50 percent called the economy and jobs the single most important issue that will determine their vote, up from 37 percent two weeks ago. In contrast, just 9 percent cited the Iraq war as their most important issue, its lowest of the campaign.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Pessimistic On Pakistani Support
2008-09-24 02:33:50
Pakistan's leaders and military cannot publicly support U.S. cross-border operations against militant groups in Pakistan's western tribal areas, but such strikes are needed to protect American troops in Afghanistan and defend the United States against its gravest terrorist threat, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday. 

"We will do what is necessary to protect our troops," Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Asked whether Pakistan's government would back unilateral U.S. military operations into Pakistan, he said: "I don't think they can do that."

Gates said that despite a growing insurgency in Afghanistan, fueled by fighters from Pakistan, the spring of 2009 is the earliest the Pentagon would be able to send as many as three more U.S. combat brigades there to meet a request of American commanders for about 10,000 more troops.

"I believe we will be able to meet that commanders' requirement, but in the spring and summer of 2009," Gates said.

Western Pakistan has surpassed Afghanistan and Iraq as the base for al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that now pose the biggest terrorist threat to the United States, Gates said. "If you ask me today, after the successes that we've had against al-Qaeda in Iraq, where the greatest threat to the homeland lies, I would tell you it's in western Pakistan," he said.

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No Regrets For Bush In Last U.N. Speech
2008-09-24 02:33:01

George Bush stood unrepentant and unbowed before the 192 member countries of the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday to deliver a valedictory address devoted almost entirely to terrorism, which he described as an evil that must be defeated.

In his eighth and final address to a largely silent hall of world leaders, the U.S. president sounded a note that has changed remarkably little since he first spoke to the general assembly in the wake of the September 11, 2001,  attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. He said the global movement of violent extremists remained a challenge as serious as any since the foundation of the U.N. in 1945: "Like slavery and piracy, terrorism has no place in the modern world," he said.

Bush took the opportunity to assess his two terms in power that contained no regrets and no apology.

Afghanistan and Iraq had been transformed, he said, "from regimes that actively sponsor terror to democracies that fight terror".

Libya had renounced its backing of extremists and dropped its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were engaged in the struggle to root out extremism. Democracy, too, had spread around the world under his watch. "Whenever or wherever people are given the choice, they chose freedom," he said.

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Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs $145-Billion California State Budget
2008-09-24 02:32:22
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the state's tardiest budget on record Tuesday after eliminating $510 million in spending, including financial aid for elderly renters and homeowners and a program he championed to lower prescription drug prices for low-income Californians.

His signature allows more than 80,000 state vendors' outstanding bills to be paid. Some providers have gone nearly three months without promised funding.

The final version of the budget spends $145 billion. It sets aside a $1.7-billion reserve fund - nearly $1 billion more than the Legislature approved. Schwarzenegger said his desire for a bigger financial cushion was the motivation for most of his vetoes.

"It's painful," he told reporters at an unrelated event Tuesday. "I had to think about it, rethink about it, but we needed the money, and I just wanted people to understand that the Legislature gave me no choice but to make those cuts to be fiscally responsible.

"Our economy, not in this state alone but in the country and worldwide, is in a situation where we have to be very, very careful with our spending," he said.

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Los Angeles Officials Blast Wall Street Bailout Plan
2008-09-23 19:02:13
Los Angeles, California, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the L.A. City Council Tuesday denounced the $700-billion rescue plan for the nation's financial institutions, saying the deal provides too much power to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson.

As he asked his department heads for a written update on the impact of the financial crisis on city services, Villaraigosa criticized the bailout plan being reviewed by the nation's lawmakers, saying it lacks the proper checks and balances.

"It's absolutely ludicrous that anybody would propose a $700-billion bailout that could go to more than a trillion dollars ... without regulation, without accountability," said Villaraigosa, appearing at an event focused on attracting clean technology companies to Los Angeles.

"The idea that we would do that without any strings attached boggles the mind," he added.

Villaraigosa spoke hours before the City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the bailout unless it included more "rules and oversight." During that debate, council members said they were concerned by the lack of details in the plan and the speed with which it was being advanced.

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Ex-Investigator: $13 Billion In Iraq Aid Wasted Or Stolen
2008-09-23 19:01:52

A former Iraqi official estimated Monday that more than $13 billion meant for reconstruction projects in Iraq was wasted or stolen through elaborate fraud schemes.

Salam Adhoob, a former chief investigator for Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, an arm of the Democratic caucus, that an Iraqi auditing bureau "could not properly account for" the money.

While many of the projects audited "were not needed - and many were never built," he said, "this very real fact remains: Billions of American dollars that paid for these projects are now gone."

He said a report that went to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top Iraqi officials was never published because "nobody cares" about investigating such cases. Many investigators, he said, feared for their safety because 32 of his co-workers have been murdered.

Adhoob said he reported the abuses to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an agency charged by Congress with helping to root out cases of waste, fraud and abuse in the nearly $50 billion U.S. reconstruction effort. SIGIR spokeswoman Kristine Belisle said her agency continues to "actively follow up" on Adhoob's information, but she would not discuss ongoing investigations.

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Western States, Canadian Provinces Pitch Plan To Reduce Greenhouse Emissions
2008-09-23 19:01:23
Seven Western states and four Canadian provinces proposed a sweeping plan to crack down on global warming emissions Tuesday, across a region that represents 20% of the U.S. economy and 73% of Canada's economy.

The Western Climate Initiative, endorsed by the Western governors and Provincial leaders, would slash regional greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below 2005 levels in the next 12 years.

"We're sending a strong message to our federal governments that states and provinces are moving forward in the absence of federal action," said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, adding that the effort would spur renewable energy development and create "green jobs."

The initiative calls for a program to cap emissions that contribute to global warming, grant industries fixed numbers of permits to pollute, and allow them to trade the permits among themselves, so the emissions can be achieved in the cheapest way possible. Such a cap-and-trade program has been adopted in Europe, and the Northeastern U.S. is unveiling a more restricted version limited to power plants.

However, President Bush has opposed any national climate legislation, and a comprehensive global warming bill that would have set up a national cap-and-trade program failed in Congress earlier this year.

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White House Refuses To Change Bailout Plan
2008-09-23 03:55:58

Democratic leaders said they were near agreement with the Bush administration yesterday on key provisions of a massive plan to revive the U.S. financial system, but the two sides remained at odds over other issues and were struggling to gain the support of rank-and-file lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Although the White House has warned of severe consequences if the bailout plan is not approved by Friday, lawmakers crafting the measure said their work may well stretch past that deadline.

The Bush administration is resisting changes to the measure being sought by Democratic leaders and many Republicans, including one that would grant the government authority to cut executive pay at firms that participate in the bailout and another that would guarantee that taxpayers share in the profits if those firms recover financially.

Meanwhile, rank-and-file lawmakers - returning to Washington after a weekend in their districts - voiced outrage that taxpayers were being asked to pay for the excesses of Wall Street and that Congress was being prodded to rubber-stamp the biggest federal intervention in the private market since the Great Depression. While Democratic leaders said they could embrace the bailout plan with certain modifications, a growing minority of lawmakers were starting to question the very premise of the Treasury Department's proposal.

Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Alabama), the ranking Republican on the Senate banking committee, Monday issued a statement saying he was "concerned" that the bailout plan was "neither workable nor comprehensive, despite its enormous price tag.

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Melting Arctic Ice Brings Competition For Resources
2008-09-23 03:55:29
Climate change is freeing the Arctic of ice - spurring a global competition for the natural resources stored beneath. Countries that border the sea are staking new territorial claims and oil giants are dispatching geologists - but what will the tug-of-war mean for the indigenous people and wildlife?

Bo Madsen, a climate researcher, is plagued by a simple question: How heavy is the world's largest island? More importantly, Madsen wants to know how quickly its weight is changing.

"This is no academic question," the Dane, a scientist at the National Space Institute and the Technical University of Denmark, yells over the whipping of the rotor blades. "The answer will determine the fate of millions of people."

Greenland's majestic landscape glides by beneath the helicopter. A mottled gray-and-white glacier tongue winds its way down a series of mountain slopes. Farther up, the jagged terrain gives way to a smooth, seemingly endless expanse of white, capped by a glistening aura that makes it difficult to distinguish between the sky and the surface of the ice cap.

The scientists have spent the last two hours flying over the edge of the inland ice in their Super Puma helicopter. The gigantic ice cap is close to three kilometers (1.86 miles) thick. If it were to melt, sea levels worldwide would rise by seven meters (23 feet), spelling the end for many coastal cities.

"Did we load the cordless screwdriver?" the 53-year-old Madsen asks his partner, American scientist Eric Kendrick. There is tension in the air, almost as heavy as the metallic chirping of the chopper's drive shafts.

How does one measure the recession of an ice cap? A lone mountain peak protrudes from the glacier ice. This is where the Danish and American geophysicists plan to set up their measuring equipment. Their project, called GNET, will be part of a formidable scientific observation network, an early warning system of measuring stations and satellites designed to monitor the Greenland ice cap.

"The stations measure the height of the mountain tops once every 30 seconds," Madsen explains, "down to the nearest half a millimeter." This precision is made possible by the radio signals emitted by GPS navigation satellites orbiting the earth. The data give the scientists an indirect gauge of how fast the ice is melting, because rising land means, simply, that the weight of the ice resting on it is decreasing.

The researchers have already installed two dozen of these stations all over Greenland, and they have been transmitting data for the past year. According to initial calculations, Greenland has lost 150 billion tons of ice a year in the last four years. This is five times the size of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps.

GNET will provide certainty, for the first time, on one of the most important questions of global warming: How quickly is the Greenland ice cap melting? Will it take hundreds of years? Or is the ice melting faster than that? "Soon we will be able to tell mankind by how much sea levels will actually rise in the next 100 years."

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