Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our future winters may be colder

To the Editor:

It was the year 1799, during the "Dalton Minimum" when the sun was quiet that George Frederick Bollinger led a group of early pioneers from North Carolina to establish early settlements in Missouri. They hoped to cross their largest obstacle, the Mississippi River, on the ice, frozen solid in mid-winter.

The pioneers and their wagon train moved westward a few miles each day, making and breaking camp each night, fording the small streams and floating across the larger ones on rafts which they made from the nearby trees, following roads that were barely trails through forests and valleys.

They arrived on the east bank of the Mississippi River opposite St. Genevieve in late December, pitched camp and explored potential river crossings. St. Genevieve is located about a 100 miles downstream from St. Louis. Winter had come early and the Mississippi river was already covered with ice. It was bitterly cold. They determined the ice was not yet thick enough to support a crossing of ox-carts and covered wagons. Daily the thickness of the ice was measured and then on Dec. 31, a chopped hole in the ice indicated thickness well over two feet. They tested the ice by making a few trips across on foot and horseback. The believed the ice was thick enough to support a loaded wagon.

As a test, a wagon was selected to be driven across with no one riding and the driver would walk ahead watching the ice and leading his team. The trip across and back to camp was made without the ice cracking and preparations were made for an early crossing New Year's Day.

The next morning final preparations were made to break camp and all supplies were loaded. The weather remained bitter cold with dark skies overhead and light snow falling, but the decision had been made to cross and there was no turning back. The group was devout German Reformed Protestants and they gathered together in the early cold gray dawn to seek guidance from their God for a safe crossing.

The cracking of whips like pistol shots rang out over the heads of the oxen to coax them out onto the ice; the crossing had began. All that were able, walked to lighten the loaded wagons, keeping a safe distance from the wagons, which were also spaced far apart to lessen the danger of breaking the ice. The crossing was made successfully with no mishaps, except extremely cold hands and feet.

The townsfolk of St. Genevieve had built a large fire to welcome and warm these new settlers. Safely across the Mississippi, they were relieved of their crossing fears and enjoyed the local hospitality. They exchanged news from the East for information of what they might expect ahead. Needed supplies were purchased and even the weather abated a little as the sun broke through the clouds. They settled along the Whitewater River where the soil was rich.

We are transitioning into Solar Cycle (SC) 24 and the sun has become fairly quiet. During most of the last century (SC 16-23) the sun has been in a Grand Maxima. As a result the Earth has experienced warming. But with SC 24 the sun is again changing states. From the peak year 1998, the lower Troposphere temperatures globally have already fallen around 1/2 degree Celsius. This is despite the fact that during that same time period, atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen 5% from 367 ppm to 386 ppm. Several solar scientist are predicting the sun will slide into a "Dalton Minimum" event in SC 25, about a decade from now. If that happens, the Earth will experience some bitterly cold winters for several decades.

The winters may once again resemble the winters 200 years ago during the time of the early pioneers. Imagine for a minute the west fork of the White River near Bloomfield freezing into a block of ice two feet thick.

James A. Marusek


Thanks for

supporting teams

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, March 3, the Linton Miner baseball and softball teams held their annual basket bingo fundraiser at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

The event was very successful and the baseball and softball teams would like to thank the following sponsors for making our event successful:

Mark & Carole Brown, Welch & Cornett Funeral Home, Eugene Martin, P.A., Angell Electronics, Midwest Satellite, Richard Brown Insurance, Randall Baker Business Services, Diamond Electric, C.B.&M. Surveys, Inc, Walters & Grounds Insurance, Goodman Heating & Cooling, Pomp's Tires, Mainstreet Mortgage, Greene County Daily World, Ivey Vinyl, Alley Carts, Outdoor Addiction, McDonalds Restaurant, Kyle Williams Trucking, Jim Todd Construction, Little Britches Daycare, Perfect Shot Taxidermy, Linton Family Pharmacy, Indiana Safety, County Muffler, Jiffy Treat, Linton Sporting Goods, Lannan Auto Sales, 1st Security Insurance, Internal Medicine Associates, Cinco de Mayo, Hamilton Construction, Tangles, Denny Realty, Krista Cox - Southern Indiana Medicine, Nina Gaither and Key Associates of Linton.

A few special thank you's go to Art Cornelius and the folks at the Knights of Columbus for the use of their facility and for being such gracious hosts and for their continued support of the baseball and softball teams, and to Bill Keller for calling our games, we appreciate you.

We would also like to thank Sharman Smith, Monica Sparks, Longaberger consultant, and to the parents, athletes, and the community of Linton for their support of our programs.

It is our hope that the above mentioned sponsors will be supported by the community whenever possible for their generous contributions to our event.

Bart Berns

Head Baseball Coach

Jill Flater

Head Softball Coach

Beaver family

appreciates support

To the Editor:

We would like to thank Buck and Judy Miller for the use of an apartment after our recent fire. Words cannot express our gratitude.

The Beaver Family

Ellen Beaver, James Beaver, Lora Beaver, Aaron Beaver, Daniel Beaver, Jacob Beaver, Mark Beaver, Logan Beaver

Switz City