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Ask Russians, Not Expats, Their Opinions of Putin

In response to “Smiles Greet the Status Quo at FIAC,” an article by Howard Amos on Oct. 18.

This article mentioned Ernst & Young CEO James Turley’s “support” on behalf of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s return to the Russian presidency.

As a foreign citizen working the past 18 years in Russia, including several years at Ernst & Young’s Moscow office, I can state with firm certainty that Turley and those other FIAC company leaders present clearly did not bother to ask the sentiments of their own Russian employees as to how they feel about their future — or that of their children — concerning the prospect of another 12 years of Putin.

I am also confident that neither the families of lawyer Sergey Magnitsky nor the one in every six Russian businesspeople who make up 30 percent of the country’s prisoners — the vast majority of whom are incarcerated on fabricated charges — sympathize with Turley’s political sentiments.

We should ask Russians about how they view the political future of their country. Unlike Turley, the locals have no embassy to run to and no airplane they can just hop on and leave.

As for Turley’s comments, let’s caveat them as “not in my name.”

Scott Antel

Exaggerated Arctic Panic

In response to “The Vanishing Arctic,” a column by Stefan Rahmstorf on Oct. 28.

The author asserts that “the Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at an accelerating pace” and “sea levels are indeed rising.” But is this unusual?

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change released a report Aug. 29 that answers the question well. In section 4.2.1, the report concluded that “the mean rate of global sea level rise has not accelerated over the recent past.”

In fact, sea level has dropped for the past two years. Envisat, the largest Earth monitoring satellite, shows that the four lowest sea level readings since 2002 all occurred in 2011.

Global warming may be partly caused by our greenhouse-gas emissions, but today’s temperatures are not unusual when compared with the past. In the 1930s, it was warmer in the Arctic than it is today. One thousand years ago, the Vikings were sailing in waters that are now covered with ice.

Rather than simply looking at the short term, Rahmstorf needs to put recent trends in a historical perspective.

Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition

The views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.

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