Thats some good advice, kukla. Its tough to get a grasp on the variables without a good background in earth science. I fear thats one of the key
factors in the mis-information campaign on both sides of the issue.
In the summer of 2002, I read an article in my local paper written by a political science professor (of course) from our local university. It was not
factual at all and she reverberated statistics from the old GW model as if 20 years hadn't past and no new data had been analyzed. I wrote a
rebuttle article and I thought you all might get a kick out of it. I had none of the info from Harvard when this was written but I think it's still
very informative. Anyways, here's my reply. Be gentle, I'm noit a journalist and most of my writing is of a technical nature for research reports
so I apologize in advance if this seems a bit dry.
"Lately, there seems to be a lot of talk in the media about global warming, a lot of talk but not many facts or sources stemming from viable
research. It seems from looking at all the research that a great deal of it is ignored by the press and those promoting the ďitís the end of the
world and its your faultĒ theory. Itís easy enough to find someone who calls themselves an expert to make comments about the subject but the real
question is an expert in what? You have people running around screaming ďwe need to eliminate the carbon dioxideĒ who have no idea what it is or how
itís used or most importantly how it affects the climatic changes on planet Earth. Carbon dioxide or CO2 is one of the three essential variable
gasses along with water vapor and ozone that make up the atmosphere. It makes up only 0.04 percent of dry air but is one of the most significant
constituents of the atmosphere in terms of climatic influence. (Blij, Muller 1993) Itís responsible for 2 main purposes. First is photosynthesis, in
which plants use CO2 and other substances to form carbohydrates for food. Yes, thatís right trees and plants for their very survival use the evil
CO2. Second, CO2 absorbs some of the energy transferred to the atmosphere from the earth and itís primarily CO2 that keeps the earth at temperatures
that permit life. Now the question up for debate is how increases and decreases in the levels of CO2 affect the atmosphere? While we, the general
public, are told that global warming is a fact and that increase levels of CO2 are causing it and that this planet will become unlivable because of
it, the truth is climatologist still havenít determined any of this to be a unanimous conclusion. In fact, there have been times in history when CO2
levels have, in fact, been higher than they are now and while we are presented with computer models that show a rise in atmospheric temperature, the
data gathered by satellites and weather research balloons doesnít show this trend to be factual. (www.sepp.org...
Iím not disputing that the earth hasnít gained a degree or two globally over the past few thousand years but when you look at the big picture, it
makes sense. Before the last Ice Age the earth enjoyed a period of relatively warm temperatures globally more than 10 degrees warmer than present
time. (Blij, Muller 1993) There were no Ice caps or glaciers anywhere on the planet. Why? We didnít have SUVs then (and some of us still donít
now). We didnít have industry. We didnít have cell phones and Iím pretty sure Barbara Striessand wasnít trying to get the rest of us to use clothes
lines (which I do) so she could heat an in door pool and sauna / hot tub. The answer as I see it in my meek opinion from the factual research I have
done is that the earth goes through processes of climatic change. The reasons are probably not always the same. We know the core is a molten mass of
magma and that the asthenosphere (soft layer of upper mantle that underlies the lithosphere) is constantly creating and destroying igneous material.
Itís feasible that this could be one of the reasons for the rise in surface temperature while there is no rise in temperature in the troposphere which
there would be if one accepts the global warming theory. Another more probable cause of the rise in surface temperature lies some 93 million miles
) We already know that the mass of fusion reaction known as the sun is far from a constant. At the
present time, we are experiencing massive blows of electromagnetic radiation from solar flares at this peak of the 11 year solar cycle. The energy
from the sun (insolation) is absorbed into the earthís surface, warming it. Some heat is reflected by the earthís surface called the albedo. So,
what would result in a temperature rise on the surface and not a rise in the troposphere? If we go this route, the answer would be a higher
insolation rate and a lower albedo rate. There is yet another hypothesis for the one and one half-degree rise in surface temperature over the last
couple of centuries. The question of the validity of the devices used to measure temperature from 140 years ago to present.
) My work quite often requires the use of precise thermometers, which have to be calibrated regularly. I
have personally seen 2 laboratory grade devices show that much difference when placed in the same controlled environment. So, who measured the
temperature 140 years ago and with what?
If the past repeats itself as it often does, the ice will melt and the oceans will rise. The water weight will put pressure on the crustal plates
which will force volcanic eruptions delivering ash into the atmosphere limiting insolation and beginning another age of advancing and receding ice
sheets. Just a little while back actually, the Northern Hemisphere got a small taste of this sort of thing. In 1815, a volcano named Tambora roared
to life billowing tens of thousands of tons of ash into the sky. The eruption lowered the chimney of the mountain by four thousand feet and the
pyroclastic flows killed thousands. 15 years or so later, a smaller volcano known as Kraktoa did the same. After the eruption in 1815, the following
summers experienced cooler than usual temperatures. In New England, it was known as the year with no summer. Thomas Jefferson, who was fresh off the
public service roll and raising corn for a living had to borrow one thousand dollars due to crops failing and patriots celebrating Independence Day
retreated to their fire places for warmth. The amount of ash in the atmosphere had limited insolation and lowered annual temperatures at least in the
Northern Hemisphere. This period in England inspired one Mary Shelley to write the famous novel, Frankenstein. The dreary, cold weather prevailed
for three to four years. Could these years of lower temperatures play a role in the average used for comparison to tell us the current temperature is
higher now than it was then?
Now, I realize that using mere facts obtained from years of research to dispel a political tool will no doubt bring on criticism in its own right.
Most of it will probably be character assassination to draw the discussion away from the topic, as is frequently the case with these sorts of things.
Those who would seek to use the environmental movement to further their political causes are not interested in facts and test results and reasons why
changes take place on earth. I do not wish their points of view to be squelched as they do mine. If global warming threatens this planet, I want to
know it. I want clean air and clean water but Iím not ready to attribute every change on the planet to human activity. Changes will take place.
Levels of gases will change in our atmosphere. Animals will go extinct and other species will develop. Itís happened for millions of years and
continues to happen today. Giving your hard-earned money to a political lobby group wonít change it, itíll just build a politician and new summer
home. If the individual wants to help our environment, we can begin by reporting illegal dumps and straight piping of septic systems into our
streams. These are areas we have made great strides in but must endeavor to be ever vigilant in, for these are real problems that deface our scenic
state and poison fish in our waters.
I could go on and on with arguments to suggest a number of different scenarios all of which just as probable as CO2 and global warming. In my
opinion, it would be a mistake to take a step backward in our economy and technology in the name of something that has as much evidence against it as
for it. The answer to clean air and clean water is progress and innovation. Taking our whole civilization back to living in the Stone Age would
solve nothing. Instead of putting our country at risk of sinking to the standards of third world living, we should aspire to higher goals and
encourage China and so many other countries with pollution problems much worse than the U.S. to do the same. Yes, I know itís hot out there but thus
is summer in the South East. Last summer was hot, this summer is hot and in all probability, next summer will be hot so make a note so you can mark
it on your 2003 calendar and get that AC unit charged. "