Personal Thoughts

Editorial Section

7:55 PM on 6/10/99

Global Warming
Fact or Hogwash?

Hi Folks!

I recently received the following message from one of my avid readers (they're still out there :-). The topic is Global Warming, and the prize... your cash and more regulations, all in accordance with Agenda 21:

08-31-98 21:33:19
From: Pat V.
To: Al Colombo
Subj: Global Warming
There was a gathering of "TV Weather Men" this Spring in Washington, DC and several of the Weather Forecasters from the Cleveland area spoke openly about Global Warming, saying it was just not true, that these fluctuations of temperature have gone on for thousands of years, but no one kept track of them back then, we've only got records from the late 1800's. But most of the people today will believe whatever Washington tells them.

People are indeed trusting, are they not? Last August, 1997, I happened to hear a report on NPR concerning the fact that scientists were now aware of a link between El Nino and the emission of two additional bands of spectral radiation by our sun. According to this newscast, scientists have known about this additional output since 1991, but were of the opinion that it would have no effect on our planet. Because their research points in the direction of the sun, scientists have allegedly reclassified our sun from that of a stable star to variable-output star.

I went in pursuit of information on this but met with either silence or a road block. Even a good friend of mine who has an off-spring scientist in NASA tried to find out. He was told by him/her that they could not comment either way. I contacted eight or more astrophysicists in various colleges about this and NONE of them even bothered to respond. Why? (grant money?)

Then, the other week I watched a documentary on TLC concerning sun spot activity and the effect it has on the weather and climate on earth.Dr. John Butler, Research Astronomer, Armagh Observatory, Armagh, Northern Ireland, said that his research shows a reasonably close correlation between the earth's mean temperature and sun spot activity on the sun.

On the program he said he tracked both sun spot activity and temperature fluctuations on the earth and graphed them together on a chart. The ups and downs both temperature and the sun spot activity were fairly close. I then looked Dr. Butler up on the World Wide Web and promptly e-mailed him for more details. Here is what he had to say:

Yes, you are quite right, there is now plenty of evidence that changes in the Sun are behind at least some of the changes in global climate; the difficulty is to pinpoint exactly how much of the warming is due to the Sun and what the physical processes are.

There is no doubt that there is a lot of work to be done on this topic and that what has been done so far is gaining some level of recognition at last. In the end, we have to weigh up the evidence ourselves, but I think most would agree that there has been a warming of the lower troposphere (close to Earth's surface) over the past century; however this is not beyond the range of natural variability in climate that we have seen over the past few thousand years.

Probably, some of the recent change has been due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, but many scientists now believe that the amount of change that has been attributed to it in the past has been exaggerated and that our variable Sun has played at least an equal part.

Dr. Butler provided some suggested reading material if people really want to know what the scientific community is doing to determine the cause of global warming. He suggests the following books:

  • "The Manic Sun" by Nigel Calder, published by Pilkington Press in 1997
  • "The Global Warming Debate," 1996; and "Global Warming - the continuing debate," 1998; published by the European Science and Environment Forum. These publications give a detailed appraisal, however you might find them a bit biased towards the non-greenhouse-gas lobby. The first was edited by John Emsley and the second by Roger Bate and both can be obtained from the ESEF, 4 Church Lane, Barton, Cambridge CB3 7BE, England (
  • "Sun, Weather and Climate" by Herman and Goldberg; published by NASA. This is one of the most comprehensive books on the topic, but you may find this one difficult to get hold of now.

Thank you, Dr. Butler, for the very interesting and enlightening information. Let us hope and pray that the truth will come to light and that it will help the Senate make the right decision regarding a potentially devestating global warming treaty that may have been flawed from the get go.

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