Wednesday, June 20, 2007

News Flash: The Earth Changes Temperature

Quick global warming update: Climatologist Timothy Patterson has new data to indicate the variations in temperature over the last 5,000 years. As you might guess, the temperature did not remain constant during that time period. He found periods of rapid warming or cooling, several degrees in a few years, despite the fact that Romans and Mayans didn't drive Escalades. This suggests that perhaps we shouldn't get too worried about .6 degrees of warming over a century. Patterson also cites a poll of climate scientists. In one two-thirds of more than 530 climatologists surveyed did not believe that "the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases." And half of those polled said that the science of climate change was not settled enough for policymakers to be considering it. Patterson goes on to say that in 2020 the sun will enter its weakest cycle in two hundred years. This may have even more impact than compact fluorescent light bulbs. However, I feel compelled to include my global warming disclaimer: let's conserve energy, let's develop new technology to reduce pollution, but let's not have useless Kyoto-like protocols or taxes that will damage the global economy.

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