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Dash of Pepper

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Global warming
-Second installment
The Gazette Staff
Since both sides of the political aisle find themselves in an unexpected state of flux, at least until March 4th, I've decided to take temporary retirement from my troubled career as a political prognosticator and return to a favorite fun topic: global warming.
The most recent news on this front comes to us courtesy of Investors' Business Daily and our friends, the Canadians.
Back in 1992, John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson on the blog site Powerline, wrote a paper titled "The Global Warming Hoax." They note that at that same time, a group of Danish scientists had just published a paper that compared solar energy output (as measured by sunspot activity) to global temperatures and found a striking correlation. "No surprise there," Hinderaker said, "Just about all energy on earth comes from the sun."
Investors' Business Daily recently noted that research and observes that the sun has been quiet lately.
According to the article, solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. "But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century." The article continues, "Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.
The solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe."
Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director of Canada's National Research Council, reports no change in the sun's magnetic field so far this cycle and warns that if the sun remains quiet for another year or two, it may indicate a repeat of that period of drastic cooling of the Earth, bringing massive snowfalls and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere.
R. Timothy Patterson, professor of geology and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Center of Canada's Carleton University, says that "CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales."
Patterson, sharing Tapping's concern, says: "Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth."
Hinderaker makes this point: "I suspect that many global warming alarmists are aware that time is running out for them. If nothing is done and global temperatures decline in coming years - as they inevitably will - the alarmists will have been refuted. On the other hand, if they succeed in pushing through industry-destroying caps on carbon emissions around the world, and especially here in the U.S., they will take credit for the cooling when it comes, claiming it as vindication of their theories.
Hinderaker sees this as an issue the Left is sure to raise during the general election campaign. It has become the secular religion.
He believes that Senator McCain "badly needs to educate himself on the debate currently raging over the climate." In his words, "'Global warming' represents the Left's most ambitious power grab since the fall of Communism, and if a Republican president does not stand in its way, who will?"
He concludes, "If McCain is looking for a sensible energy policy, he might start with the recommendations from the Science and Environment Policy Project: "Our policy recommendation is to phase out natural gas (methane) for electric power generation (now about 20 percent in the U.S. and 40 percent in the U.K.), replace it with coal/nuclear, and use gas as a clean transportation fuel (in the form of Compressed Natural Gas - CNG) for buses, trucks, and all fleet vehicles. In the U.S., this would cut oil imports by 30 percent. Further cuts would come from the use of plug-in and hybrid-electric cars.
There are many creative proposals for addressing our energy needs.
If, as Hindraker says, the Republican Party finds itself among those who mindlessly sign on to the fake science of global warming, the best ideas for the environment will never come to the surface.
The mainstream press will be of no help. In fact, they will be a hindrance. Their coverage of basic issues related to economics and science is really dreadful, uninformed and misleading, partly through intent and partly through gross ignorance, not to mention intellectual laziness - witness the botched stem cell coverage.
Well informed people on the Right (and in the center) need to get involved in this debate before the new secular religion embeds itself in the collective psyche.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 15:26  

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