April 17, 2006
Global warming politics

Global warming politics

Columnist George F. Will recently wrote a column entitled “The Media Heats Up Over Global Warming.” If you didn’t catch it, you missed the irony.

As a geologist and petroleum engineer, I have called myself an Earth scientist for nearly 60 years. I do care deeply and study the literature about global temperatures. Some 35 years ago, I was told to be alarmed by Science Digest, Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, New York Times, and other crusading journalists about global cooling-“well established,” “return of the Ice Age,” etc.

Geologists do know that the historical data robustly correlates the historical Earth’s temperature with sun spots. The irony is that, as far as I know, the Kyoto Treaty does not mention sun spots. And the politicians can’t control them.

Bottom line: My beloved children and grandchildren have many changing conditions (like the future world oil shortage) to worry about. But global warming, whether it happens or not, is not one of their worries.

What amazing computerized weather-forecasting skill it is that projects hundreds of years in the future but can’t seem to forecast the weather for next Memorial Day.

Global warming, at least to me, is a political issue about wealth transfer of trillions of US dollars. It is not an honest debate about Earth science. The conclusions are by no means unanimous.

Wayne E. Swearingen