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By Alan Caruba
August 26, 2002

Endless weeks of oppressive summer heat on the East Coast and elsewhere throughout the US. Drought throughout much of the South and West. Cataclysmic forest fires in Colorado, Oregon and other States. Massive flooding in Europe and Asia. Must be portents of major weather changes, right? No.

The weather is the weather and the weather is pure chaos. It just happens and it does so in ways that still largely remain a mystery to meteorologists and climatologists. This, however, does not stop environmentalists from blaming these latest weather events on "global warming", the greatest lie of the 20th century.

Some factors, however, are known. Sallie Baliunas, an astrophysicist with the George C. Marshall Institute and deputy director of the Mount Wilson Observatory, points out that "In 1610 Galileo began the telescopic observations of sunspots that make up our modern view of the sun. Sunspots are cooler, darker areas of strong magnetic fields. The number of sunspots peaks and the direction of the field changes ever eleven years or so, making a 22-year magnetic cycle. In the 1980s NASA satellites collected data that showed the sun was brightest during peak sunspot periods."

"The sun's signature," noted Baliunas, "seems also present in the climate record over many millennia. Every few centuries the sun's magnetism weakens to low levels for several decades. An example is the period from about 1640 to 1710, when sunspots were rare. That period coincided with the coldest century of the millennium."

The bottom line regarding the weather in recent years is that weather measurements "show no increasing global warming trend." The other conclusion one can draw from data reaching back five centuries is that it is-and always has been-the Sun that determines the overall temperature of the Earth.

Environmental groups have thrived on dire weather predictions. In the 1970's they were predicting a coming Ice Age. A decade later they were claiming that global warming was real. Neither is on the near horizon for the Earth. You need to keep repeating to yourself, "They're lying. They're lying. They're lying."

You need only go back two years to recall that hot weather was not an issue on the East Coast. The August 1, 2000 edition of The Washington Post reported that "The average temperature was more than 5 degrees below normal in what the National Weather Service said was one of the Washington area's coolest Julys on record. Last year, 2001, was only slightly warmer than "average" according to global climate data gathered by meteorological satellites. It added up to a mere 0.11 degrees Fahrenheit over the 20-year (1979-1998) average.

Weather extremes have existed throughout history. In that regard, they can be considered "normal" precisely because they have always occurred in some part of the world. This year it's Europe's and Asia's turn to experience them. The United States and Mexico are coping with their own weather-related events and trends. One need hardly go back beyond the 1990s to find ample examples of floods comparable to what is occurring elsewhere in the world. Here in the US, the Mississippi River dramatically flooded vast areas in 1993. In 1994, the San Jacinto River in Texas burst its banks.

As Lesley Newson, the author of "Devastation: The World's Worst Natural Disasters", points out, "Dramatic climatic change is a natural feature of our planet. Many of the most damaging climatic shifts of recent times have been linked to fluctuations in the movement of winds and ocean currents." The word to focus on is "natural." This is Nature at work, not the result of human activity.

As but one example, there have been major floods in Germany in 1232, 1515, 1534, 1785, 1813, 1816, 1853, and 1855. The latest floods may be once-in-a-hundred-year-type occurrences, but they have most certainly occurred in the past. And well before any so-called "global warming."

Changes in the weather, particularly in Europe, have been attributed to the North Atlantic Oscillation, a weather pattern in which high pressure and low pressure centers over northern and southern Europe tend to alternate. This year's floods are not that unusual. Last year, parts of Hungary, Poland and even Siberia experienced severe flooding.

Look at it this way, if a new Ice Age arrives, it will be a natural event and there will not be a thing anyone can do about it. The last one ended 12,000 years ago after having begun 114,000 years earlier. The waters it released killed countless species, but its end coincided with the time Homo Sapiens began their long trek toward the creation of human civilization throughout the world.

Keep this in mind the next time you read some apocalyptic prediction coming out of the latest United Nations conference on "Sustainable Development" or published by one of the countless environmental organizations, they are lying in order to further their march toward the acquisition of totalitarian power.

2002 Alan Caruba - All Rights Reserved

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted at the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.