"The Cooling World" - by Peter Gwynne

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"The Cooling World" - by Peter Gwynne

#1 Postby kenl01 » Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:49 am

April 28, 1975 Newsweek


There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.

The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.


The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.





To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras – and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average.

Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 – years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.

Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. “Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data,” concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. “Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.”

Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases – all of which have a direct impact on food supplies. “The world’s food-producing system,” warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, “is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago.” Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

Yes, and with all the growing glaciers in so many areas up to the present, no wonder it's still getting colder and snowier in most areas.

Return to top Is a New Ice Age Under Way?
by Laurence Hecht

“Watch out, Al Gore. The glaciers will get you!” With that appended note, my friend, retired field geologist Jack Sauers, forwarded to me a report that should have been a lead item in every newspaper in the world. It was the news that the best-measured glacier in North America, the Nisqually on Mount Rainier, has been growing since 1931.

The significance of the fact, immediately grasped by any competent climatologist, is that glacial advance is an early warning sign of Northern Hemisphere chilling of the sort that can bring on an Ice Age. The last Little Ice Age continued from about 1400 to 1850. It was followed by a period of slight warming. There are a growing number of signs that we may be descending into another Little Ice Age—all the mountains of “global warming” propaganda aside.

Our current understanding of the long-term climate cycles shows that for the past 800,000 years, periods of approximately 100,000 years’ duration, called Ice Ages, have been interrupted by periods of approximately 10,000 years, known as Interglacials. (We are now about 10,500 years into the present Interglacial.)

What Causes Ice Ages
These cycles are not mere statistical correlations, as some Wall Street prognosticator working at the modern PC version of a ouija board might spin out. They are determined, with great scientific precision, to correlate with long-term, cyclical changes in the Earth’s orbital relationship to the Sun. Three fundamental orbital relationships are involved, each of which contributes to the amount of sunlight received in high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. When these cycles combine to reduce the incoming solar radiation (insolation) during summer months, over a number of years, the ice sheets which permanently cover Greenland, parts of Alaska, northern Canada, Scandinavia, and elsewhere, begin to advance.

At a certain point, the growth process becomes self-feeding, partly because the high reflectivity of ice and snow reduces the local temperature, partly for reasons that are not fully understood. The glaciers thicken and expand until they become continental ice sheets, one to two miles thick, creeping ever southward. Geological evidence shows that in the last Ice Age, the southern boundary of the continental ice sheet, known as a terminal moraine, stretched down the center of Long Island, through New York City, across New Jersey and Pennsylvania to Southern Illinois and Missouri, then up the Plains States through Montana and Washington State. All of this real estate was buried under one to two miles of ice.

Geologically and climatologically speaking, we are due for another such glacial advance. It might not happen in our lifetimes, but radical shifts in the climate of northern regions can take place suddenly, and in some places may already be taking place.

How to Look at ‘Global Warming’
A very important thing to understand in interpreting all the swill that issues daily from the Global Warming mill (really the anti-industry, anti-population lobby, headed and pumped with money by the Royal Consort Prince Philip, and former Nazi Party member Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands), is that the onset of an Ice Age is not marked by global cooling. In fact, the very same astronomical conditions which cause a cooling at high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, produce the opposite effect in the Southern Hemisphere, where there is much more ocean to absorb and retain the incoming solar radiation. Thus the global average temperature does not tell us anything of importance.

The geological requirements for an Ice Age are the presence of a large landmass around the Polar Circle and extending southward. A look at the globe, or world map, shows that those conditions exist in the Northern Hemisphere, but not in the Southern. Therefore, the important thing to look at is the climate conditions in northern and far northern regions. Some of the indicators:


• Since 1980, there has been an advance of more than 55% of the 625 mountain glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring group in Zurich. (From 1926 to 1960, some 70-95% of these glaciers were in retreat.)

• A comparison of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 1965 and 1990 Plant Hardiness Zone Maps, shows a southward change of one zone, or 10°F, between 1965 and 1990.

• Careful measurements of the oxygen isotope ratios in German oaks, which are rigorously calibrated to temperature data, show a 1°C temperature decline from 1350 to 1800 (the lowpoint of the Little Ice Age). Temperature thereafter increased by 1°C from 1800 to 1930, and has been declining since then.

• From weather stations in the Alps, and in the Nordic countries, we find the temperature decline since 1930 is also 1°C.

• Satellite measurements have shown growth in the height and breadth of the huge Greenland ice sheet, the largest in the Northern Hemisphere

On Nisqually
That brings us to the Nisqually glacier, up on the 14,410-foot Mount Rainier, near Tacoma, Wash. Just 85 feet shy of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 states, Mount Rainier has 26 glaciers, and is the largest single peak system in the United States.

In 1931, fearful that the receding glacier would provide insufficient runoff for their newly completed hydroelectric facility, Tacoma City Light began careful measurements of the glacier. Since the mid-1800s, the glacier had receded about 1 kilometer. Annual to semi-annual measurements, continued by the U.S. Geological Survey and private contractors for the National Park Service, provide the longest continuous series of glacier measurements in North America.

The details are described in a report by government specialists, which appeared in the September 2000 issue of Washington Geology:

“The greatest thickening during the period of measurement occurred between 1931 and 1945, when the glacier thickened by about 50% near 2,800 meters of altitude. This and subsequent thickenings during the mid-1970s to mid-1980s produced waves that advanced its terminus. Glacier thinning occured during intervening periods. Between 1994 and 1997, the glacier thickened by 17 meters at 2,800-m altitude, indicating probable glacier advance during the first decade of the 21st century.”

That’s the story from Mount Rainier. Retired geologist Sauers, who has been observing conditions in the Cascade Mountains of western Washington for a lifetime, says “I’m preparing for an Ice Age.” Perhaps we all should.


Laurence Hecht is Editor-in-Chief of 21st Century.



The chart that depicts these long-term temp increases since 1880 really does not reflect any details from a decadal time scale (or adjustments to urban heat effects). Most of the warming was apre-1940 event, occurring from 1800 to 1940 as temperatures recovered from the "little ice age". If you take the other example, the Goddard Institute 200 stations maintained since 1900, most show a similar trend through 1940, then no change or a slight cooling if you adjust them for "urban heat effects". This adjustment is very important. So according to the 200 stations under scientific supervision from the NASA Goddard Institute, of the 200 stations maintained by NASA here, most stations trends have remained essentially the same, and over 100 have shown a net cooling trend, many since 1940 especially.

http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stati ... Greenland/

another excellent site I recommend for snow/cold and glacier growth updates is http://www.iceagenow.com
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#2 Postby x-y-no » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:04 am

Show me even a few papers published in peer-reviewed journals in which climatologists predicted an imminent ice age.

You can't do it, because they don't exist. This claim that there was serious belief in an imminent ice age in the 60s or 70s is a pure myth - a lie manufactured by contrarians like Daly. I've pointed this out to you before, yet you continue to repeat this nonsense.
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#3 Postby MGC » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:29 pm

I clearly remember the talk of a possible ice age back in the 60's. The main stream media covered it too. Can not point to any papers but I remember it well....MGC
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#4 Postby x-y-no » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:34 am

MGC wrote:I clearly remember the talk of a possible ice age back in the 60's. The main stream media covered it too. Can not point to any papers but I remember it well....MGC



Yes - that's my point. There was some speculation on the part of some scientists, and it got picked up in the popular press. But there was no serious peer-reviewed work which supported this speculation.

To imply any similarity, let alone equivalence, between such relatively unsupported speculation back in the 60's and 70's and the massive volume of peer-reviewed work on global warming today is dishonest in the extreme.
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#5 Postby Jim Hughes » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:47 pm

x-y-no wrote:
MGC wrote:I clearly remember the talk of a possible ice age back in the 60's. The main stream media covered it too. Can not point to any papers but I remember it well....MGC



Yes - that's my point. There was some speculation on the part of some scientists, and it got picked up in the popular press. But there was no serious peer-reviewed work which supported this speculation.

To imply any similarity, let alone equivalence, between such relatively unsupported speculation back in the 60's and 70's and the massive volume of peer-reviewed work on global warming today is dishonest in the extreme.


I agree it would be dishonest but you also have to look at the numbers somewhat. Everything would most likely have higher numbers today regardless of the subject matter. More people.

I have to seriously wonder what the percentages were back than? GW was picked up rather strongly by the media about a decade ago and there were not as many people on board as there are today.

Mind you I am just talking about what the scientists might have thought not the peer-reviewed process.

OTOH data bases were smaller and probably far and few between. Things were not as interconnected back then either. So it would have been much harder to have a larger peer-reviewed subject matter. Probably less publications etc..

You would probably know more about this than me though. So I bow to your expertise here. :)


Jim
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#6 Postby x-y-no » Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:55 am

Jim Hughes wrote:I agree it would be dishonest but you also have to look at the numbers somewhat. Everything would most likely have higher numbers today regardless of the subject matter. More people.

I have to seriously wonder what the percentages were back than? GW was picked up rather strongly by the media about a decade ago and there were not as many people on board as there are today.


The answer is "negligible to nonexistent". I've seen this claim dozens, maybe hundreds of times over the years and I actually took the trouble to do some extensive searches myself. I couldn't find one singe example of published research in a peer-rewiewed journal making the claim that we were rapidly headed towards an ice age. Now maybe such a thing exists, which is why I continually ask those making this claim to provide at least a handful of cites. The only thing I have ever received in response is references to articles in the popular press or unsubstantiated claims by AGW skeptics.

Sure there are more researchers today, but not a thousand-fold more. But there are hundreds or thousands of peer-reviewed papers published which posit and support the AGW theory nowadays. If this idea of an imminent ice age were anything worthy of comparison, there ought to be at least a few dozen papers around to demonstrate that.

There aren't. They don't exist, because this claim is a lie. Those making it (not neccesarily on this board, I'm talking about prominent skeptics like John Daly) know it's a lie yet they continue to make it. That deserves consideration when evaluating their overall credibility.


Mind you I am just talking about what the scientists might have thought not the peer-reviewed process.


No, that doesn't cut it. I can point you to many examples of very prominent scientists (Nobel Prize winners in physics even) speculating about time travel, teleportation of living beings, faster than light travel via wormholes, on and on. Does that mean those ideas are equal in respectability to Einsteinian Relativity or Newtonian Laws of Motion? Is that evidence that we ought to dismiss all of modern physics?

I don't think so.

OTOH data bases were smaller and probably far and few between. Things were not as interconnected back then either. So it would have been much harder to have a larger peer-reviewed subject matter. Probably less publications etc..

You would probably know more about this than me though. So I bow to your expertise here. :)


Jim


That doesn't cut it either. If anything, the fact that there were fewer journals back then means that more of the research community would have been familiar with even somewhat obscure pieces of published research, since there was less volume of material to read. Nobody I've ever asked (and I've asked a fair number) who were working in Climate Science or Physical Oceanography at the time can recall any extended serious support for the idea. Speculation, yes. But that's all.
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#7 Postby Jim Hughes » Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:35 pm

x-y-no wrote:
Jim Hughes wrote:I agree it would be dishonest but you also have to look at the numbers somewhat. Everything would most likely have higher numbers today regardless of the subject matter. More people.

I have to seriously wonder what the percentages were back than? GW was picked up rather strongly by the media about a decade ago and there were not as many people on board as there are today.


The answer is "negligible to nonexistent". I've seen this claim dozens, maybe hundreds of times over the years and I actually took the trouble to do some extensive searches myself. I couldn't find one singe example of published research in a peer-rewiewed journal making the claim that we were rapidly headed towards an ice age. Now maybe such a thing exists, which is why I continually ask those making this claim to provide at least a handful of cites. The only thing I have ever received in response is references to articles in the popular press or unsubstantiated claims by AGW skeptics.

Sure there are more researchers today, but not a thousand-fold more. But there are hundreds or thousands of peer-reviewed papers published which posit and support the AGW theory nowadays. If this idea of an imminent ice age were anything worthy of comparison, there ought to be at least a few dozen papers around to demonstrate that.

There aren't. They don't exist, because this claim is a lie. Those making it (not neccesarily on this board, I'm talking about prominent skeptics like John Daly) know it's a lie yet they continue to make it. That deserves consideration when evaluating their overall credibility.


Mind you I am just talking about what the scientists might have thought not the peer-reviewed process.


No, that doesn't cut it. I can point you to many examples of very prominent scientists (Nobel Prize winners in physics even) speculating about time travel, teleportation of living beings, faster than light travel via wormholes, on and on. Does that mean those ideas are equal in respectability to Einsteinian Relativity or Newtonian Laws of Motion? Is that evidence that we ought to dismiss all of modern physics?

I don't think so.

OTOH data bases were smaller and probably far and few between. Things were not as interconnected back then either. So it would have been much harder to have a larger peer-reviewed subject matter. Probably less publications etc..

You would probably know more about this than me though. So I bow to your expertise here. :)


Jim


That doesn't cut it either. If anything, the fact that there were fewer journals back then means that more of the research community would have been familiar with even somewhat obscure pieces of published research, since there was less volume of material to read. Nobody I've ever asked (and I've asked a fair number) who were working in Climate Science or Physical Oceanography at the time can recall any extended serious support for the idea. Speculation, yes. But that's all.



Your hung up on peered-review journals as the almighty law. There have been times when it took time for something to reach this point.

Now I have no idea as to why a paper was never written back then and I really do not care. Because this still does not mean that it wasn't considered. So your researching a different point here. Look through non peered - review journals, newspapers...magazines etc...

I heard someone mention a cover story about it on National Geographics one time. Now DO NOT misconstrue what I am saying here. I am just trying to point out that NG would most likely not have had it on it's cover if some buzz about it weren't around.



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#8 Postby x-y-no » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:57 am

Jim Hughes wrote:Your hung up on peered-review journals as the almighty law. There have been times when it took time for something to reach this point.


Give me a better objective measure of scientific understanding/consensus at any given time and I'll shut up about peer-review. But as far as I know, no better (or even remotely comparable) measure exists.

Certainly idle speculation, even if offered to a reporter, does not qualify as such a measure. Yet that is what we are offered as evidence that "the same people who claim global warming today said we were headed towards an ice age back then" (and therefore we can simply dismiss the whole issue as hopelessly uncertain).


Now I have no idea as to why a paper was never written back then and I really do not care.


Well you ought to care. When scientists do real research and reach results, they publish. That's how they live. If nothing was published, it's because no such research results existed.


Because this still does not mean that it wasn't considered. So your researching a different point here. Look through non peered - review journals, newspapers...magazines etc...


So are you seriously maintaining that such speculations are equal in weight to the massive body of serious research behind AGW theory today? Because that what the skeptics are claiming when they advance this. And I'm sorry, but it's pure dishonesty. A bald-faced lie which they knowingly tell because a fair proportion of people will fall for it and thus they will acheive their objective of degrading the discussion and muddying the waters. It's intolerable. It's vile. It's disgusting. It makes me mad as H*LL. I won't sit still for it.


Scientists "consider" all sorts of stuff. I gave you examples above - time travel, teleportation, FTL travel through wormholes, etc. You never did say if you equate those speculations (which very respectable scientist have made in popular articles) with the full body of peer-reviewed work in modern physics. If you're seriously going to support the equivalence of those speculations back in the 70's with today's body of work supporting AGW (which, I repeat, is what the skeptics are doing with this bogus argument) then I think you logically must do so with these speculations.
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#9 Postby Jim Hughes » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:36 am

x-y-no wrote:
Jim Hughes wrote:Your hung up on peered-review journals as the almighty law. There have been times when it took time for something to reach this point.


Give me a better objective measure of scientific understanding/consensus at any given time and I'll shut up about peer-review. But as far as I know, no better (or even remotely comparable) measure exists.

Certainly idle speculation, even if offered to a reporter, does not qualify as such a measure. Yet that is what we are offered as evidence that "the same people who claim global warming today said we were headed toward an ice age back then" (and therefore we can simply dismiss the whole issue as hopelessly uncertain).


Now I have no idea as to why a paper was never written back then and I really do not care.


Well you ought to care. When scientists do real research and reach results, they publish. That's how they live. If nothing was published, it's because no such research results existed.


Because this still does not mean that it wasn't considered. So your researching a different point here. Look through non peered - review journals, newspapers...magazines etc...


So are you seriously maintaining that such speculations are equal in weight to the massive body of serious research behind AGW theory today? Because that what the skeptics are claiming when they advance this. And I'm sorry, but it's pure dishonesty. A bald-faced lie which they knowingly tell because a fair proportion of people will fall for it and thus they will acheive their objective of degrading the discussion and muddying the waters. It's intolerable. It's vile. It's disgusting. It makes me mad as H*LL. I won't sit still for it.


Scientists "consider" all sorts of stuff. I gave you examples above - time travel, teleportation, FTL travel through wormholes, etc. You never did say if you equate those speculations (which very respectable scientist have made in popular articles) with the full body of peer-reviewed work in modern physics. If you're seriously going to support the equivalence of those speculations back in the 70's with today's body of work supporting AGW (which, I repeat, is what the skeptics are doing with this bogus argument) then I think you logically must do so with these speculations.



Like I specifically mentioned in my post. Please do not misconstrue what I have said. I know the differences are apples and oranges in regards to certain journals etc..and I am not to sure how many times I need to point this out.

It is very obvious that some people seem to push your buttons with these posts and maybe you ought to think about that for a moment.

I certainly understand the position you are taking. The ONLY thing that I am questioning is how you steadily deny what was being said back then. I believe I am a little older than you so maybe it's about timing.

You come across like these prior positions were either pure rubbish or very speculative. That can be just as insulting to the people who were thinking that way back then. (Not that I know who they were.)

Were they wrong? It looks like they were if you consider the past 10-20 years or so. But what would everyone be saying 20-30 years down the road if the earth were to start cooling or leveling off ?

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#10 Postby x-y-no » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:03 am

Jim Hughes wrote:Like I specifically mentioned in my post. Please do not misconstrue what I have said. I know the differences are apples and oranges in regards to certain journals etc..and I am not to sure how many times I need to point this out.

It is very obvious that some people seem to push your buttons with these posts and maybe you ought to think about that for a moment.


I won't surrender my fealty to the truth, and I can't help it if some of my frustration begins to show when I find myself debunking the same false arguments over and over and over and over and over and over ...


I certainly understand the position you are taking. The ONLY thing that I am questioning is how you steadily deny what was being said back then. I believe I am a little older than you so maybe it's about timing.


I have never denied that such speculations were made. They were. What I reject is the attempt to equate such idle speculation with the huge body of serious research into AGW with the intent of discrediting the latter with the former.

That's a dishonest argument, and I won't let it stand.


You come across like these prior positions were either pure rubbish or very speculative. That can be just as insulting to the people who were thinking that way back then. (Not that I know who they were.)


I have no idea why someone would be offended at having their speculations called speculative. In fact, I'd think they'd find it far more insulting to have serious published research equated with idle speculation and thus dismissed.
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#11 Postby Jim Hughes » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:40 am

x-y-no wrote:
Jim Hughes wrote:

I have never denied that such speculations were made. They were. What I reject is the attempt to equate such idle speculation with the huge body of serious research into AGW with the intent of discrediting the latter with the former.




I think the term idle speculation is a little strong here. Especially since you are unaware of who said what and what they were basing this on.

As for the serious research into GW. One can conclude many things with numbers.

My only arguement lies with what are the man made percentages?

Are climate cycles and space weather changes responsible for a good deal of it?

You know my feelings about the latter and I am waiting for the right time to start talking about certain things again.

Will this disprove GW? Not at all but allot of questions will need to be asked as to why space weather can effect certain things. It goes against our belief system. Or at least some peoples.


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#12 Postby x-y-no » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:32 pm

OK, fine, drop the word "idle" if you think it inappropriate. That doesn't change my point at all.
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