Re: Too Many Cars!

 >Those interested in the facts about climate changes and its real costs
 >might be interested in an article in the Jan/Feb 1997 issue of World
 >magazine, p.10-11.  On top of the world scientists saying there are
 >changes happening because of human pollution, are those ever-radical
 >insurance guys! 
  When I first wrote the note in which I stated that there was no clear
evidence of global warming and a connection of that to weather related
disasters, I was basing my position on historical information.

  While it is true that the insurance industry is cutting back on
insuring certain areas for weather related damages, and it is true that
there has been a large number of weather related disasters in the US over
the last decade or so, to say that this is being caused by global
warming, or to even conclude that there is any significant global warming
trend, is a rather great leap of faith in my opinion.

  Yes. there has been an increase in weather related disasters over the
last decade compared to several previous decades.  And yes, the insurance
industry is cutting back (although my insurance rates have not changed
appreciably).  And yes, scientists have been seeing a small increase in
average global temperatures.  That increase is about one-half of one
degree over a fifty year period and the winter of 95/96 sort of messed up
those numbers.  But the scientific community that has been crying about
global warming has not had much to say about that fact.

  But....(knew that was coming didn't you?)...if the severe weather we
have seen over the last 15 or so years is caused by global warming which
in turn was caused by increased use of fossil fuels (the original premise
I questioned), then what caused the very severe winters of the middle of
the last century?  There was a period of about eight to ten years when
the winters were really extreme; even more so than the 95/96 winter.  The
Donner party didn't just get caught in a normal winter storm near the
mountain pass that now bears that name.  It was the severest winter that
had been seen in that area in recorded history, and I think still holds
that record.  What caused the very severe winters in the late 1700's? 
What caused the severe flooding of most of the rivers in the center of
what is now the US (the Mississippi, Ohio, Arkansas, and Missouri rivers)
in the last century?  Many of those floods were just as bad as, or worse
than, those in recent history.  they didn't do as much dollar damage
because there were less people and fewer cities.  Not to mention the
difference in the value of the dollar.

  All of the comparisons I have seen do not go back before 1900.  Most
start in about 1925 or so.  And even then, there were some very serious
winter storms and a lot of flooding and other types of weather related
"disasters" that do not count up in dollars simply because of the
differences in population and in the value of the dollar within those
time frames.  Those who subscribe to the "global warming" theory discount
these facts as not being germane to the subject at hand. Why?  If a
theory of this nature is to be accepted, it must at least have a sound
foundation and cover a time period that is reasonable.  Look at the
weather patterns over three or four, or even five, centuries.  Take an
average over a long term and then show that this current "increase" is
really an increase and not just a cyclic change that will self correct in
a few more decades.  Look at the extremes over that same period.  And
compare the worst of them to the current "disasters".  Do we still have a
significant difference that has shown up over the last 40 or so years?

--Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--