River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Global Warming

March 2007

Peter finds himself more and more confused by the plethora of contradictory information being touted in the media about Global Warming.

Dear Ray,

After writing my first letter on matters surrounding greenhouse gasses etc., I decided I had better read up on the subject a bit more. Now after several weeks of reading and research, I find I 'know' even less than when I started.

I complained that the media were not good at reporting on such scientific matters and I can now see why. The scientists involved seem all very keen to push their pet theories (therefore presumably ensuring the continuance of their large research grants) whilst ignoring the obvious, or answering questions that in any way throw the merest shadow of doubt on their theories.

Last night I watched a programme by David Attenborough, a presenter I had hitherto regarded with great respect. In his programme he suggested that you assisted the situation by dropping the temperature of your heating two degrees and by putting on a pullover. Fine in itself, but last time I went to Kings Lynn, the shop I passed selling pullovers had its doors fully open in the dead of winter, and had a curtain heater blasting hot air down over the entrance, spilling out into Kings Lynn Shopping Centre. This was repeated many times down the High Street. Very eco-friendly! So I thought, multiply that by the number of towns, cities and shopping centres around the country and see how that compares with a two degree saving by houses with thermostatically controlled heating. Can I find an answer to that on any 'informative' web site? Can I heck!

Then another programme last week suggested that the melting of the Artic ice cap was diluting the salt content of the more northerly end of Gulf Stream and therefore might cause damage to its natural effect and flow. On the other hand I recall, on an earlier programme, great play was being made of the fact that global warming was creating more hurricanes that were in turn sucking more water from the Atlantic Ocean, which one assumes must therefore leave the sea with a higher saline content when it reaches the Eastern Seaboard of the USA.....Now where does the Gulf Stream start its journey north?... I seem to recall it was in that sort of area! Surely one effect could cancel, or at least partially cancel, the other? Again, I'm darned if I can find any learned papers on the web or in the newspapers that can answer that question either.

Ray, I'm almost feeling sorry for the science reporters...but not quite.

Peter Bodle

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