Agreement on global warming

Letter to the editor
Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times
September 11, 1998

I hope you will allow an Englishman to throw some cold water on your Kyoto global warming editorial (Sept. 5).

With regard to the satellite evidence, there is some indication that, when you correct for orbital decay, this shows that the atmosphere may be warming, in line with certain other indications. Unfortunately, when you then correct for the slow movement of the orbit, which means that the satellites do not cross the Equator at the same time every day, and for accumulating instrument error, the satellite evidence still clearly indicates cooling, just as balloon-based measurements have done.rection of climate change remains far from established.

The reason why the "Kyoto dream" should fade is that it has set the wrong agenda and has distracted the world from the essential truth that gradual, sudden and unpredictable climate change is the norm and the only real surprise would be if climate actually stopped changing! The desire to criminalize human beings as the root cause of change, which is patently ridiculous in the light of the millions of factors controlling climate, is ultimately dangerous and deflects us from the ever-present need for humans to be ready to adapt to change, whatever direction it takes, warmer, cooler, wetter, or drier.

Professor of Biogeography
University of London
Gravesend, United Kingdom

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