While the greenhouse gas / global warming theory remains the most widely held view in the scientific community, there’s a growing body of credible scientists on the other side of the debate. Some scientists claim the world has actually been cooling for the past number of year rather than warming. One theory for this is reduced sunspot activity. Last year was one of the lowest years for sunspots in decades. This year has been on track to be even lower. Less radiation from the sun means a cooling planet. Another theory which has received recent attention in some scientific publications claims that the earth has a regular wobble in its oscillation that changes our angle to the sun. It’s difficult to separate fact from fiction. We don’t seem to know if it’s getting warmer or cooler and even if there’s more than normal variability happening, the correlation with human activity and carbon dioxide levels is tenuous. Yet major policy decisions are being based on carbon emissions. World leaders will gather in Copenhagen in December to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol all over again. What the politicians decide will affect farmers through forced carbon reductions and carbon credit trading. Whether the political decisions will have any short or long-term impact on growing season weather is an open question. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC