Now, Canadian scientists are seeking additional funding for more and better "eyes" with which to observe our sun, which has a bigger impact on Earth's climate than all the tailpipes and smokestacks on our planet combined.
And they're worried about global cooling, not warming. Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, is among those looking at the sun for evidence of an increase in sunspot activity.
Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century. Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.
This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.
As seductive (and egocentric) as it is for us to believe that Human activity is significant enough to alter planetary climates, do let us recall, that Mankind occupies a fraction of 1/4 of the planet Earth. The sun transmits daily, exponentially more energy to this planet's surface than the combined output of all nations on the globe since the advent of the industrial revolution, some 200 hundred years ago. Therefore, the idea that Human activity can affect global climate change should be understood as questionable at best and absurd in the very least.
Nevertheless, questionable scientists, opportunistic politicians, and environmental activists insist that Man's activities threaten to destroy the planet's so-called 'precious' ecosystems via dramatic temperature increases from intensified carbon footprints. In fact, the forces of the planet itself and those extraterrestrial forces acting upon it have far more effect on global climate change than those of biological manipulation. Clearly the immediate trends of climatic variation are quite uncertain. A mere 10,000 thousand years ago, glacial ice, miles thick, stretched well into the boundaries of today's United States. Sea levels lingered some 300 feet below that of current coastlines and planetary conditions yielded environments wholely unsuitable to human civilization. The possibiltity of a return to such unhospitable conditions should be an anathema to the judgement of any humanitarian. And yet, the current cult of Global Warming would have us believe that human development should be stifled in the face of a threat that is unsubstantiated and quite at odds with the geological facts. It lends a suspicion as to the motives of the advocates of so-called 'Global Warming' whether their fear of a carbon impact is with the activity of Man...
... or Mankind itself.