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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Look, we have just over 100 years of good data on weather patterns. The Earth has been around for, what, billions of years? And we think that just because it is hot now, that it is the hottest summer on record, that we didn't have a hotter summer 500 years ago? Maybe a period of 20 years of increased heat in the 1500s? We can only assume we didn't. That's not good science.
    • Isn't this "climate" versus "weather" confusion? From the freshman Earth Science class I took (so it must be true), Climate refers to "a weather trend through a long period of time." While I believe you are dead-on right to bring up the rather patchy daily weather record available to science today, it is a lot of climate data to be obtain through ice cores, rock layers and things of an imperical nature with which I'm not well acquainted (real science is hard and frequently dirty). Two questions must be answered as a prelude to debating environmental policy. Is the Earth's climate changing (over some given period of time)? Is climate change influenced by man's industrial and argicultural output? I think the answer to the first question isn't quite settled, but it does appear that climate has become hotter this century and will likely continue to get hotter during the next century. Is the "hand of man" the sole or deciding factor of this change (given that it exists)? There is far less conclusive evidence for man's contribution to climatic change than to even the existence of said climate change.

      That said, we really ought to castrate industrial polluters. =-)