- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pretending to be green is expensive. Californians have set the pace for adopting the trendy lifestyle choice but recently have cried out for relief when confronted with the true cost of saving the planet from “global warming.” As new evidence emerges about extraterrestrial forces that shape Earth’s climate, Americans from coast to coast may come to a similar realization of the futility of trying to bring down temperatures before their bank balances dry up.

Golden State residents bear some of the nation’s highest energy prices, and for a simple reason. Sacramento bureaucrats force refiners to produce gasoline according to a special California-specific recipe that enables the left-coasters to claim they’re far greener than their neighbors. When a fire took out a key oil refinery, supply dried up and prices soared to near $6 a gallon because other states couldn’t ship their surplus petrol to meet the rising demand. Public anger forced Gov. Jerry Brown to relent and allow remaining California refineries to make an early switch from boutique summer blends to an easier-to-produce winter mix. As a result, the fuel supply has eased and pump prices have peaked, though they still average around $4.57 a gallon — a full dollar more than Texans pay.

Mr. Brown hasn’t relented from blaming mankind for purported global warming, but researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego suggest there may be causes beyond human control. Their study of ice core samples from Antarctica indicate a cyclical pattern of global temperature swings. Layers of sediment found in the ice record show that “vertical mixing,” or upwelling of cold water, carries debris from the ocean floor to lodge in the surface ice pack at 1,800-year intervals. They also noticed that vertical mixing phases coincide with periods of both strong lunar forces and ocean cooling. Tying the evidence together, they conclude that cycles in the moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans cause seawater to cool, which in turn results in periodic reductions in air temperature. Conversely, times of reduced lunar pull result in global warming.

The new theory adds to the growing body of science indicating that Earth’s temperature patterns are governed by forces far greater than the impact of the combustion of gas in motor vehicles and the burning of other fossil fuels to power modern civilization. Not surprisingly, also crucial to climate is that white-hot orb in the sky, the sun. Research indicates cyclical sunspot activity produces fluctuations in radiation intensity, which cause Earth’s temperatures to rise and fall as they did during the 10th century’s Medieval Warm Period and 16th century’s Little Ice Age.

With the nation’s financial outlook showing few genuine signs of improvement, Americans place supposed environmental issues near the bottom of their list of concerns. In a Gallup poll conducted earlier this year, the economy ranked as the No. 1 concern while the environment came in 12th out of 15 issues.

As climatologists gain a more complete grasp of the forces that regulate Earth’s temperatures, Americans are left to ponder whether expensive energy sources like solar panels, windmills and biofuels will have a greater effect on their wallets than their thermometers.

The Washington Times