Scientists to blanket world with weather stations

NEW YORK.  A scientist plans to blanket the world with miniature weather stations to prove the conventional theory that global warming is a reality and that it portends a looming disaster. It all depends on funding. The United Nations Committee on Global Warming has budgeted ten billion dollars, but its go-ahead depends on the United States footing the entire bill. President Bush has indicated he is interested providing the United States does not have to pay for any of it.

Dr. Fred Loomis, chief scientist at the Earth Watch Institute, says his plan is designed to settle for good the controversy concerning global warming: is it due to human activities or is it a natural cyclic phenomenon that occurs over hundreds of years and perhaps millennia? To the question whether it is happening at all Dr. Loomis responds, “The point is, we really don’t know, simply because our measurements of weather are incomplete – we have far too few weather stations and there is a terrible lack of data from remote locations. In vast areas of the world there are no weather stations at all.”

Dr. Loomis says his plan will rectify this situation and reduce the uncertainty to virtually zero. His plan cannot be described as modest. “To do the job properly so that we can be sure we’re right by 2050, we’ll place weather stations spaced one-foot apart and covering the entire globe.”

He admits that this scheme will be technically formidable and enormously expensive, but he said we have no choice. “We have to know where we’re headed. If we screw up through ignorance of what’s really going on, we could be in deep, deep shit,” he said.

Other scientists expressed some reservations with Dr. Loomis’s plan but none of these wished to speak on the record to The Notional Pest. To question the theory of global warming is to risk being ostracized within the politically correct scientific community. However, one scientist, Dr. Glenda Johannsenn, a post-grad from Princeton’s Advanced Study Lab on Weather Extremists, hazarded a contrary opinion to what is virtually scientific dogma.

She said, “Even if there were weather station every millimeter apart over the entire globe they would not let us predict accurately conditions even five seconds into the future. The number of Dr. Loomis’s miniature weather stations is an astronomical number: something like ten to the 30th power. At an estimated cost of $10,000 each, not to mention the enormous system needed to record and analyze the results, that would be a very expensive system indeed.”

Dr. Johannsenn only laughed when I asked her about quality of life on earth with stations one-foot-apart covering the entire globe including the oceans and the polar regions.

But then she grew serious pointing out that Dr. Loomis’s array proposal has two fatal flaws. Measuring such things such as temperature, velocity, barometric pressure, and so forth, affects (changes) the thing being measured. That’s the famous Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle. Second, Chaos Theory shows that an unstable system such as global weather can flip into a new phase of activity by small-scale and unpredictable events. “Fluttering butterflies in Brazil causing a downpour in China – that sort of thing,” she said.

Dr. Loomis scoffs at such criticisms. “Sure, it’s going to be difficult, but if we don’t get a handle on this problem, it’s curtains for us all. Unless we curb drastically our carbon dioxide emissions the seas will rise and submerge all the major cities of the world. The average temperature, worldwide will be that of Miami in July. Ski resorts such as Whistler might just as well sell their ski lifts for firewood – not that anyone trying to cool off at 50 degrees Celsius will have a need for firewood!”

The debate rages on, but Dr. Loomis has support from all the major and influential scientists. 

Dr. David Suzuski of Canada agrees that global warming is a fact and "we'll see see Halifax starting to slip under the waves starting in 2002." But he would go much further than would Dr. Loomis. If he can get the Canadian government to agree, he will get all fossil-burning vehicles off the road by September, 2001, at least in Canada, and by March. 2002, he will make it illegal to burn oil and other carbon-based fuels in furnaces in private homes and elsewhere. 

Dr. Suzuki said that while Mr. Martin is withholding comment, the Prime Minister, Mr. Jean Chretien, has let it be known he favours these proposals. The Pest has learned that if nothing else, tabling such a bill into Parliament would take everyone's mind off Shawinigate. Notional Pest