Two weeks ago, after writing about the possibility that the Earth may actually be entering a cooling phase, I braced myself for a torrent of icy missives from the global warming crowd suggesting that the heat must have fried my noggin.

By the way, it is very difficult to discuss global cooling in the midst of a summer when temperatures are hovering around 100 degrees and crops are wilting. As one friend and colleague from the sweltering Southwest noted after reading the column, “Please send some of that cooling this way.”

However, one response opened my eyes to the growing community of global warming skeptics out there, most of them merited scientists. I thought it might be worth presenting their thoughts — a little equal time if you will. Marc Marona, a global warming skeptic who works for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works, sent me these excerpts from a U.S. Senate report.

Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev are so convinced that global temperatures will cool within the next decade they have placed a $10,000 wager with a United Kingdom scientist to prove their certainty. The criteria for the $10,000 bet will be to compare global temperatures between 1998 and 2003 with those between 2012 and 2017. The loser will pay up in 2018, according to an April 16, 2007, article in Live Science.

Australian engineer Peter Harris says that the Earth is nearing the end of the typical interglacial cycle and is due for a sudden cooling climate change. “Based on this analysis we can say that there is a 94 percent probability of imminent global cooling and the beginning of the coming ice age.

“Climate is becoming unstable,” Harris went on to say. “Most of these major natural processes that we are witnessing now are interdependent and occur at the end of each interglacial period, ultimately causing sudden long-term cooling.”

Oleg Sorokhtin, merited scientist of Russia and fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and staff researcher of the Oceanology Institute, says to “stock up on fur coats and felt boots! Earth is now at the peak of one of its passing warm spells. It started in the 17th century when there was no industrial influence on the climate to speak of and no such thing as the hothouse effect.

“Carbon dioxide is not to blame for global climate change, Sorokhtin said. “Solar activity is many times more powerful than the energy produced by the whole of humankind. Man’s influence on nature is a drop in the ocean.”

Canadian climatologist Timothy Ball said, “If we are facing (a crisis) at all, I think it is that we are preparing for warming when it is looking like we are cooling. We are preparing for the wrong thing.”

On the impact of carbon dioxide on global temperature, United Kingdom astrophysicist Piers Corbyn said, “There is no evidence that carbon dioxide has ever driven or will ever drive world temperatures and climate change. Worrying about carbon dioxide is irrelevant.”

So there you have it folks — solid evidence from the other side of the global warming fence and critical thinking I’m sure you won’t hear much about outside this space.

To be honest, I’m not sure which global weather consequence is more daunting — to be ice fishing in Florida or planting cotton in Maine. But politicians and the popular press should speak out for the resumption of genuine, open debate on climate change. Global warming is not necessarily a foregone conclusion.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com