In 2006, there were predictions in the media that global warming would cause 2007 to be the hottest year on record. Now think about it, what have you read in the media in 2008 about this? Well, nothing actually. Why?

Well, the answer is simple - because 2007 turned out to be the coolest year recorded for the last 30 years. This, the public was not told.

The public was also not told that, since the warm year of 1998, there has been continuous cooling. What the public is told is that, during the twentieth century, there was a global temperature increase of 0,6 oC.

This is true, but what is left out is that most of the warming took place from 1920 to 1940 and that global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, prompting announcements in the mid 1970s that a global ice age was about to pounce on us.

During all this, the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere continued to rise. In fact, atmospheric carbon dioxide (C02) continued to increase after 1940, while atmospheric cooling was taking place. Should that not make people think a bit?

Should people not ponder the issue of whether the theory that man-made C02 is responsible for global warming is actually correct?

If the composition of the atmosphere is compared to the height of the 28-storey Reserve Bank building in Pretoria then the increase in C02 over the last century is less than the thickness of the tiles in the foyer, but we are told that this increase is the cause of great trouble, and that we are all going to fry and die.

In the meantime, other computer models of the climate change game are now predicting that there will be no change in global temperature over the next ten years. I am one of the first people to say: "Watch it, do not trust the computer models because the earth climate system is so complex that it is extremely difficult to produce computer models that are very accurate." They are a 'work in progress', so to speak. Nevertheless, these models are not predicting a warming trend.

Proponents of dramatic climate change caused by man-made C02 continue to ignore other realities. For example, it is well known that, centuries ago, the Vikings had settlements in Greenland and that they grew crops such as grapes.

The archaeologists have unearthed the evidence. It is also known from the historical record that the Viking settlements started to cool and freeze, year by year, until the last supply ship to visit the settlements did so in 1410.

After that, the settlements died out, and it appears that this was due to the advancing cold. Denmark did not return to Greenland until 1721.

That warm period, which permitted Vikings to grow grapes in Greenland, is well documented and is known as the Medieval Warm Period. It was followed by a cooling trend known as the Little Ice Age. Its coldest point is known as the Maunder Minimum.

During this period of cooling, the river Thames, in London, froze and there are paintings from the period showing people skating on the Thames and having ox braais on the frozen river. All this happened without any influence from C02 produced by people.

Indications are that the global warming and cooling trends fit a 1 500-year cycle, and that this cycle is induced by a varying activity of the giant nuclear reactor that is our Sun. Even a small variation in energy output by a ball of fire as large as our sun is a massive energy variation, certainly enough to affect the earth's climate.

This happens not only due to direct warming, but also due to cloud seeding by nuclear particles emitted from the sun, but we do not want to get too complicated now.

Other realities are that the polar bears are not dying out - the Canadian polar bear population has increased by more than 20% over the last decade. The shrinking ice cap at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is not a result of global warming - it is, in all probability, due to people cutting down the trees at the base of the mountain. These trees used to supply moisture into the airflow that rose up the side of the mountain and which then condensed out as ice. Now, no trees, no water, and so no more ice.

There is no warming mechanism at the height of that mountain that can lead to ice melting. It is time for the general population to think a great deal more deeply about global warming and climate change claims, particularly since panic reactions by governments will lead to economic hardship for citizens.

The good news is that, historically, the periods of global warming have always been periods of great economic progress and health and welfare for people.