Molly Ivins' Sept. 12 op-ed column, "Global warming a test for humans" was very interesting. However, as a geologist, I would suggest that she perform some glacial research at a northern university where the last glaciations provide real data that indicate today's climatic variations can be greatly attributed to naturally occurring earthly and celestial cycles.
Humans are so egocentric regarding global cycles and thus do not realize that they are primarily spectators rather than players. Humans are generally insignificant in the total carbon cycle, commanding a maximum of 7 percent influence on aerial carbon -- a fraction of total carbon. If properly informed, Ivins would see that Texas emits a fraction of the carbon that Hawaii emits volcanically.
The "sky is falling" interpretations of early global warming data are slowly coming under closer scrutiny, which only indicates that humans have an incomplete atmospheric model. Although it may take more time than the pundits desire, a definitive answer will only be derived once multiple scientific disciplines jointly analyze climatic data and thus produce a much better interpretation than currently available to closely disciplined scientists.
WILLIAM T. FREDERICK