Steve? re global warming It's true that we have written records only going back a few hundred years . but the records go back about 200,000 years in the form of polar ice cores, from which it has been possible to measure levels of CO2, methane, oxygen, etc. This is the basis for the information about global warming, and man's contribution to it. If one uses incomplete data to arrive at conclusions, conclusions will be inaccurate. And if the incomplete data is the result of political bias, and a preference for mythology rather than science, then the results can be disastrous, as we have seen.. Nature can be disastrous either way, whether one puts one's faith in good data or not, but science and a really free press allows for better and more reasonable preparation for adequate warning systems --mythology or data suppression is poor preparation. The tsunami could not have been preveneted with any data we now have. But an adequate warning system, even phones, could have prevented the loss of at least 150,000 lives in Indonesia and environs. The Gulf Coast is a different set of convoluted problems. But phone systems and adequate communication were a problem there too, along with a generalized unwillingness to acknowledge masses of data sets, not just on climate instability. The information is there on the web.