The more I read this week’s cover article the more I see just how weak it is. The article doesn’t even differentiate between ‘deniers of global warming’ (I’ve yet to meet anyone who denies the Earth is in a recent warming trend) and folks who think evidence is lacking that humans are a major cause. All doubters are part of the vast evil industry-funded ‘denial machine’ while proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are Right and True, fighting the Good Fight.
Humans *might* be causing it (though I currently think it is unlikely) but at this point the jury is still out. AGW proponents seem to be in a politically-motivated rush to judgment that is hardly scientific. To beat a well-worn drum, AGW proponents need to address the following:
* From 1940 to 1975, why is it that CO2 emissions were high but the Earth cooled slightly?
* Why did the original IPCC report intentionally alter their data to skew results in favor of AGW? Intentionally altering data is terrible - a scientist should have a reverence toward actual data. Theories should be altered to fit data, not the other way around.
* Why is Mars warming?
* We can’t predict weather a week out - why should we trust models looking out a century? Aren’t we, in the words of Peter Huber, just multiplying the infinitesimal by the infinite to reach any desired conclusion?
* The Earth’s climate has always changed - why are we trying to fight it?
* Why do existing climate models fail to predict the known past? What was the cause of the medieval warming period from 900-1300? Why did it start? Why did it stop?
* Humans produce about .00001% of the dominant global-warming gas, H2O, and about 5% of the CO2 released to the environment each year. Why do we think our relatively small contribution has such a large effect? Where are the data to support that?
* Why have we decreed that RIGHT NOW is the magic point where Earth's climate is practically perfect in every way (movie quote alert)? How do we know that slightly-warmer is worse than slightly cooler?
* Why aren't AGW activists major proponants of nuclear power?
* If CO2 causes global temps to increase, why hasn’t this ever happened before? Why don’t we see it in ice-core-sample records to correspond to major volcanic eruptions?
I’m not saying we should ignore the environment and pollute away - far from it. As humanity’s population and environmental impact grows it behooves us to ensure that impact is as slight as possible. We are the first species on Earth able to respond to future predictions and so one is hopeful we can avoid the binge-and-purge population lessons of the past. But climate-change alarmism should never be confused with intelligent impact management.
The Earth has been far warmer and far colder than it is right now. CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have risen and fallen. Shorelines have moved in & out. Clearly change is the only constant.
The one thing we know for sure about the Earth’s climate in a century? It will be different.