In just a few sentences, here is my opinion of so-called Anthropogenic Global Warming a/k/a Climate Change:
- There is no question that during the past century, the earth's climate has warmed --- very slightly;
- There is absolutely no convincing evidence that human influences are responsible for any appreciable fraction of this slight temperature rise;
- There is considerable evidence that such slight temperature increase as we have experienced will be, on balance, beneficial to the earth and its inhabitants; and
- There is absolutely no evidence that we could, or should, do anything to attempt to influence the earth's climate one way or the other.
If you have no idea what the controversy is all about (unlikely if you're reading this blog), or if you believe that the underlying science is so complex that you could never understand it, you need to take a look at A Global Warming Primer (PDF), published by the non-partisan National Center for Policy Analysis. It's very clearly written, and is illustrated with many colorful charts, much like a professionally-done PowerPoint presentation. By the time you finish it, you'll have a pretty good understanding of the subject.
You'd never know it from the near-unanimity of the climate hysteria being peddled by our politicians with the help of their media friends, our scientific establishment, and our abysmally ignorant entertainers, but the fact is that man-made global warming is an enormous scam.
Despite the overwhelming peer pressure exerted to keep them silent, increasing numbers of qualified scientists are speaking out and telling the truth about climate change. Many of them are older scientists who are either tenured professors with great seniority or retired with emeritus status. Thus, they are no longer concerned with begging department heads for funding or writing grant applications to government agencies, corporations, and NGOs. Those who are strong enough to withstand the opprobium of their left-leaning peers, often expressed in the form of unbelievably vicious personal attacks, are increasingly deciding to speak out and tell the public the unvarnished truth.
These men and women deserve our undying gratitude. They have absolutely nothing to gain by speaking out, and much to lose, yet they choose to do so from a sense of duty. Many are heartsick at seeing the science to which they have devoted decades of their lives corrupted for the purpose of advancing a political agenda.
At this point, there are many references I could cite. Here is an excellent article written about 1-1/2 years ago by an Australian professor from James Cook University, Dr. Bob Carter:
There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998
Dr. Carter has a whole page of climate change-related links set up here:
COMMENT & INFORMATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
The best thing I have read recently is a guest blog post on Watts Up With That?, Anthony Watts' science-related blog, by Dr. Roy W. Spencer. For the benefit of those not familiar with his work, he is Principal Research Scientist at UAH, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he works with another highly qualified climatologist, Dr. John Christy. In other words, no one could question Dr. Spencer's credentials as a qualified climatologist.
UAH is one of the four authoritative research centers keeping track of the global temperature metric as determined by satellite. Three of the four centers --- RSS and HADCRUT as well as UAH --- have collected data indicating incontrovertibly that the earth's average temperature has been essentially flat for the past decade, then dropped sharply during the year just past.
Only GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies), run by James Hansen, one of the most prominent and outspoken Global Warmists, has reported a --- very slight --- temperature increase during that same period. Furthermore, other researchers who have closely examined Hansen's closely-guarded methods have learned that he has been data-diddling in order to force his data to fit his model --- "interpolating" between non-existent data points, arbitrarily "adjusting" outlying points to fit them more closely to his curve, and, worst of all, quietly and without explanation disregarding certain easily-obtained data points which did not fit his model.
Hansen, like his High Priest, Al Gore, has consistently refused to debate any scientists skeptical of his work. Moreover, although in the past, he has been quite vocal in his accusations of muzzling by the Bush administration, and has spoken loudly and often with any media representatives who would listen, ever since the evidence of his data-diddling has come out, he has been unaccustomedly quiet.
In view of that background, read this rather amazing essay:
The Sloppy Science of Global Warming « Watts Up With That?.
I'd also recommend that you read all of the comments following Dr. Spencer's words. You'll find that it was time well spent.
Dr. Spencer's new book, Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor, is just about to come out. If you found his essay as compelling as I did, you may want to check out his book.
This exchange from the comments section following Dr. Roy Spencer's article is priceless:
Stan Needham: "If you were King of the World and had complete control over everything and everyone, what past climate would you attempt to duplicate, what policies would you implement to achieve that climate, and what empirical evidence can you present to show that those policies would achieve the desired results?"
Evan Jones: "I would set up a series of representative republics and then abdicate. The world has to hold its own head up. It cannot have an outside party hold its head up for it. Only freedom and autonomy can produce the progress I advocate. Freedom can destroy it as well, but without it we have no chance whatever. For better or for worse, man must manage his own affairs."
That reply made me stand up and cheer!
The aforementioned Stan Needham, who turns out to be a retired U.S.Navy Lieutenant Commander who spent his career in cryptography (and therefore may be assumed to be above average in intelligence), had an interesting email exchange with the aforementioned Dr. Bob Carter, the Australian professor. You can read the whole thing here
Blogs for Bush: The White House Of The Blogosphere: Global Warming Update
if you wish, but the really interesting parts are these replies by Dr. Carter:
... the essential science of the global warming issue is actually very simple (despite all the attempts by the IPCC and others to obfuscate the issue), and able to be understood and assessed by any interested, normally educated person.
Finally, to your question.
It is apparent that the AGW "shake out" is going to take many years if not decades to occur. Despite the complete lack of alarming evidence, and the low likelihood of either evidence or dangerous warming eventuating, the political world is in the grip of an amazing anti-scientific hysteria on the issue. Hysteria is, of course, not treatable by using rational arguments (i.e. scientific method), and especially not if it is suffered by people who have the power of democratic vote.
The blame for this state of affairs lies with a now tightly integrated (though not initially consciously conspiratorial) group of corrupted people and organizations foremost amongst which are doctrinaire environmentalists and green NGOs, self-interested scientists and science organizations, and ignorant, moralistic journalists and public celebrity figures. (emphasis added)
The environmental debate in general, and AGW in particular, have already inflicted profound damage on our post-enlightenment society and are attacking the very roots of the scientific method, and future historians are going to look back and marvel at our stupidity which, Lysenkoism apart, is unparalleled in history. Most sinister of all is the fact that around 3 generations of school children (all since around 1990) have now been indoctrinated with an anti-scientific attitude to environmental matters, and the most able and oldest of these persons are already starting to move into senior managerial positions.
We are therefore going to pay dearly for a long time yet for our abandonment of the enlightment principles of the use of evidence and experiment to understand the world around us, and participation in rational discourse to deal with its problems. Democratic politics that are based instead upon post-modernism and fuzzy warm feelings towards environmental issues are disastrous.
Sorry to go on so, but you did ask!
That pretty well sums it up.
"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
~~~~~ Daniel Webster