I have to say that I'm quite surprised that questioning the science behind the assertion that increased CO2, let alone man made CO2, is causing global warming has not resulted in a flood of scornful rebuttals.
It seems to me this would not have been the case 8 to 10 months ago.
Someone on one of the Sunday morning news shows suggested that the "Global Warming" as an issue has dropped well down the list of concerns of the American public. This makes sense in light of our economic woes, but I wonder if it in any way explains the less than incendiary nature of this thread, and , more importantly, how it will affect the chances of passage of the Cap and Trade legislation.
I freely admit that I am in no way an expert or even a journeyman as regards the science of this issue, but I have read a large number of the opinions of scientists who do not believe global warming is anything approaching the problem the current orthodoxy declares it to be and/or that man-made CO2 is the primary or even a significant cause of climate change. All of these scientists have impressive credentials and none seem to be kooks (I appreciate the same can be said of those scientists that accept the orthodox position), but one of these scientist's opinion holds considerable weight for not only me, but for the scientific community in general: Freeman Dyson.
Given that I cannot independently confirm which side of the debate most strongly supported by science, I have to apply less technical filters to the subject:
We are constantly told by the proponents of the Global Warming orthodoxy that there is no ongoing scientific debate on the issue, that the world's scientists all agree, and that only a handful of scientists dispute the orthodoxy.
Former Vice President Al Gore (November 5, 2007): "There are still people who believe that the Earth is flat." Gore also compared global warming skeptics to people who "believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona." (June 20, 2006 )
CNN's Miles O'Brien (July 23, 2007): "The scientific debate is over," O'Brien said. "We're done." O'Brien also declared on CNN on February 9, 2006 that scientific skeptics of man-made catastrophic global warming "are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, usually."
On July 27, 2006, Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein described a scientist as "one of the few remaining scientists skeptical of the global warming harm caused by industries that burn fossil fuels."
Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC view on the number of skeptical scientists as quoted on Feb. 20, 2003: "About 300 years ago, a Flat Earth Society was founded by those who did not believe the world was round. That society still exists; it probably has about a dozen members."
Agence France-Press (AFP Press) article (December 4, 2007): The article noted that a prominent skeptic "finds himself increasingly alone in his claim that climate change poses no imminent threat to the planet."
Andrew Dessler in the eco-publication Grist Magazine (November 21, 2007): "While some people claim there are lots of skeptical climate scientists out there, if you actually try to find one, you keep turning up the same two dozen or so (e.g., Singer, Lindzen, Michaels, Christy, etc., etc.). These skeptics are endlessly recycled by the denial machine, so someone not paying close attention might think there are lots of them out there -- but that's not the case."
The Washington Post asserted on May 23, 2006 that there were only "a handful of skeptics" of man-made climate fears.
UN special climate envoy Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland on May 10, 2007 declared the climate debate "over" and added “it's completely immoral, even, to question” the UN’s scientific “consensus."
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said it was “criminally irresponsible” to ignore the urgency of global warming on November 12, 2007.
ABC News Global Warming Reporter Bill Blakemore reported on August 30, 2006: "After extensive searches, ABC News has found no such [scientific] debate" on global warming.
Source with links: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2674e64f-802a-23ad-490b-bd9faf4dcdb7
The reality is something quite different
Over 700 international scientists, some current and former UN-IPCC scientists, dissent from the 2007 IPCC report
Over 31,000 American scientists (Over 9,000 with PhDs) have signed the Global Warming Petition :
The proponents of Global Warming have been pronouncing the debate over for several years now, and insinuating that what little dissent that remained was from scientists who were paid by the oil and coal industries.
It's not a scientific conclusion, but my experience tells me to question the credibility of any group that wants to shut down objective debate well before it has run its natural course.
Even if we dismiss the dissent and accept the orthodoxy, the Cap and Trade plan will not solve the problem. To the extent that there is a problem, it is global and any activity limited to a single nation cannot possibly solve it.
I appreciate that one aspect of the support for this bill is based on the hope and/or belief that by taking this action the US will set an example that is followed by the rest of the world, and that if you believe the dire predictions around Global Warming going alone and taking the risk we will remain alone is the only moral choice.
However, the dire predictions have not been scientifically proven, and the risk to our economy represented by this bill are not worth taking.
The Cap and Trade bill is being touted as a jobs program, but this is based on the presumption that the legislation will result in the creation of jobs developing alternative energy sources such as solar and wind. The limitations of these technologies are not being acknowledged and massive investments and subsidies have as good a chance of failing as succeeding. Job created in industries that cannot thrive are not of particular value.
If the supporters of the Global Warming orthodoxy also supported investment in the expansion of our nuclear energy industry I might take their cries of urgency more seriously. Nuclear energy is a proven alternative source of clean and safe energy which would create as many jobs as wind and solar alternatives, and present the better possibility of these jobs being sustainable.
This is a complex issue and sometimes more information provides overload rather than clarity, but I've found what I think is the most objective source of information on this topic on the web. See if it will help you from your opinion.