Thursday, May 08, 2008

Global Warming and Cooling - The Reality

One of the key reasons people remain skeptical about AGW is that it is hard to reconcile the predicted, the modeled and the possible that comprise the basis for dire conjecture about changes in climate. The importance of Gore's Inconvenient Truth is that it touted AGW in a format that was easily comprehended, had the illusion of scientific authority and utilized powerful imagery to package its moralism. Lately, however, there have been several attempts to explain the science behind the global climate in terms accessible to the layperson that seek to clarify why skepticism is a healthy reaction to the fearmongering usually accompanying discussions of AGW.

The latest comment is this from Stephen Wilde which makes several key points:
  • CO2 increase has always lagged behind temperature rises and the lag involved is estimated to be 400 to 800 years. There has never been a period when a CO2 rise has preceded global warming.
  • [AGW advocates]..avoid the issue of the rather small proportion of the overall greenhouse effect provided by CO2 and the even smaller proportion provided by man.
  • The greenhouse effect does not create new heat. All it does is increase the residence time of heat in the atmosphere.
  • ...on the basis of historical evidence from weather and solar cycle records the largest single factor influencing global temperature, whatever it might be at any time, is variations in the input of heat from the sun.
Perhaps more people are listening, reading and questioning the haste with which policies predicted upon AGW are being foisted onto the electorate. From the UK to California and Australia, people are querying both the high cost and the necessity for many of the schemes promoted on the basis of AGW.

And, in the closest thing to a political referendum on AGW, voters in the city of London rejected Ken Livingstone's green tyranny, voting instead for a mayor with a quite different agenda, despite its lack of clarity. At the same time, the wider British electorate signaled its disdain for a government that had championed the need for more AGW-induced controls and regulations.

What will happen to AGW once the politicians get off the bandwagon? And will the environmental activist movement be able to recover and/or shift to new priorities once the politicians do jump ship?