I turned off comments on the published HTML version of my Skeptical Layman's Guide to Man-made Global Warming (pdf here) to avoid spam problems. However, it was not my intention to forgo the ability of readers to comment. So I am going to link this comment thread from the bottom of each chapter.
I have gotten several comments back similar to what Steven Dutch says here:
So You Still Don't Believe In Global Warming?
Fine. Here's what you have to do....
Show conclusively that an increase in carbon dioxide will
not result in global warming. Pointing to flaws in the climate models,
possible alternative explanations, and unanswered questions won't cut it. We
know carbon dioxide traps infrared and we know climate is
getting warmer. There's a plausible cause and effect relationship there. You
have to show there is not a causal link. You can do that either by
identifying what is the cause ("might be" or "possible alternative"
isn't good enough) or by showing that somehow extra carbon dioxide does
not trap solar heat.
This might be correct if we were in a college debating society, where the question at hand was "does man contribute to global warming?" However, we are in a real world policy debate, where the question is instead "Is man causing enough warming and thereby contributing to sufficiently dire consequences to justify massive interventions into the world economy, carrying enormous costs and demonstrable erosions in individual freedoms." Remember, we know monetary and liberty costs of abatement with a fair amount of cerntainty, so in fact the burden of proof is on man-made global warming advocates, not skeptics, who need to prove the dangers from the man-made component of global warming outweigh the costs of these abatements.
That is why the premise for my paper is as follows:
There is no doubt that CO2 is a
greenhouse gas, and it is pretty clear that CO2 produced by man has an
incremental impact on warming the Earth's surface.
warming is the result of many natural and man-made factors, and it is
extraordinarily difficult to assign all the blame for current warming to
In turn, there are very good reasons to suspect that climate
modelers may be greatly exaggerating future warming due to man. Poor
economic forecasting, faulty assumptions about past and current conditions, and
a belief that climate is driven by runaway positive feedback effects all
contribute to this exaggeration.
As a result, warming due to man's
impacts over the next 100 years may well be closer to one degree C than the
forecasted six to eight. In either case, since AGW supporters tend to grossly
underestimate the cost of CO2 abatement, particularly in lost wealth creation
in poorer nations, there are good arguments that a warmer but richer world,
where aggressive CO2 abatement is not pursued, may be the better end state than
a poor but cooler world.
Interventionists understand that their job is not to prove that man is causing some global warming, but to prove that man is doing enough damage to justify massive economic interventions. That is why Al Gore says tornadoes are increasing when they are not, or why he says sea levels will rise 20 feet when even the IPCC says a foot and a half. And I will leave you with this quote
from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NOAA) climate researcher and
global warming action promoter, Steven Schneider:
We have to
offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little
mention of any doubts we have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.
Comment away. I don't edit or delete comments, except in the cases of obvious spam.
Update: Here is another reason why there is an important difference between "man causes any warming at all" and "man causes most of the warming."