In my opinion, the fanatical belief in man-made global warming and for that matter the whole "save-the-planet" mindset is wrong view and should be abandoned.
I also think you've gotten a mistaken impression of what the attitude is. If people see what they regard as a big danger, and they react by treating it as important to avoid that danger, wait to describe it as "fanatical" until after you've figured out whether they are assessing the risk in a reasonable way or not. One of the key ways that people have tried to manipulate this issue is by playing on our prejudices about what counts as a "reasonable" reaction to the issue. I consider this particular concern valid, and I would appreciate your ceasing to portray people like me as being possessed of "fanatical" beliefs.
It's happened many times in the past, that people have inadvertently caused harm by using materials not knowing what their effects are. Lead, for example, used to be used in gasoline, until it was shown to cause children learning problems even in small doses. The compassionate attitude in such circumstances is to treat the risk to others as being far more important than the possible loss in octane rating for the gas in my car. I suspect one could make a very good case for the claim that manufacturers greedily put their own profits ahead of safety, but I think there's a big pitfall in trying to make the issue be one of "greedy businessmen". Whatever their attitude may be, the key thing for us is to reduce the harm done.
When I drive now, I get to weigh the benefits to me in driving against the probable harms to others (who in this case tend to be mostly poor people in third world countries that are relatively ill-equipped to deal with the climate crisis). The British government commissioned a study that gave a range of estimates for the economic value of the harm done by releasing a gigaton of CO2 into the atmosphere. Based on that I calculated that their mid-range figure is $3.50 U.S. per gallon of gasoline. (A gallon is close to 3.79 liters.) So I try to keep that in mind as I decide how much driving to do. Since then, further evidence has come out that such estimates have been too low. Lots of people have made estimates which ignored the fact that if the arctic ice should melt, the water will reflect less light back than the ice has been doing, for example. So their upper estimate, which works out to about $7.00 per gallon, may turn out to be closer to correct.
The person who has made good progress toward uprooting their own greed will not have the same troubles with this kind of decision as the rest of us have. Such people find living in an economical and not burdensome way comes naturally, and probably tend to have had a relatively small "carbon footprint" even before we had any reason to be concerned. I don't know of anybody who is unattached to material possessions but attached to the state of the environment, but many people are highly attached to material possessions but reckless about the environment.
The human contribution of CO2 is negligible.
Please don't just believe what these people tell you. The Koch brothers have spent amazing sums of money attempting to make ignoring science seem like the safe option, promoting a brand of essentially crackpot climate denial literature that would otherwise have no chance of winning over public opinion.
The pre-industrial level of CO2 is thought to have been about 280 parts per million. Now it's about 390 parts per million. We also have good evidence that it's there because we put it there. We know about how much forest has been cleared. We can see that the isotopic composition of the CO2 in the atmosphere has been changed (fossil fuels have a different composition than the atmosphere does). We put gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. It's clearly our doing.
The idea that this can safely be ignored is just incorrect.
5). Current Global Warming trends are neither catastrophic nor are they unusual given the Earth’s very recent past.
Global Warming Alarmists state that man made CO2 is responsible for what is becoming a catastrophic increase in Global temperatures. (You know the 1 degree increase in the last century).
People often underestimate how serious changes of a few degrees are. Please read some of the literature written by responsible scientists about the effects that go with such a change. The propagandists like to pooh-pooh it as a triviality but it's not.
Science has told us for decades (decades prior to the Global Warming Alarmist taking the stage) that earth’s last ice age (referred to as the “little ice age”) began sometime near the year 1400 and lasted until approximately 1860. This “little ice age” was responsible for disasters like the “Irish Potato Famine”. The end of the “little ice age” was not preceeded by an increase in CO2 levels. Other natural causes were responsible for the “global warming” which followed the end of the “little ice age” and continues to this date. http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html
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During the Middle Ages (1066 – 1485) a time that saw the Norman’s conquest of England, King Richard The Lion Hearted, The Crusades – all 7 of them, the Early Italian Renaissance - a period of time long before the ”Industrial Revolution”, mankind contributed very little to Global CO2 levels. The Middle Ages experienced a period of global warming that exceeds the global warming of today. Yes, temperatures were higher than they are now, significantly higher. http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/ ... tml#Hockey
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The evidence is that these were European and not global.
“A review of more than 240 scientific studies has shown that today’s temperatures are neither the “warmest ever” nor are the Temperatures producing extreme conditions “never seen before”. The findings of these 240 studies stand in stark contrast to the claims of the alarmists. The findings prove that the world had a medieval warm period between the ninth and 14th centuries, with world temperatures significantly higher than today’s.
I suspect you will find that "warmest ever" and "never seen before" are not quotations from anybody but straw men. All this stuff about previous geological eras and so on is well known but irrelevant.
This idea that the middle ages had a higher global average temperature (and that the little ice age was also a global phenomenon) seem just to be wishful thinking.
These are also not very relevant to the main questions here. In a lot of what you're quoting, there's a kind of unstated argument that runs sort of like this. If there have been big changes that don't have to do with human beings adding CO2 to the atmosphere, then we can reckon that this time too might have nothing to do with us. But this is just sloppy. Even assuming climate varied as described (which seems incorrect) we'd still have a problem.
Climate crisis deniers are fond of talking about global warming as though it were a (possibly) observed phenomenon for which we have then gone looking for an explanation, and stupidly narrowed the focus of our search to only certain explanations and not others. But global warming is a prediction, based on physics, which was then observed to have taken place. Finding other things that may or may not have added to it or subtracted from it gives us little reason for confidence that human activity either has no effect or has only a harmless effect.
There are many processes that are much better known than they used to be, but the denial literature continues much as if science had not progressed since about 1970. Some times have been warmer or cooler because of changes in solar output, but we've been measuring solar output and know that it's not the reason for the recent rapid warming.
The Global Warming Alarmists have choosen the “Little Ice Age” to begin their temperature measurements and comparisons. By choosing the coldest period in Earth’s history over the last 10,000 years, the Alarmists are assured of finding data that will show a warming trend. But the warming trend is not unusual when compared to all of Earth’s prior warming trends.
The people who I see making an arbitrary choice of starting point are the people who claim that we've recently experience a cooling trend (based on a few years of recent data, picking an unusually warm year as their starting point). Climatologists are not arbitrary with their analysis in this way. Where they have data going back further, they use it.
I would paraphrase Prof. Stott's point of view as saying that since there's so much uncertainty, we should throw up our hands and pretend to have no idea what harm we might be causing.
If mankind were to cease all economic production and cease buring all carbon fuels, at best, a 2% reduction in CO2 levels could be had. Additional reductions from manking would need to involve an end to “respiration” – manking would need to stop breathing. Having achieved these miniscule reductions, at fantastic cost and loss of personal freedom, nature could, in the bat of an eye, dramatically reverse any man made reduction. You see, temperature drives the CO2 level, CO2 levels do not drive temperature.
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This "2%" seems likely to be confusing changes in the total rate at which CO2 is entering the atmosphere with changes in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. We are very easily making much larger changes in the CO2 level in the atmosphere than 2%. The amounts of CO2 going into and out of the atmosphere are both very large because of balanced natural flows, CO2 being picked up and released by plants or the ocean and so on. But that's largely irrelevant as long as there is nothing causing an imbalance. Were the recent increases in CO2 due mainly to an imbalance in the natural carbon cycle, the CO2 in the atmosphere would have a different isotopic composition than it has, and we'd also be left with the mystery of where the CO2 that we've been releasing disappeared to.
Recent studies call into question wether Global Warming is continuing - the studies refute the wild claims concerning the amount of ”warming” that occurred in the 1990′s. Even the ultra-green “Discovery Channel” has noted studies which indicate “global warming” is on “hold” and may not reappear for decades. That “Global Temperatures have flatlined since 2001″. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29469287/
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Look at a graph of the data, and one doesn't have to be a statistician to see that the people trying to claim that global warming has recently come to a stop are straining to reach their preferred conclusion.
It seems likely that many of us American are, by our obstinate refusal to confront the climate crisis, greatly increasing the harm that will come of it. One can read the climate crisis denial literature for a long time without seeing any coherent attempt at explaining why we may safely ignore it, but inaction is what they want from us. It is NOT a morally neutral issue.