[ RadSafe ] The Great Global Warming Swindle

Kai Kaletsch eic at shaw.ca
Sat Mar 17 13:44:52 CDT 2007


Some of you may be interested in this documentary: 
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4520665474899458831 . It makes some 
good points about how funding, publishing, and media attention affect 
'scientific consensus'. For the purists on the list, 'nuclear' is mentioned 
about 37 minutes into the film.

As the title suggests, the film is skeptical about global warming. The 
scientists argue that other factors, such as solar activity, are more 
important in driving our climate than human CO2 emissions. To me, that is a 
nice academic question, but it is really fairly irrelevant. I think we all 
agree that if the sun were to turn off, it would get pretty cold. So what? 
It is not likely that the sun will be turned off any time soon and even if 
it was, there is not much I can do about it.

The relevant question is: How much warming can be expected as a result of x% 
increase in CO2 levels? If that increase is something to worry about, then 
we should worry it and try to do something about it. It doesn't matter if 
the sun or volcanoes have a bigger effect.

The global warming skeptics are saying that the climate models are bad, 
without offering better models. They are offering nice climate models that 
examine the effect of sun spots on climate. Unfortunately, these are 
completely irrelevant to the question of the effect of CO2 on the climate. I 
think it is established that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. So, it would only make 
sense that adding CO2 will have some effect on the climate. The question is: 
In what direction and by how much? I think the global warming skeptics need 
to come up with their own estimates, before we can have any type of debate. 
I know there are a bunch of unknowns, that's why we have error bars. If the 
error bars fall into the region of negligibly trivial changes, then the 
debate should be about who's model is wrong. If the error bars fall between 
the regions of no effect and global disaster, then we should be looking at 
reducing the error bars and, in the meantime, also look at ways to reduce 
greenhouse gas emissions.


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