Sunday, December 23, 2007

Global Warming - an inconvenient dissent?

A Senate minority report objects to the insistence by Al Gore and others that there is a scientific consensus on human-caused global warming and only a few fringe scientists and paid oil company spokesmen are objecting. The report lists 400 scientists in relevant disciplines, some of them quite prominent, who doubt either the mechanism of global warming or the claim that it will be severe.
COMMENT: My non-expert opinion: I do think the Earth is warming, but I'm not at all sure how much of it can be laid confidently to human causes and how much is part of a natural cycle. I'm unnerved any time a majority supporting a scientific theory tries to paint itself as all-knowing and the opponents as cranks or criminals (seriously: some environmentalists have predicted criminal trials for "global warming deniers"). The point I do think I can make with confidence is that this is a complicated issue, not the gradeschool-simple cause and effect painted by Al Gore's famous slide show.

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