Folks, if we don't do something NOW, global warming could irreversibly threaten the very survival of humanity on the planet. After all, we've now been told that a mere decade could very mean the difference between calm and calamity.
Boy, alarmists must really like nice, round numbers. Check out this excerpt from Newsweek, dated April 28, 1975:
There are ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production -- with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only ten years from now.... The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.
That Newsweek article was titled "The Cooling World," and had further gloomy predictions:
In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant over-all loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually.
Yeesh. Thankfully, here in the First State, a gent named David R. Legates -- who just happens to be the state climatologist -- has spoken out against all the "sky is falling" claptrap from the global warming alarmists. Legates is on the side against the state, opposed to "state regulators [who] argued that carbon dioxide from new cars should be regulated because of evidence the gas was contributing to rising global temperatures, climate shifts and changes in the environment."
Legates joined a group of scientists late last year in urging the court to reject the state claims, in a brief filed by the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.
"It is simply impossible to conclude that the net effect of greenhouse gases endangers human health and welfare," the brief said.
Maybe, just maybe, the alarmists are beginning to get a bit sensible.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as noted by Iain Murray, "has quietly changed its definition of its projected temperature rises to include all pre-industrial warming, not just warming from 1990 onwards":
Our best information has it that the IPCC calculates that 0.8 degrees centigrade has already occured.
Subtracting that 0.8 from the projected temperature rises in the Fourth Assessment Report gives us a projected temperature rise this century of just 1.2 to 3.7 degrees centigrade. It also lowers the "best guess" for temperature rise to 2.2 degrees centigrade. This compares to the Third Assessment Report range of 1.4 to 5.8 degrees for 1990 to 2100. Yes, the IPCC has actually lowered even the lower band of its projections, despite all the hype that it has raised it upwards.
Interestingly, prominent "skeptic" Pat Michaels has been saying for years that the way the models behave coupled with real world data suggests a best guess of 1.7 degrees temperature rise this century. Pat's projection is now clearly towards the middle of the consensus. In other words, the IPCC has moved towards the skeptical position, so much so that the IPCC's lower bound for temperature rise is now half a degree less than prominent skeptics have been saying, while the skeptics' best guess is half a degree less than the consensus best guess. This is chump change compared with previous disparities.
I, like many others, don't have a problem with cutting back on greenhouse gasses. The problem we have is the constant "disaster is looming" catcalls from ... well, you know, and many of the proposed solutions which could not only adversely affect our economy, but redirect resources away from actual pressing needs around the world, like, say, preventable diseases such as malaria. Yes, malaria, which still kills millions every year thanks to another ridiculous pseudo-scientific apocalyptic prediction.
The fact is that there ARE two sides to this debate, just as there was back 30 years ago when the "next Ice Age" was possibly a decade away. Don't let anyone tell you differently, as there is ample evidence to rebut Ragnarok-ish global warming claims. And, furthermore, remember that the real debate is over man's influence on the warming. Few actually argue that the earth is not warming; what they argue is man's involvement and how significant that involvement really is.