Global Warming and its Critics

Just because I’m skeptical about the claims the Global Warming crowd make does not mean I throw that skepticism out the window when the other side presents their case. In this post I referred to a program broadcast in the UK (okay okay, “programme”) entitled “The Great Global Warming Swindle” and mentioned that I could not recommend it. Well here’s why:

On the surface it paints a damning portrait of the Global Warming movement, and in spite of what I’m going to say here it may very well turn out that when all the fog clears (caused by the water vapor which we all know is a greenhouse gas more abundant than CO2) many of the assertions they make, perhaps even the crux of them, will be proven to have been valid in the end.

But as numerous observers have shown, the credibility of that piece leaves something to be desired. The rebuttal on RealClimate includes the following points among others:

  1. The apparent falsification that we should expect warming for the period 1940-1980 where there is none can be explained by the impact of sulfate emissions.
  2. The apparent falsification that we should expect the troposphere to warm faster than the surface when data shows otherwise can be dismissed when we use the most current satellite data.
  3. The part about CO2 levels lagging temperature by 800 years (this was the strongest argument the show made imo), when you consider that 800 years constitutes a fraction of a warming period, does not rule out the possibility that CO2 and temperature might be influencing each other.

If anyone thinks I’m missing something important here please feel free to say it. I will listen. Otherwise I’m inclined to view the Channel 4 piece as propaganda of more or less the same caliber as what we’re accustomed to getting from a certain former vice-president.

Update: Voice of Reason examines propaganda from the pro-side here.

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2 responses to “Global Warming and its Critics

  1. Followed your comments from JeremyGilby.com — very glad I did. A recurring theme on my blog is the issue of zealosy. Zealous statements (often companions to propoganda) are easy to spot from a distance, and rarely trustworthy — even when there are kernels of thruth woven through the zealousy. I appreciate your motions to acknowledge other positions while claiming your own. That’s balance. That has me very interested in cruising through more of your site, and adding your link to my site.

    Look for more comments from me in the future, and when you look at the hit stats, know I’m the extra one you’re seeing.

    You’ve gained a new fan.

    Thanks.

  2. Very glad to hear that, bentspoon. More people commenting on my blog is exactly what I want, including people who won’t always agree with me. Really my main purposes for creating this blog are to have:

    1. a place for interesting discussion on a wide variety of topics
    2. a place to have some silly fun

    Kind of like Jeremy’s blog I think.

    I’ve got you on my blogroll now too.

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