Climate change is happening. That is a statement of the obvious. The Earth’s climate changes continuously. Geologically speaking the changes are cyclical and very rapid. Temperatures have been warmer over the past two decades than they were in the 1970’s. The real questions are: Is warming actually going to continue? Is climate change significantly effected by human activity?
Though Vice-President Gore has declared the debate closed, it does not appear he has the authority to do so. The climatologists are certainly still debating the issue. Climate is certainly a complex system and it is difficult to make accurate predictions. Lacking the science background, as does VP Gore, it is hard for me to make a judgment about what is good science versus junk science. Some cited information is clearly junk and that is easy to discount.
What appears to be fact is that the most important factor to the Earth’s climate is the sun. It is the engine that drives the weather. David Archibald makes a good argument that the climate change we need to be concerned about is cooling. Warming is not a negative, in that it puts more water in the atmosphere (melting ice) and creates longer growing seasons. That translates to more food for the population. Human population reacts to climate the same as any other animal population does; it grows or shrinks according to whether the climate is beneficial or non-beneficial. Cooling causes shortened growing seasons and locks water vapor up in ice. Cool periods are more likely to create drought and desertification than warm periods.
The sunspot cycle we are entering, according to Mr. Archibald, is one that triggers cooling and glaciation. There is not anything we can do about the warming or the cooling in actual fact. All that we can do as a species is what we have always done; react. Mr. Archibald argues that carbon loading of the atmosphere would actually temper the affect of the cooling period.
The problem with trying to close the debate and declare your side has won is that it does not allow for skepticism, which is at the very core of real science. Any peer reviewed paper should be open to discussion, dissection, argument and refutation. What the global warming alarmist do is try to make an end run on the scientific debate.
The application of Occam’s razor would point to the sun as the most likely source of planetary heating and cooling. Climate is clearly a highly chaotic and complex system. The more complicated the explanation for temperature variation the more scientific it looks, but that does not necessarily add any validity to the final conclusion.
Ask yourself this basic question: Do I trust a weather forecast for 30 days from now? If you answer no, then how can you possibly trust ANY climate forecast for 100 years from now?
For a balanced view of the debate go to Climate Debate Daily.