What’s the evidence?

Anybody studying global warming comes across a lot of obscure blogs and online magazines which rail at “sceptics” and “deniers” for destroying the earth with their obstructionism and their oil-industry-funded arguments. They seem to think that it’s impossible for intelligent people to have reasonable questions about a complex, controversial topic and that therefore sceptics are being deliberately difficult. So they must be shouted at.

Quite a few of those articles get my careful attention because I’m looking for evidence of dangerous man-made global warming. I reason that when they talk about the overwhelming weight of evidence, they could be about to mention the evidence. But none of them do.

Nobody tells me the evidence

Actually, to be precise, many of them mention the evidence but none of them reveal it. Many of them point to the IPCC’s latest report, AR4, but, though it waffles around a lot, there’s nothing conclusive that links human emissions with damaging climatic effects. If I’m wrong, I challenge anyone to point it out to me.

Some writers give references to this or that piece of the puzzle, which on examination turn out to be full of holes, guesswork or based on modelling.

Others go into admirable detail about what could happen if warming got bad. They cannot be refuted because they’re probably right — it would happen. They don’t show any link between human activities and the warming they describe but they make me feel guilty for disagreeing with them — as if I don’t care what happens to the natural world.

Real Climate (Schmidt), Open Mind (Tamino) have banned me

Evidence does not consist of statements such as “the weight of evidence indicates…” or “there is a mounting body of opinion that…” or “it is highly likely (95% probability) that…”.

This question will probably be ignored. However, I must ask: what is the evidence for dangerous man-made global warming?

What persuaded you that the global climate is being changed to a dangerous degree by human activities? There must have been something that persuaded you!

Real Climate and Tamino have banned me and Hot Topic insult me and tell me I’m not welcome because I don’t believe them. These people are afraid of honest questions. Still nobody tells me the evidence.

I’m really curious to know how the believers keep going.

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3 Thoughts on “What’s the evidence?

  1. Geof on 18/01/2010 at 6:11 am said:

    Great Blog!

    There might be global warming or cooling but the important issue is whether we, as a human race, can do anything about it.

    There are a host of porkies and not very much truth barraging us everyday so its difficult to know what to believe.

    I think I have simplified the issue in an entertaining way on my blog which includes discussion on the CO2 issue and climategate.


    Please feel welcome to visit and leave a comment.



  2. Barry Brill on 27/01/2010 at 12:27 am said:

    The key issue is whether the (alleged) warming trend is caused by humans. Essentially, this defines the question as – “is CO2 from burning fossil fuels the dominant driver of recent warming?”

    The first riposte is that “recent warming” is confined to a narrow 20-year period in 1979-98, and that the majority of years in the last century were cooler than the preceding year.

    As regards the warming that did occur, there are many scientific hypotheses. These include normal fluctuations, solar winds, reduced cloud cover, fossil fuels, periodical oscillations, ocean currents, natural cycles,etc. It is almost impossible to prove a negative, and the onus of proof must lie on the party alleging any particular cause.

    The public sector scientists advocating for fossil fuels offer no proofs.Their argument is that any warming must be sheeted home to CO2 because they can’t prove it is anything else, and CO2 is the default solution. This is a non-case. It can’t fly unless there are good reasons why CO2 has to be the default answer – and no such reasons are offered.

    If it is not proven that CO2 is the culprit, then the future temperature projections (which are based on CO2) and the contended ‘tipping points, and the feared catastrophes , can all be safely ignored.

  3. Nice summary.

    You might have seen WattsUpWithThat commenting about a paper in Nature. It suggests that increased temperature raises the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide at a rate at least 50% and perhaps as little as 10% of what was previously accepted.

    Results like these, casting very strong doubt on the science of global warming, seem to be accelerating in the last month.

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