If you watched my series on Global Warming: Fact or Fiction, you might have noticed that I said that "I'm on the fence" when it comes to the global warming debate. And, as a scientist, I am very comfortable being there. Those that say there is a consensus on global warming, or "the debate is over", in the scientific community are just flat out wrong! There is not consensus. There are many skeptics out there, including myself. Being a skeptic does not mean that I like pollution and dirty air and dirty water...that's ridiculous. I am trying very hard to leave the planet the way I found it, or better. But, as a scientist, it bothers me the way this global warming debate is being portrayed. Yes, the worst case scenarios show that it could be bad, and it could be catastrophic, but there is no way that we can be sure of that. There is no way we can know the future because there are way too many variables. Most of the current thinking on global warming is because computer models show that it's going to warm up...some of them a lot. Well, if you watch my forecast every evening, you know that we use computer models every day to try and predict tomorrow. And, you know that sometimes we are wrong about tomorrow, despite these computer models. So, how can we trust a computer model with a 100 year forecast? You can't. It's the best we have, and it's something we need to pay attention to, but there is no way that we can rely on it being correct. In my opinion, many young meteorologists today believe whole-heartedly that global warming is real and it's mainly man-made. That's all they know because we've been in a 30 year period of increasing global temperatures. But those of us who came of age in the 70's, and earlier, think differently because we were told at that time that we were heading into the next ice age because the globe was cooling. The numbers actually show a slight decrease in temperatures in the 50's, 60's and 70's, despite greenhouse gasses going up then also. There are many cycles in the weather, and this could be one of them. It could also be that man-kind IS throwing it all out of whack, so all I'm asking is to keep an open mind.
However, despite my skepticism, I still think that we should do every thing we can to limit CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gasses. We should not be polluting the earth like we are. I think we should look closely at some approaches that both limit the pollution and allow the marketplace to find solutions. One of those approaches is called "Cap and Trade"...an interesting idea that you should read about. I have links below. It was only during my work on this story that I found out about this idea, and it seems very intriguing to me.
So, while you could search on the internet and read for months on the subject of global warming, I decided to link to a couple dozen sites that I found interesting...on both sides of the issue. I especially found some of Michael Crichton's speeches and comments interesting. I think he's correct on many levels...that science no longer needs to show proof, but just needs to get "most" experts agreeing on something to declare it valid. That's not the way it should be...we should pay attention to both, or all, sides of an issue and listen to the skeptics...they could very well be right.
Have fun learning from these, and other, sites.
--- Mike Hoffman