Climate change is the new religion. Your beliefs define you. You can be a global warmer, a sceptic or simply not interested. The first or second is preferable. It’s better to have considered the arguments than not thought about them at all. The volume of information is daunting. Like a religion, it’s provided by those with faith, who have belief in their doctrines, so impartiality can be difficult to find. Warning, entering the debates may cause more confusion than demystification. The science is lauded and denied in equal parts.
The science is mostly about Co2 emissions (the greenhouse effect). Human activity is responsible needs to reduce C02 to 350 parts per million (ppm). Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim? (Hansen et. al. 2008) claims the level in Sept 2008 was 385 ppm. Hansen recommends phasing out all coal use (except where CO2 is captured) and ‘adopting agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon concluding’. The paper concludes “Humanity today, collectively, must face the uncomfortable fact that industrial civilization itself has become the principal driver of global climate….The greatest danger is continued ignorance and denial, which could make tragic consequences unavoidable.”
The opposition is an eclectic mix of politics, The sun is the cause of global warming (or not). Natural variations create climate change. The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar predicts a significant change in sunspot activity December 31 2012. The Optimum Population Trust call for reductions in population. The Global Warming Policy Foundation challenges government policy for mitigating the effects of global warming without saying why. Deniers and Sceptics (Top Ten) applauded the hacked email exchanges from the Climatic Research foundation at UEA as conclusive evidence that the science was flawed. The CND (all these years on) are saying nuclear power is not the answer. Then there is the BNP and the conspiracy theorists who see climate change as a front for political domination led by the FBI, CBI, Illuminati, socialists, communists; take your pick.
Al Gore is either a hero or a fake depending on which side you are on. Apart from his Inconvenient Truth, other offerings for the record include 11th Hour , the Age of Stupid and the Esoteric Agenda. I’ll throw Zietgiest into the mix; after all Christmas is a time for fantasy.