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I’m REALLY getting tired of so many friends and family calling me a global warming skeptic because 1. I am NOT a global warming skeptic and 2. It distracts from the important debate over warming which is how much it will impact our lives. There are really only two kinds of Global Warming Skeptics. The first challenge the fact that the earth, on average, has been warming up a bit. These folks are generally just stupid or stupidly adhering to the rants of people who are stupid, like Glenn Beck. The earth is, on average over the last century, warming up. Not much mind you – most estimates put the warming in the range of a degree C over the last century, but clearly the earth is warming up a bit.
There is a second kind of global warming skeptic who believes that humans are not the cause of the observed warming. FYI my misguided friends … I am NOT in that camp either! However a lot of bright folks are in that camp and are often scientifically challenging the idea that the observed warming of the last century is caused by human generated greenhouse gasses or “GHCs”. CO2 is usually cited as the main GHC culprit but there are several others like methane that are likely to play a role in observed warming. GHCs are considered the main cause of the small observed warming if, like me, you believe the warming is caused by human activity. So, I’m not THAT kind of skeptic either! Some excellent skeptical discussion of warming is at Climate Audit, the smartest of the “skeptic” blogs, and the counterpoint to Real Climate, the smartest of the blogs that discuss the science behind global warming. Several key players in the Climate Debate post at RealClimate, many are distinuished NASA scientists. I’d urge caution interpreting information from other places and even from these “very smart” blogs. The comments at all blogs tend to be much more biased (often to the point of blatant stupidity) than the posts, which even at advocacy blogs are often somewhat informative if you keep away from the personal or ego-driven junk.
Many blogs in the warming discussion take the form of advocating either for alarmism or skepticism rather than trying to review the science and the logical actions suggested by that science. I’m particularly not fond of Joe Romm’s ridiculous “Climate Progress” which is mostly a constant attack on even well-informed skepticism and dissent from the climate alarmist “party line”. He seems to immediately ban even well reasoned dissenters from the comments, leaving … a fools pool of alarmist nonsense and political advocacy. Anthony Watts “Watts Up With That” is, IMHO, smarter and far more balanced than Climate Progress but is still pretty darn “skeptical”, tending to feature information that supports a skeptical view rather than promoting a more balanced perspective.
Summary: I AM NOT A DAMN Climate SKEPTIC! However I am not worried much about global warming. It’s impact so far has been trivial and it appears it will remain trivial, especially when we compare the likely impacts with current ongoing catastrophic conditions in much of the developing world, where water, disease, and poverty run rampant. Let’s fix that stuff first, since we can actually have an impact in that arena, and fast.
P.S. No, I have NOT changed my view about this, you just weren’t listening … See?