We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Followed the link and skimmed.
1. Ace is right -- generally speaking, a warmer planet is more productive.
2. Increasing CO2 30% will -- ever so slightly -- increase warming near the surface. Humans have not produced enough CO2 to increase it 30%, so other factors have done so.
3. I have the same faith in predicting the next ice age as I have in predicting AGW -- near zero. Certainly general climates change over geologic time. There's some evidence the changes happen rapidly sometimes. But our modeling experience indicates we don't really know what causes these shifts. We do know, pretty thoroughly, that it isn't greenhouse gases in any form.
The NASA release seems to be referring to the Milankovitch cylces, which is very old news. dating back to 1911.
William Ruddiman provides a detailed discussion of this possibility in "Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum," Princeton U. Press (2005). He argues that without AGW an ice sheet would exist already in the area of Baffin Is., Canada, and that there is evidence an ice sheet had begun to form several thousand years ago.
He reports model results that give an annual average world temperature some 2C (4F) cooler than now with northern Hudson Bay being 3 to 4C cooler on an annual average. This is half way to a full-blown ice age.
Ruddiman put AGW back 8000 years to the beginning of agriculture, then due to CO2 release from forest clearing and methane evolution from rice paddies.
Humans have influenced local weather -- at least we think so -- with land-use changes. Those changes date back to earliest agriculture. There are some articles -- credibility to be determined -- that indicate the Plains Indians burned large areas to force grass turnover and help maintain the grazing herds they hunted. Not exactly agriculture but land-use.
Methane comes and goes, CO2 comes and goes, water vapor comes and goes. Even glaciers and rivers and lakes come and go. I doubt that any human activity has made a measurable dent in overall planetary temps and weather patterns. It's possible, especially with large reservoirs and other water projects, but I doubt it.
I personally think the sun is more important than CO2, especially considering the time lags between temperature and CO2 in the Vostok ice cores. Given that implementing the CO2 reduction programs demanded by the IPCC et al would require the end of industrial economies and a return to medieval serfdom, I choose to ride out the "storm."
However, Ruddiman's book is interesting (and brief), and it extends the whole AGW argument back several thousand years. It's even possible that he's right. Hope not.
Pielke Sr is also a big believer in land-use effects on climate.
Of course, I am merely a retired civil/sanitary engineer with a dilettante's interest in climate and history.