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.
Here at Maggie's, we might be termed "skeptics" but, when it comes to climate, we're really of the "Who cares?" school more than anything else. (Of course, worrying about the next Ice Age and its effects on real estate values does keep us up at night.)
Best summary I have seen of The Skeptics' Case, presented in a way that even non-scientists can easily follow.
It should be noted that WattsUpWithThat.com just won its third award for the internet's "Best Science" site (Weblog Awards) and "Best Science and Technology" site (Bloggies, 10th & 11th Year's Winner).
It has gone from it's beginning 5 years ago to over 100 million unique hits, and more than 775,000 reader comments. IMHO, the reason for its success is because it allows all scientific points of view without censorship. So readers can make up their own minds after reading the articles and pro/con comments.
Climate alarmist blogs (like RealClimate, Skeptical Science, etc.) routinely delete comments from scientific skeptics. They are simply propaganda blogs with an agenda. As a result, they are thinly trafficked echo chambers of like-minded people repeating the narrative.
This particular Skeptics article is well worth reading. There is big money, both from government grants and NGO's flowing into climate science. Universities and federal organizations like NASA won't get funded nearly as much if they tell the truth: nothing unusual is happening. The planet has not warmed for fifteen years now. And there is no credible evidence that human-caused global warming even exists. It is, in scientific terms, simply a conjecture.
Dr. Everett V. Scott
Gosh, it's pretty important to care. Everything being done by the Department of Energy, the Interior Department, the EPA, and the Obama administration in general, is being done in the name of global warming — as an excuse for redistribution of national and personal wealth.
It's behind the war on petroleum, the investments in solar energy, the investments in wind, in batteries and electric cars. It's behind the desired rise in gas prices and the cancelling of the Keystone XL pipeline. Obama just told Bill Gates that we need a world tax on carbon.
I agree with everything the previous commenter said. It's just important to recognize the enormous cost of the belief of the Left in the IPCC, and take it seriously.
The Elephant's Child
The News Junkie: Best summary I have seen of The Skeptics' Case, presented in a way that even non-scientists can easily follow.
Unfortunately, it's a rehash of discounted arguments. The author is correct on one point, though. The key is climate sensitivity, which has been subject to intensive scientific study. Most findings have been between 2°C and 4.5°C with 3°C being the most probable. These papers use a variety of methods to estimate climate sensitivity:
Wigley et al., Effect of climate sensitivity on the response to volcanic forcing, Journal of Geophysical Research 2005.
Earth Radiation Budget Experiment
Forster & Gregory, The Climate Sensitivity and Its Components Diagnosed from Earth Radiation Budget Data, Journal of Climate 2006.
Schmittner et al., Climate Sensitivity Estimated from Temperature Reconstructions of the Last Glacial Maximum, Science 2011.
Annan & Hargreaves, On the generation and interpretation of probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity, Climate Change 2008.
Knutti & Hegerl, The equilibrium sensitivity of the Earth’s
temperature to radiation changes, Nature Geoscience 2008.
There is still some uncertainty, but higher values are beginning to look less likely.
But 3°C is still very significant, and will result in increased desertification, coastal flooding, widespread biological extinctions, and changes in weather patterns. Generally, continental interiors will become hotter and dryer, while coastal regions will become wetter. The ultimate effect may mean mass migration and political tension. Look how much tension the U.S. experiences due to immigration. Multiply that many times, in areas of the world that are less liberal in outlook, and less economically developed to absorb immigration. Humans can and will adapt, though. The question is the scale of human suffering that adaptation entails.
Sounds good to me. What the world needs, especially the U.S., the Middle East, and Europe, is a good purging of all these trivia that obsess us now, e.g. PC, entitlement, 99 percentism, jihadism, nuclear standoffs, abortion, contraception .... In earlier days, a big war or some kind of pestilence would do the job, but they seem to be a thing of the past now. Sure, it would be painful, but Darwinism would kick in, and the world would be a better place to live.
We live on a planet that ultimately will be engulfed by our sun in its death throes.
Later the stars in our galaxy will burn out.
Much later, matter will vanish as dead galaxies accelerate away from each other.
Ultimately, all that will exist will be dark space and energy.
No matter, hence no time.
So tell me why I should care about the possibility of the earth warming or cooling by a nanodegree.