Left: Estimates of expected global temperature change in the next century using current models
(Paris) Human activity is "most likely" the source of global warming, according to a scientific report on greenhouse gas emissions issued by a United Nations panel in Paris today.
The excerpts from the Climate Change 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - released via Webcast around the world - also said global warming could not be reversed, and that direct action today will only help prevent further warming in the future.
I am still waiting to download the full report, but I must admit I am tiring of the politicization of science. The most extreme environmentalists want to reduce human civilization to some mythical pre-industrial paradise, while people like Rush Limbaugh claim global warming is some sort of socialist conspiracy, or the work of willing dupes. He confidently said this today about global warming, by the way, at about 2:18 EST, in a moment of asininity high even by El Rushbo's standards:
"There's no science in this, folks. Zero. Zip. Nada."
Uh, Mr. Limbaugh? There is plenty of exemplary science involved in the debate over global warming, and I know of no reputable scientist who claims global warming is not happening. The debate is over the level to which humans have contributed to, or exacerbated, the rise in global temperatures and CO2 levels, and the differences of opinion among scientists revolve around how data is interpreted.
Limbaugh argued today that "proof" of the conspiracy is to be found in foundations and individuals who make careers out of the "global warming industry." The same could be said, though, about individuals who derive comfortable incomes from conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation or the John M. Olin Foundation. It's a capitalist world, Mr. Limbaugh, and I think you know how money functions in a market-based economy.
The politicization of science leads to bad policymaking, in my opinion. If we embrace the most dire of projections about global warming, we run the risk of wrecking the global economy, while perhaps having little effect on what might be a naturally-occurring climate cycle. If we take the advice of people like Limbaugh, we run the very real risk of acting like the proverbial ostritch with its head in the sand.
The sooner we cease viewing global warming as some right-versus-left dichotomy, the sooner we will begin to make intelligent choices about the environment and the future.