Questions in absentia (on the science):
1) Can we offer substantive proof that warming is mostly manmade? That is, can we prove warming is not due to natural climate variability (e.g. the earth’s orbit, cosmic rays or solar radiation)? For example, can we do more research to confirm or disconfirm evidence suggesting a similar warming trend on neighboring planets like Mars or the Jovian moons? How do we explain warming periods that occurred prior to the era of fossil fuels?
2) Can we trust the accuracy of climate forecasting? Simulations are not reality, nor are they crystal balls. Wealth managers use sophisticated techniques when attempting to forecast a client’s portfolio, 5-to-10 years from now. But these predictions are vague and lose resolution the further into the future the forecaster aims. Why should we trust climate models any more than we do any other kind of computer model—particularly when recent evidence doesn’t match the predictions at all. For example, computer models that form the basis for future global warming predictions have projected significantly more warming in recent years than has actually occurred, according to the authors of a recent study in the International Journal of Climatology. Indeed, the earth is a complex system. Why should we expect static variables that feed computer models to give us anything of substance? As computer geeks are fond of saying: junk in, junk out.
3) Is there likely to be catastrophic harm from climate change? A majority of economists surveyed by Wake Forest economics professor Robert Whaples believes that modest climate change could result in a net benefit to the globe. Why are all the speculations we hear negative, when there is virtually no evidence for such predictions? Is it media hype? Political alarmism?
4) What is the historical relationship between temperature and CO2? That is: some like Al Gore argue that, historically, temperature went up during past warming periods due to increases in carbon dioxide (CO2). But an equally plausible explanation is that increased temperature causes CO2 to rise from the heated oceans—in fact, the evidence seems to show CO2 follows temperature. Does warming cause increased CO2 concentrations or the reverse? Could the process be self-reinforcing?
5) Shouldn’t we know more about the science? According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we know little about 75 percent of the factors that scientists believe influence global temperature, including: solar irradiance, linear contrails, aerosol cloud albedo effect and so on. Shouldn’t we know more about these processes and how they affect the totality of weather phenomena before rushing to judgment? Could these factors be the reason why the models aren’t working?