The main point is that there are other potential mechanism to account for the warming trend of 1980-1998 than CO2.
What If They Are Wrong?
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Here I ask this. Suppose it turns out that CO2 has essentially nothing to do with the earth’s climate. How will the history of this colossal mistake be written? ... They will note that the theory of anthropogenic global warming proceeded much like any scientific theory in that it was modified and patched up and adjusted to fit empirical challenges until it finally collapsed altogether under the weight of incontrovertible evidence. But, the scientific historians will have a new phenomenon to consider, and that is the social and political context of this particular scientific theory. Scientific revolutions are difficult and traumatic enough without the added inertia of government sponsorship. To put it more bluntly, scientists have difficulty enough admitting that they have egg on their faces. Throw in the Solyndras of the world and the United Nations and the entire anti-capitalist Global Left and the backing out of this theory will be nothing short of a fiasco. Well, the truth of this issue should be apparent within about 15 years.—Mike Stopa, Harvard University, 29 January 2012
“Scientists and scientific studies have a minimal effect on public opinion,” says Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle, lead author of a new climate attitude study in the Climatic Change journal. “The science doesn’t matter because the science isn’t the real issue,” Brulle adds. “It’s about politics and money.” All we have with climate change, he suggests, is politicians taking sides in an economic debate over whether we should spend money to address climate change, or not (with one side very strongly opposed), and hiding behind a smokescreen of debate about settled science to avoid making those issues clear.—Dan Vergano, USA Today, 19 February 2012
Tight media management by government is nothing new. It is part of modern party politics to ensure that politicians are “on message”. What is new though is the alleged application of these techniques to civil servants and in particular to government scientists. If the Canadian media protocol for government scientists is seen to be effective in preventing ministerial surprises then governments across the world will want to follow the same procedures.—Pallab Gosh, BBC News, 17 February 2012
Citigroup announced to the world Thursday that peak oil is dead. The controversial idea that world crude oil production is almost at its peak and will soon begin an irrevocable long-term decline has been laid to rest in the highly productive shale oil formations of North Dakota, with potentially big consequences for oil prices, the bank said.—James Herron, The Wall Street Journal, 17 February 2012