You Ought to Have a Look is a regular feature from the Center for the Study of Science. While this section will feature all of the areas of interest that we are emphasizing, the prominence of the climate issue is driving a tremendous amount of web traffic. Here we post a few of the best in recent days, along with our color commentary.
One of our favorite lukewarmers, Matt Ridley, was invited by the Global Warming Policy Foundation to give its 2016 Annual Lecture. He certainly did not disappoint. While Matt titled his speech “Global Warming Versus Global Greening” that title only suggested part of what he had to say. We offer “The Hows and Whys of Lukewarming” to be a more apt descriptor:
These days there is a legion of well paid climate spin doctors. Their job is to keep the debate binary: either you believe climate change is real and dangerous or you’re a denier who thinks it’s a hoax.
But there’s a third possibility they refuse to acknowledge: that it’s real but not dangerous. That’s what I mean by lukewarming, and I think it is by far the most likely prognosis.
I am not claiming that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas; it is.
I am not saying that its concentration in the atmosphere is not increasing; it is.
I am not saying the main cause of that increase is not the burning of fossil fuels; it is.
I am not saying the climate does not change; it does.
I am not saying that the atmosphere is not warmer today than it was 50 or 100 years ago; it is.
And I am not saying that carbon dioxide emissions are not likely to have caused some (probably more than half) of the warming since 1950.
I agree with the consensus on all these points.
I am not in any sense a “denier”, that unpleasant, modern term of abuse for blasphemers against the climate dogma…. I am a lukewarmer.
And from there, Ridley goes on to do a laudable job of laying out the case that future climate change from human activities will prove to be towards the low end of climate model projections—but squarely within the bounds of consensus expectations. As Matt puts it:
…I am not disagreeing with the consensus on climate change.
There is no consensus that climate change is going to be dangerous. Even the IPCC says there is a range of possible outcomes, from harmless to catastrophic. I’m in that range: I think the top of that range is very unlikely. But the IPCC also thinks the top of its range is very unlikely.
Be sure to check out the whole thing for a great review of why carbon dioxide emissions are not the civilization-ending monster that many climate activists would have you believe (plus there are a few surprises in there that you won’t want to miss).