There’s a distressingly anti-science aspect to the global warming scolds. Global warming is a problem and deserves a great deal of thought and effort, but the reality is dissenting points of view are arbitrarily dismissed and outright ignored.
Freeman Dyson wrote a piece for the New York Review of Books (from the Volume 55, Number 10 · June 12, 2008 issue) that is worthy of the time spent reading the article. His main point is the science involved in global warming is not nearly as cut-and-dried as it’s made out to be.
From the link:
Answering Lindzen in the next chapter, “Anthropogenic Climate Change: Revisiting the Facts,” is Stefan Rahmstorf, professor of physics of the oceans at Potsdam University in Germany. Rahmstorf sums up his opinion of Lindzen’s arguments in one sentence: “All this seems completely out of touch with the world of climate science as I know it and, to be frank, simply ludicrous.” These two chapters give the reader a sad picture of climate science. Rahmstorf represents the majority of scientists who believe fervently that global warming is a grave danger. Lindzen represents the small minority who are skeptical. Their conversation is a dialogue of the deaf. The majority responds to the minority with open contempt.
In the history of science it has often happened that the majority was wrong and refused to listen to a minority that later turned out to be right. It may—or may not—be that the present is such a time. The great virtue of Nordhaus’s economic analysis is that it remains valid whether the majority view is right or wrong. Nordhaus’s optimum policy takes both possibilities into account. Zedillo in his introduction summarizes the arguments of each contributor in turn. He maintains the neutrality appropriate to a conference chairman, and gives equal space to Lindzen and to Rahmstorf. He betrays his own opinion only in a single sentence with a short parenthesis: “Climate change may not be the world’s most pressing problem (as I am convinced it is not), but it could still prove to be the most complex challenge the world has ever faced.”
And this bit from KurzweiAI.net came across the wire today:
“Consensus” on Man-Made Warming Shattering Canada Free Press, July 19, 2008
“There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution,” the paper notes.
“Global mean surface temperature has not risen since 1998 and may have fallen since late 2001. The present analysis suggests that the failure of the IPCC’s models to predict this and many other climatic phenomena arises from defects in its evaluation of the three factors whose product is climate sensitivity: radiative forcing delta F; the no-feedbacks climate sensitivity parameter k; and the feedback multiplier f.
The American Physical Society itself has issued a statement: It stands by its belief that human-emitted CO2 is “changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the earth‘s climate” and notes that Physics & Society is not peer-reviewed.