As with so many other topics, any viewpoint that does not agree with the "mainstream" views is snuffed by the mainstream media. We can find many credible scientists that are not very concerned about human-induced global warming. They may agree that there is some global warming and that part of it could be from industrial emissions; however, they may not feel it is such an urgent issue. Instead of following the data, which there is certainly not enough of both temporally and geographically to make a firm conclusion, let us generate some alternate understanding of our comprehension and ability to predict the future.
Look at the North American jet stream. It currently flows from west to east and dips and twists across the continent. A little more or less fluctuation has a pronounced effect on the climate including variations in temperature in the tens of degrees and not in fractions as postulated by "global warming". Now, consider how long the continent has supported humans — thousands of years at a minimum. How long have humans known of the jet stream and how much comprehensive data do we have on its behavior? Not very much. What causes the flow of the stream? No conclusive data exists. We can conceive that the rotation of the Earth, gravitational pull of the moon and tides and water currents all affect its flow. Certainly a volcanic eruption or other massive natural event will alter its course. Now how do we know the thing will continue to flow from west to east? Maybe the atmosphere will spontaneously and ever-dynamically rearrange so that it flows more from north to south or south to north or even east to west. It is not at all impossible to imagine. Obviously the climate would change drastically, orders of magnitude above what is predicted by the "warmers".
Let us not ignore the fact that man, with his ever-amazing wisdom and instinct for self-preservation, has polluted this globe. It is a shame of course, but not a definitive cause of global warming (if it does in fact exist). The planet is highly dynamic and self-regulating. How can the "experts" who can barely tell you the temperature for tomorrow within a few degrees or the amount of precipitation within an inch be able to predict a fraction of a degree in a decade? Averages? What fraction of the Earth's area is computed in those averages? A very small amount. Maybe if we measured 100 times as many geographic points, the data would show a global cooling. It happens over periods of 10,000s of years anyway. Glaciers were in the Southeastern USA. It is not logical to give merit to the warming predictions. And do not confuse the political scientists by giving them all the facts, they have already made up their minds, and their conclusions will bring them fortune and fame. Just look at Al Gore's Oscar! Hollywood has become both honest and sincere (NOT).
The main point is that it is important to collect as much of the available facts as possible before making any conclusions about a phenomenon. Listening to Al Gore or the mainstream media will certainly lead most to believe we are doomed by our own actions. Considering only the opposition will determine that there is nothing to worry about. However, if both arguments are considered objectively, one might conclude that there is no overwhelming evidence either way about man-made global warming. And that man's contribution to climate can be snuffed in no time by Mother Nature herself. In fact, the planet has hosted a plethora of species that have come and gone as a result of natural weather deviations. Life goes on and the world adapts as it would with or without any contribution from Homo sapiens. The fallacy widely accepted up until the 1600s was that the Earth is the center of the universe and the latter revolves around the former. This same ignorance leads people today to still believe that the Earth was made for man and he is its master. Anyone who has experienced a tornado or earthquake or hurricane or tsunami might question this. Mark Twain said that if the Earth were the Eiffel Tower, man would be the top coat of paint at the very tip. We need to put things in perspective. It gives a warm feeling to accept Hollywood's depiction of global warming and its noble efforts to save us all from ourselves — this echoes big brother's intents exactly. And the Oscars went green! How many of the stars walked or rode the bus or their bicycles instead of taking limos or Hummers? Have a look at their electric bills. It is reminiscent of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh who collected the fortunes of educated and affluent people on the belief that material possessions were evil, yet he had fleets of private jets and Rolls Royce cars. How many actors or politicians or academics would be willing to give up their comforts and live in rustic cabins to save the human race? Who in Hollywood is ever concerned with the facts, other than in their own financial and career advancements?
We will never become enlightened and free to experience life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness until we learn to think for ourselves and reject the sensational generalizations of the ruling class. Thomas Jefferson said, "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." Americans of all sects should learn about the logical thought process and the scientific method. It will help in all aspects of life and lead to a real understanding of the world. And then maybe we can pull together and fix the true problems that we face. It is unlikely that our "leaders" will solve these problems; it is their mindset that created them.
Jonathan Tarr [send him mail] is a chemist.