Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Denier, No. Skeptic, yes.

In a comment to an earlier post, Pangolin states: "Climate change, like gravity, is an observed phenomena."

While it is true that climate change, or more accurately climate variability, is an observed phenomenon (unlike gravity, which is an inherent property of matter), the more pertinent questions are: 1) Does anthropogenic greenhouse gas production influence climate change beyond natural climate forces? 2) Will reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas production influence the observed on-going climate change, and, 3) Will any resulting change be in a positive direction?

While Pangolin dismisses my questions as those of a Denier, and advises that I should "STFU," (Geek Speak for plugging the ears and singing loudly), Careful Readers will note that I have not denied climate variability, nor human effects on long term climate change. I merely question the received wisdom that anthropogenic CO2 is solely responsible for the observed increase in global average surface temperature since the Pleistocene. I also question the assumption that reduction of anthropogenic CO2 will reduce the rate of future global average surface temperature rise.

Rather than Denier, I proudly wear the mantle of Questioner and Skeptic.

And in the words of Ed Abbey that Pangolin considers irretrievably besmirched:

"Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and the hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward."