Over the past couple of years I've been studying the physics behind the concept of greenhouse gas based global warming and the more I study, the more it's becoming clear to me that it's just not a significant problem. Yes, the world has probably been warming over the last few hundred years. Yes, the additional CO2 that humanity has added to the atmosphere has possibly caused some part of that warming. However, the amount of warming will be a fraction of the UN's central estimate of 3.0 degrees Celsius per doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere and it will not be catastrophic.
For the remainder of this post, I ask you to suspend disbelief and assume that I'm right. In that case, from my point of view, the whole thing is a rather amazing phenomenon. How can thousands of scientists and tens of thousands of advocates and tens of millions of people all have bought into a story that I'm virtually certain is false?
I think Richard Fernandez describes the big picture well while writing about the recent climate change conference in Bali:
That describes the beginning and growth of the movement which sounds much like the fable of "Chicken Little and The Sky is Falling". But there's also the question of sustaining the catastrophic warming movement: how can so many scientists continue to subscribe to catastrophic CO2 based global warming when it should be plenty clear to them that the subscription has run out?
The history of every millennial movement starts out quietly enough. At first only those who have heard voices or received messages by moonbeam come stumbling in through the tent flap. Shortly they are followed by academics who have finally found someone who understands their theories and will popularize them. Then, as the crowd swells, come the curious, lost, desperate, and heartbroken. Soon follow the peddlers who sell peanuts, popcorn, and crackerjacks to the rapt crowd; then the pickpockets, hangers-on, con artists, and small-time grifters. In the latter stages come the political entrepreneurs, demagogues always on the lookout for ready-made crowds ripe for the leading. Finally come the lawyers, regulators, and venture capitalists to turn it all into an industry. [...]Environmentalism has become the political lifeboat into which the survivors of the socialist shipwreck have crammed themselves. The need to “manage the climate” became the new foundation on which to base regulatory structures, impositions, and taxes which were formerly justified by the imperative to manage the “commanding heights of the economy.”
The are two answers. The first is that more and more scientists are beginning to question the magnitude and impact of the increase of CO2 on global warming. As one example, in a open letter to the UN Secretary General regarding the Bali conference, dozens of scientists including 24 distinguished emeritus professors write:
In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is “settled,” significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming.The US Senate has produced a report collating numerous other examples;
Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.The other reason that many scientists still subscribe to catastrophic global warming is that they're ultimately going to look quite foolish when the day of reckoning comes - just like Chicken Little. The most vocal catastrophic global warming advocates will have a huge amount of egg on their collective faces when strong doubt is cast on catastrophic CO2 based warming. I can imagine that they're in no hurry for that.
I suppose we shouldn't be in any hurry either because, like true believers, they'll all just jump on the next collectivist ship leaving the port.