The debating strategy of climate alarmists is becoming clearer. When it comes to the science of global warming, the alarmists, of course, think all the complexities and uncertainties have been settled.
This is absolutely true, they contend, because of a single 2001 study by the National Research Council (NRC), which examined some of the key factors surrounding the issue.
Lo and behold, groups such as NRDC and the Sierra Club interpret the study to mean that, yes, in fact, human beings are solely responsible for global warming.
From which passage or passages do they infer this?
Actually a single quote, taken from the report’s summary, which reads as follows: “Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century.”
FACT: This statement by no means settles the global warming debate–far from it.
The statement is typical of such “consensus” documents, which say a lot without saying much at all. For instance, the observation that “temperatures are, in fact, rising,” proves very little. It fails to answer several obvious questions, such as: Rising by how much? Is the increase meaningful? Does the increase pose catastrophic consequences (droughts, floods, etc.) for mankind?
The NRC notes that, “changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities.” What kind of changes, exactly?
It is a truism in climate science that climate is always changing. Further, the qualifiers “likely” and “mostly” belie claims that mankind is unequivocally the only cause of global warming.
Even if one accepts the alarmist interpretation of the above quotation, it is amply contradicted throughout the NRC report.
Just read about the manifold uncertainties of climate science on pages 1, 4, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20.