A few days ago I came across a facebook post from a friend on earth day that certainly wasn’t charitable towards those of us who believe global warming is real and a legitimate concern. I replied with some vigour and never received a response.
1) The earth is getting warmer. The temperature record clearly indicates this. While some the sceptic camp have made some hay by pointing out things seemed to be getting cooler since 1998 it looks like 2010 is going to blow that point out of the water.
We see the evidence of it in shrinking polar ice, glaciers and permafrost.
2) If the earth is warming there must be a cause. Those who argue the warming is part of a natural process haven’t been able to make a case for which natural force is causing the warming. We know isn’t the sun, a tilting earth, continental drift, ocean currents or cosmic rays. All these alternatives have been investigated and ruled out. We know that C02, methane and other greenhouse gasses cause the atmosphere to retain more heat so they are by far the most likely culprit.
3) Skeptic arguments are often deeply flawed, dishonest or contradictory. One will argue that the earth isn’t actually warming and then they will argue that the warming is natural. In desperation they throw as much mud against the wall and hope some of sticks.
There are numerous examples where skeptics have been caught cherry picking data, misrepresenting the facts or flat out lying. A good place to go to see these examples is deSmogblog and Sceptical Science.
I have made a honest effort to understand global warming from both of the perspectives and I find the skeptics have the poorer arguments. Because they can’t make a convincing case in the realm of peer-reviewed science they peddle their wares directly to the public.