Thursday, January 22, 2009

Global warming - the skeptics

I get to listen to a lot of conservative talk radio in the truck at work, which is every bit as humourous as it sounds. One thing I occasionally get to hear about, both from the radio and from my boss, is climate change skepticism. Since environmental issues aren't my strong point (you won't find me outdoors unless I'm getting paid to be there), I decided to look it up.

I think my favourite article was this one from the Washington Post, back in March of 2008, on the climate change skeptics. An outtake:

Both the Republicans and Democrats are poised to nominate presidential candidates this year who back a mandatory federal cap on greenhouse gases. After years of voicing doubt, President Bush has said repeatedly that he is convinced that humans are contributing to Earth's warming and that the nation needs to break its dependency on fossil fuels.

Not so, say the skeptics. While the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shared a Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore last year, this cadre of critics has formed a counter-group called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which issued a report yesterday arguing that recent climate change stems from natural causes. (While the IPCC enlisted several hundred scientists from more than 100 countries to work over five years to produce its series of reports, the NIPCC document is the work of 23 authors from 15 nations, some of them not scientists.)

(Above emphasis mine)

I've claimed before that the climate change skeptics were a vanishing minority of scientists, only to be contradicted that it's actually a whole slew of scientists from around the globe. In my search for proof of that statement, the closest I could find to any enumeration of the ranks of the skeptics was the above - hardly a rousing number for those last remaining die-hard deniers.

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