I do agree with Mr. Williston that engineers should add their voice to the discussion. This is especially true because if the world adopts all the proposals of the AGW alarmists, then you can expect to spend at least twice as much for gasoline and natural gas and you can also expect to spend twice as much for electricity. In addition, the cost of every single manufactured good should go up about 25% due to the higher cost of energy. So what do we know for certain about anthropogenic global warming? Not very much for sure.
Lets go over the basis for AGW.
1) CO2 concentrations have gone from 300ppm to 400ppm in the last century.
2) That increase is due to human consumption of fossil fuels and burning forests.
3) The increases in CO2 from 0.03% to 0.04% is triggering much larger increases in water vapor.
4) The increase of CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere that block infrared radiation out to space means that the equilibrium temperature that can radiate heat out to space is at a higher altitude.
5) The higher altitude of the equilibrium sphere means that surface temperatures have to be hotter.
6) The world’s climate is demonstrably getting hotter, by about a degree in the last century, so all the above is true.
7) There are one or more tipping points, positive feedback mechanisms, that once passed will cause massive climate change and that may well destroy the human race.
8) Hence it is a simple fact that mankind is causing all the earth to warm and if we don’t do something right away we are all going to kill our grandchildren.
Nice, but first off, it is not a theory. It is a hypothesis. See a theory is built up from a whole series of hypotheses that have been proven experimentally. There are a lot of things wrong with AGW, but the most glaring is that it is not science, no more than intelligent design is. They are both broad sweeping hypotheses that have not only failed experimental testing; real-world results often contradict the stated hypothesis.
That's one of my biggest problems with AGW. It doesn't appear to fit in with any hypothesis with any consistency. So far no one has been able to model the effects given the data available. The models are always off, in most cases by orders of magnitude even over a relatively short period of time (a year or so). So how can we possibly expect to accurately model what the climate will be like 100 years from now? The answer: we can't. No one can.
Even with this failure to prove AGW we are expected to spend billions, if not trillions of dollars fixing a problem that likely does not exist. Yet we are asked to take it on faith that if we don't do something now WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!
At first I was one of those believing in the premise of Anthropogenic Global Warming. But as time went by, I started seeing too many holes in the various predictions and hypotheses, causing me to take a closer look. What I saw changed my mind. What I saw also reminded me of the dire predictions of global overpopulation, famine, plague, and a host of other doomsday predictions that never came to be even though those making the predictions swore they had the proof. All that was required was for the rest of us to take it on faith.