It seems the “settled” debate about Anthropogenic Global Warming isn't so settled after all.
More questions continue to be asked by scientists about the still unproven theory that climate change over the past 100 years or so has been driven entirely by human activity. Some cling to AGW as if it were their raison d'être and anything that puts it into question will not be tolerated.
Reading the comments in the op-ed linked above, the AGW faithful are in a full uproar, calling skeptics “deniers”, like those who deny the Holocaust ever took place. But skeptics are just that, skeptics. They want someone to show them irrefutable proof that global warming is caused only by humans. So far AGW proponents can't. They can show some data (some of it carefully selected while that which disputes their claims is ignored or marginalized as 'not important to the debate'), but data in and of itself isn't proof. Skeptics demand such proof, particularly before we end up spending trillions of dollars on a 'fix' that, by the AGW supporters own admission, will have little effect on the global temperatures between now and 2100.
The faithful resort to repeating the same mantra over and over again - The science is settled. The science is settled. The science is settled. - as if this will somehow make it so. They also repeat long discredited 'evidence' for the same reason. Wild claims are made, such as “90% of scientists agree that global warming is happening and that we are the cause,” but they can never tell us where that number came from. Or with some digging (ain't Google great?), it's found that the number comes from a little known survey that covers a very small percentage of scientists that are already known to be in the AGW camp while ignoring those outside that group, or the 'scientists' are involved in fields that are in no way related in any way, shape, or form to the study of climate and the forces that can affect it (how is it a 'political' scientist's opinion is given the same weight as a climatologist, geologist, or physicist?). The faithful commenting to the op-ed resort to name calling, character assassination, ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments, and the la-la-la defense - “I'm not listening! La-la-la-la-la-la....” But they won't debate the merits of their case, aren't willing to admit it's possible they are wrong, and aren't willing to question their own dogma. They point to the 'consensus of experts' as that's all that's needed to end the debate, to prove the theory of AGW. But consensus is meaningless when it comes to science because science is rarely about consensus. To paraphrase Albert Einstein: “It doesn't matter if 10,000 scientists agree with me. All it takes is one to prove me wrong.”
I've come across quite a few actual scientists involved with climate studies in related fields, and almost all of them agree that there's a good reason to remain skeptical. It comes down to this: the AGW camp hasn't done its homework. There are too many factors they've chosen to ignore that have an even greater effect on Earth's climate than any carbon dioxide generated by we puny humans. Many of the models being used as proof are one dimensional, giving far too much weight to carbon dioxide as the driver of global temperatures. None of the models being used have been able to predict what the climate would be like in the 70's, 80's, or 90's using valid data from the late 1880's forward (the models didn't even come close). So how can anyone give any credence to predictions about climate in 2100 using those same models?
So the debate rages on and is gathering steam.