Another Scientist Questioning AGW

I got into a discussion about AGW with my rather liberal brother-in-law last night. Unlike many other debates I've had with AGW believers, this one was unemotional and, quite frankly, enjoyable. While neither of us convinced the other our particular point of view was the correct one, we both agreed there are still too many unanswered questions that need to be addressed before considering any of the proposed corrective “actions” are taken. (Both of us agreed that some of the proposals are too draconian and, in the end, foolish.)

This brings me to tonight's post.

I linked to the follow-up opinion piece from the “Sixteen Concerned Scientists”, and much like the first there were a considerable number of comments. Unlike the first, many of those commenting were far less emotional (though no less indoctrinated).

One of the best comments I've come across so far came from Mike Koban, a scientist in the fields of geochemistry and dendroclimatology. Apparently he is a professor at the University of West Florida, teaching Basic Hydrology, Physical Geology, Environmental Geology, and Geomorphology.

Writes Mike:
I have a points to make about GW and Environmentalism --

First, it's not even politically correct to say "Global Warming" anymore -- we call it "Global Climate Change." This, I think, reflects the point that most of us naysayers are trying to highlight. And that is that the science is far too uncertain to make any economic, political or social projections, especially those as sweeping as redirecting all energy production towards "green" types.

Second, if the GW movement is about preserving our planet the way it is...that's just silly. No natural system is ever about the status quo. They are ever changing and anyone who tells you that they want to preserve the planet and save all the creatures in it clearly doesn't understand the concepts of geomorphology or evolution.

Third, it is inherently misleading to compare all changes in weather to the time right before the industrial revolution. If you only study the time during which Earth's atmosphere has been receiving anthropogenic CO2, then, chances are, your going to find effects driven by anthropogenic CO2...There is, however a problem with doing this -- it's almost impossible to interpret accurate climate cycles at high resolutions. This is exactly my point -- we cannot focus on 2 centuries worth of data out of 10 million centuries worth of data. Would you invest your life savings in the stock market based on one minute's worth of data?

The point is that we cant possibly know that it is CO2 so why are we saying that there is no possible alternative.

(I have edited the above, primarily to correct some formatting and a couple of spelling errors, and removed some parts that did not add to Mr. Koban's points. However, if you believe I did so to change his meaning or quoted him out of context, feel free to read his full comment linked above. - dce)

Much like my discussion with my brother-in-law, Mike brings up points that should not be ignored by the AGW faithful or the skeptics. There are still too many unanswered questions to say “the science is settled” or that “the evidence is incontrovertible”. There are still too many unanswered questions that cannot be ignored. Until the answers are found we must not take action that will impoverish the developed nations and trap the developing nations into economic stasis and perpetual poverty, all in the name of “saving the planet.”