It is too easy to pick on the global warming skeptics that have used crazy arguments such as
the possible detonation, on uninhabited land north of 70¬∞ latitude, say, of a limited number of hydrogen bombs. [...] The presence of those particles would serve to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching most of the Arctic‚Äôs surface. The effect would be to maintain the frigid climate of the region and to prevent the further melting of its ice or, if necessary, to increase the amount of its ice.
So, for once, I’ll admit it was very educative to devote some time to the The Great Global Warming Swindle documentary, now available in YouTube (75min), written and directed by Martin Durkin and produced by Channel 4 (United Kingdom), which presents a very solid set of arguments to counteract the now mainstream believe that global warming is caused by man, preached by Al Gore with his now famous Oscar-winning documentary and supported by the IPCC. The “swindle” documentary presents what seem to be irrefutable facts by some experts in the field:
- Prof Tim Ball: “I don’t believe human CO2 is causing that warming”
- Prof Nir J. Shaviv: “Natural or Anthropogenic?”
- Prof Ian Clark: “if we look at the climate for geological timeframe we would never suspect CO2 as a major climate driver”, “CO2 follows temperature changes”
- Dr Piers Corbyn: “none of the major climate changes in the last 1000 years can be explained by CO2″
- Prof Philip Stott
- Prof Richard Lindzen of Meteorology at MIT
- Prof Syun-Ichi Akasofu from the International Arctic Research Centre
- Patrick Moore Co-founder of Greenpeace
- and many others
While it is not my intent to refute the skeptics and support blindly any cause, you should know there is a lot of controversy around the validity of some of the arguments. In general, I think the documentary provides a good alternate explanation to global warming: solar activity has a direct impact on atmospheric conditions which over time cause fluctuations in CO2. Unfortunately, it was written as a direct attack on the recent IPCC report and will be used as a tool to discredit it.
I don’t expect the debate over the true causes of global warming will be settled any time soon. There are scientists and politicians at both ends and they both have important arguments. However, I do hope the immediate impact of the current global warming alarm is that of creating a global culture of environmental sustainability. We can’t accept the simple excuse that our evolution as a society needs to destroy the very same resources on which we depend without looking at the long-term picture. We should not need to get to the point of detonating hydrogen bombs in order to rectify mistakes made by previous generations. We should use our scientific knowledge to craft technologies that allow progress across the globe, not just the most powerful nations.