I have from time to time astonished, annoyed, or otherwise aggrieved my friends by denying that greenhouse gases cause climate change. This is like standing up in an atheist convention and yelling, “Long Live the Pope!” Everyone knows that all civilized people believe in Global Warming, and the Grand Conspiracy to Prop Up Big Oil by Denying the Action of Greenhouse Gases. It gets even uglier because these days I mostly hang around Europeans, who have been brainwashed about the Global Warming story for much longer than Americans, and consider it one more indication that they are the more highly advanced lifeforms. (Regarding foreign policy and cheese, I will admit that Europeans are in fact more advanced lifeforms than Americans. The jury is still out on the state of the press, as I happened to read a few UK celebrity rags recently, and it appears that not even American journalism has yet fallen that low. But I digress.)
The thing about Global Warming is that it is incontrovertible. Over time our planet gets warmer and colder, and it is currently warming. This is not news. The question is, why is it happening? The answer that all civilized people have been taught by their media is that car exhaust is raising the temperatures. The problem with that answer is that it is politically touchy (useful to some, annoying to others). As a result, it polarizes debate and makes it impossible to continue discussing all the possibilities. And considering all the possibilities is how science actually works.
I believe in science. Above all, I believe in it. Certainly above the media, and also above political discourse, which both have too many human failings. On the timescale of 20 to 50 years, science wins. Science has human failings too, but science gets the right answer eventually, while the politicians still have us scared and stampeding away from the wrong answer.
Go read this article, or at least the headline: An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change.
So, I will infuriate my European friends again when I say again: I don’t believe greenhouse gases cause global warming, and here’s the latest reason why. The sun’s and cosmos’ interaction with our atmosphere can explain the cycles of all history, not just industrialized history. It can explain things that greenhouse gases can’t explain. This, or a theory more like this one than the politically guided greenhouse gas theory will end up being right. It will end up being right because when politics forces scientists to shine a light on a certain theory, you get more evidence for it, but it doesn’t get any more right. What makes a theory right is not thousands of scientist working on it because there’s no money for any other idea. What makes a theory right is it’s ability to explain things that the other theories can’t explain, no matter how popular or unpopular it is.
One of the things that makes my role in these discussions confusing to people is that I do agree that we need to achieve a reduction of carbon emissions. But I believe that because of the economic impact of peak oil, not because I think that carbon has anything to do with climate change. There are 1000 good reasons to stop using fossil fuels the way we are using them. Global warming just isn’t one of them.