Earth in the Balance?

Click to view on Amazon.So what about global warming, anyway? Is it real? Or is it just a trumped-up card in the “pollution is bad, dependence on foreign oil is really bad” litany? Have you had enough rhetorical questions? Or should I go on?

It may be a dead horse, but Al’s beating it again, and regardless what you think, it deserves critical thought, so I’ll give you a few useful linky-doodles to explore, and I’ll share my opinion.

Al’s got a new movie called An Inconvenient Truth that revisits his arguments from Earth in the Balance, and it’s sweeping theaters across the nation.

Almost simultaneously, Michael Shermer’s Skeptics Society hosted a weekend seminar called The Environmental Wars, with guest speakers like John Stossel and Michael Crichton who agree to disagree with global warming. There’s lots of information and debate over on DeSmogBlog, and The Commons, and this article from PasdenaWeekly. Please read and think and draw your own conclusions.

As for myself, it seems to me that there is a fair amount of incontrovertible evidence that greenhouse gasses are on the rise, that on-average, global temperatures are on the rise, and other indicators point to a global-warming trend that is a real and serious phenomenon to be reckoned with. I’m also fond of the title of the new book and movie – it seems to me that there’s a kind of “reverse Occam’s Razor,” in that it makes a lot more sense to me that the neo-cons and others with a stake in an oil-based economy would like to see global warming as crackpot worry-mongering, whereas, I can’t really see any self-serving advantage to saying we should protect the environment, cut down on energy waste, reduce pollution, and cut our dependence on foreign oil.

Shouldn’t we do all that regardless? Nonetheless, here are some competing views:

Disclaimer: I honestly tried to Google a few good “counterpoints” against global warming, but “global warming myth” actually turned up some really good counter-counter-arguments against the idea that global warming is a myth, and doggone it, the guys speaking out against global warming just don’t seem as smart on the whole as those speaking in favor, at least to me.