Monday, December 7, 2009

What Global Warming?

From the Wall Street Journal: A look at the arguments the skeptics make—and how believers respond.

When we recently ran an article about ideas on ways to cool the planet, we were swamped with emails from people who were impassioned in their belief that global warming is a myth. It was striking that so many people held views at odds with what is apparently the consensus among climate scientists, as well as policy makers.

That consensus, simply put, states that the planet is warming, and that most of the temperature rise is very likely due to an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by human activity. Barring a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, the 21st century will see more frequent heat waves, intense storms and, in the tropics, declines in rainfall.

So what do the skeptics say? In a nutshell, they argue that the warming in the past century has been modest and that human activities' contribution to the warming has been minimal; there is no crisis. Here are some of their major points—and the response by those who believe in global warming.

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