Announcements were reported on today's news that the Arctic icepack is the thickest since accurate records began, which correlates to last winter involving the second-largest polar ice pack on record and a mean atmospheric temperature that eliminated somewhere between 100 and 150 years' worth of global warming. It is the first time since satellite imagery existed that 95% of the state of Ohio was covered with snow.
Climate change exists. Duh. We're a lot colder here than it was when the dinosaurs and three-foot-long dragonflies existed. We're a lot warmer than when the Great Lakes were the end of massive glaciers. The question is whether CO2 is a--and potentially the--strong determinant, as argued by some climatologists and environmental scientists.
I've never thought CO2 from industrial and energy production was a likely answer for massive climatological change. For one thing, accurate records are too recent and everything beyond actual contemporary records is calculation based on equations that we cannot categorically prove or disprove. For another, the whole idea is too simple and tidy. I don't think it takes into account the intricacy of factors that play into even the portion of the total climatological model that we understand. Very few of the models have involved 'givens' that attempt to include a wide range of other potential factors. Instead, they have focused on isolating what were postulated to be key factors. Unfortunately, like risk factors for a variety of human 'disease' conditions, the situation isn't one that can easily yield answers that will have single or even a few isolatable factors. The studies that even diet drinks can 'cause' weight gain and/or diabetes tend not to keep detailed records about what else makes up the study participants' diets at a time when a can of diet cola with a big serving of chocolate cake is common enough to be the subject of a poster that elicits frequent chuckles. These studies seek to isolate an factor, but they're often doing so these days with complex situations where more than one factor can easily be vitally important, and the medical studies don't also add in the fact that mathematical models depend on equations that may or may not have their underlying assumptive structure correct. One even slightly 'off' assumption skews the whole calculation.
I've also believed for quite some time that the brou-ha-ha over human-caused CO2 emissions as the key factor in global warming will end up being a bad thing for environmentalism in general. It's taken such center stage that other issues, like plastics in the oceans and the various poisons coming from industrial waste, or even the ongoing use of leaded gasoline in Africa, tend to get short shrift in the press. I've been concerned that when the simplistic CO2 model of global warming was proven to be inadequate as a slam-dunk explanation, it would cause the entire environmentalist movement to be considered as 'debunked' in the simplistic world of modern media and in the halls of political power, which would lead to a dismissive attitude about all the other environmental issues that in fact are clearly linked to human behaviors.
In the face of scientific 'knowledge', no matter which era, it has taken brave voices to challenge any status quo. I, too, am glad that the CO2 model of global warming is under challenge. This debate should have been happening years ago, but in this case an ideology tended to drive the science in a way that discouraged an open-ended consideration of possible causative factors. Bad science and bad math often comes from 'knowing' the answer in advance and seeking to generate proof for the 'truth' involved.
The facts are that global emissions of CO2 do not coincide with current global climate information in a manner that supports the CO2 model of global warming. The CO2 model supports itself through the equations created to prove that global warming exists and is primarily caused by CO2 emissions. Many of the holes in the ozone layer are sealing themselves over, and others are forming. Lots of changes are going on that we don't understand, or at least not yet. So, we need more discussion and consideration of what factors might possibly play into climate change, and in the meantime we should be focusing our efforts on the things that are uncontrovertibly within our power to change, like superior recycling requirements and incentives and a greater willingness to demand/negotiate other toxic emissions other than CO2 be reduced throughout the world.