Originally Posted by Shane
I believe Bot is saying let the chips fall where they may, anything else is arrogance.
If what you believe is true, then that would be arrogant of me. That is not at all unlikely, but on this particular issue I think you misunderstand my position.
It is my belief that the planet is warming. I am pretty nearly completely convinced that this is a significant trend, regardless of whether human beings are directly responsible or completely innocent in it's causes. Frankly, I think that the whole struggle concerning the degree of anthropogenic involvement is less important than are the likely consequences of a planetary warming trend. I do think it is extremely important that we discover the physical causes of global warming so that we can accurately predict the intensity and duration of it. Knowing the causes, intensity, and duration we can derive reasonable policies in anticipation of the predictions.
The absolutely best way to be certain that we have accurate and reliable physical models of the climate is through scientific skepticism. The way the system works is that entities that have a vested interest in the outcome of the research pony-up the funding. The research results get published and the results get shredded by opponents and inflated by proponents. Then a new model or test is developed which refines the previous model or test, resulting in incremental improvements in understanding.
The result is a constant sloshing of understanding between opposing camps. The camps themselves get eroded over time and new salients form. We are in the midst of that sloshing and it is unpleasant to people who want definitive answers, now. But that unpleasantness is itself a good thing. When science is in a turmoil all manner of new insights are likely to be developed in unexpected fields with great paradigm shifts. It's all good.
Anybody who claims to have the truth locked-away in their own pet theory is likely to be proven wrong during the next few years. We are in the process of successive refinement of approximations. What is slowly shifting toward each other are the maxima and minima of our understanding. We'll get there, it's just messy right now.