Of all the myths about global warming this one is perhaps the most dangerous. In point of fact, the most respected world scientific bodies have stated quite clearly that global warming is happening and that it is caused by people burning fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, and cutting down forests. In a recent publication (2005) the Joint science academies had the following to say:
There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system
as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now
strong evidence that significant global warming is
occurring[a]. The evidence comes from direct measurements
of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean
temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in
average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes
to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that
most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed
to human activities (IPCC 2001)[b]. This warming has already
led to changes in the Earth’s climate…
The only real discussion among scientists is how fast the change is occurring and just how damaging it will be. All nations in the world need to address the damage that global warming is doing to the earth’s climate, the likely effects of global warming and ways in which to repair or ameliorate that damage.
a: This statement concentrates on climate change associated with global warming. We use the UNFCCC definition of climate change, which is ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.
b: IPCC (2001). Third Assessment Report. We recognise the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).