“…Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, large scale glaciation occurring when CO2 fell to 425 +/- 75 ppm…”
The sceptic-deniers laughed and scoffed and said things to the effect that clearly there’s nothing to worry about that the current concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the air is over 390 parts per million – it won’t melt the polar ice caps.
What the sceptic-deniers haven’t understood, or pretend not to have understood, is that it is a combination of factors that caused major lasting glaciation on Earth. Yes, the level of Carbon Dioxide in the air is important. But the rate of change of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is a significant component.
If the levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere change rapidly, the heating or cooling effect is amplified, in effect. You have to take account of the relative change in levels of Carbon Dioxide, not just its level at any particular point in time.
His intention, presumably, was to avoid the “doom and gloom” trap of people placing too much urgency on an apparent emergency, then being disappointed by political failure to rise to speedy action.
But, of course, his approach was picked up, warped, and propagated by those who want to delay action on Climate Change by pouring doubt on the Science.
Most famously perhaps, last year he went public on his view that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had run its course, (when of course it’s more necessary now than ever, and a Fifth Assessment Report has been commissioned) :-
“The IPCC consensus does not mean – clearly cannot possibly mean – that every scientist involved in the IPCC process agrees with every single statement in the IPCC! Some scientists involved in the IPCC did not agree with the IPCC’s projections of future sea-level. Giving the impression that the IPCC consensus means everyone agrees with everyone else – as I think some well-meaning but uninformed commentaries do (or have a tendency to do) – is unhelpful; it doesn’t reflect the uncertain, exploratory and sometimes contested nature of scientific knowledge.”
This is just going to heap fuel on the fire.
There are a number of websites that have covered this story along the lines of “IPCC insider says consensus was phoney”. If I were you, I’d anti-bookmark all these sources, as they are clearly unreliable :-
“Pakistan’s heatwave and a deadly lack of energy policy : The blackout-blighted country should be free to accept development help from China, and not rely on US financial aid : Nosheen Iqbal”, 07 June 2010
Clearly, the time has never been more right for clean, renewable energy.