For John, BLUF: Bullying to build scientific consensus is wrong. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Weather comes and weather goes. Over the long term, climate comes and climate goes. The President believes that those who believe we are not in a period of "global warming" are like "flat earthers".♠
The question is, are we facing CAGW♥ or are things not so drastic. How governments come down on this will have consequences, and not just for our air conditioning in the summer. The question of bringing hundreds of millions of people out of poverty turns on the availability of cheap energy.
It is like the issue of DDT, which came up on City Life this last Monday. Author Rachel Carson was correct to point out the damage and dangers of DDT, in her book Silent Spring, back in 1962. However, DDT was helping the world make progress against a major killer, malaria. There is no denying that the World Health Organization estimate is that in 2010 between 490,000 and 836,000 people died from malaria that year. Even the bottom number is significant. The estimated middle number, 660,000, is larger than the population of Boston, Mass.
We may need to "act now", but we need to understand the costs and we need to have trap doors out of which we can drop if it turns out we are on the wrong path. I don't see that. The other little secret is that when science finds it is on the wrong path others will come forward to provide alternatives.
We are making progress against malaria. But, fifty years on, malaria is still with us, and killing us.
Regards — Cliff