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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Friday December 21 2007

David Whitehouse is the author of The Sun: A Biography, implying that he may have heretical views about how the sun might now be cooling us down rather than the greenhouse effect warming us up.  (Comments from people knowing more about this man would be most welcome.) He has a recent piece in the New Statesman entitled Has global warming stopped?, implying that he thinks it has.  Concluding paragraphs:

Some media commentators say that the science of global warming is now beyond doubt and those who advocate alternative approaches or indeed modifications to the carbon dioxide greenhouse warming effect had lost the scientific argument. Not so.

Certainly the working hypothesis of CO2 induced global warming is a good one that stands on good physical principles but let us not pretend our understanding extends too far or that the working hypothesis is a sufficient explanation for what is going on.

I have heard it said, by scientists, journalists and politicians, that the time for argument is over and that further scientific debate only causes delay in action. But the wish to know exactly what is going on is independent of politics and scientists must never bend their desire for knowledge to any political cause, however noble.

The science is fascinating, the ramifications profound, but we are fools if we think we have a sufficient understanding of such a complicated system as the Earth’s atmosphere’s interaction with sunlight to decide. We know far less than many think we do or would like you to think we do. We must explain why global warming has stopped.

One of the straws in the wind of this debate is the way that “global warming” has been replaced by “climate change” in the mouths of the action-now-ers, implying that they have suspected for some time that the arguments for their preferred CO2 tyrannies may be running out of steam and need to be modified.

Go here for opposite arguments to those dominant in my part of the blogosphere.

What if both sides are right?  What if CO2 is heating up the planet, and the sun is now cooling it down, and the two effects are cancelling each other out?

Personally I think that the best cure for environmental catastrophe is to be very rich.